A new book by leading educators and researchers – two from Te Arawa – boldly encourages culturally responsive educational practices.
Sociocultural Realities: Exploring New Horizons scrutinises ethnic and cultural considerations in the hope of helping beginning and experienced teachers, special education advisers, psychologists, university lecturers, education professionals (from early childhood through to tertiary), and families.
Co-editor and University of Canterbury Professor of Maori Research Angus Macfarlane, who is descended from Te Arawa and was born and raised in Rotorua, said the book was exceptional in that it spanned the entire education sector – from the early preschool years through to tertiary – and also drew on the sociocultural realities of indigenous learners from three distinctive global locations.
“We took a risk in encompassing the whole education sector in a single volume, but in doing so we feel that we are offering access to a wide range of educational consumers.
“The book pays tribute to the valuable body of work that informs cultural theory and insights, but also includes a lens that considers social aspects such as whanau and indigenous communities’ world views,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The book includes a chapter on the recent Ka Awatea Project which examines the nature of teaching, learning and home socialisation patterns that support Maori students’ success in Rotorua, written by co-editor Dr Melinda Webber from Rotorua (Ngati Whakaue, Ngapuhi).
Professor Macfarlane said those who contributed to the book were known and trusted as knowledgeable about diversity.
The book’s contributors include University of Canterbury’s College of Education, Health and Human Development Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Gail Gillon (Ngai Tahu).
Indigenous contributors from overseas include University of British Columbia (UBC) Assistant Professor Cash Ahenakew of the Cree nation in Canada, Sereana Naepi, an Indigenous Fijian doctoral student at UBC, Professor Susan Page, an Aboriginal academic from the Centre for Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Technology, Sydney, (UTS) and Michelle Trudgett, Professor of Indigenous Education, also at UTS.
Third co-editor Dr Sonja Macfarlane, (Ngai Tahu and Ngati Waewae) UC senior lecturer in health sciences, said the book had been a wonderful opportunity for contributors and co-editors to work together around the kaupapa (ideologies) of the work and to add to the tide of growing knowledge around sociocultural realities in education and learning.
– Publishers Canterbury University Press and book supporters Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue are hosting a book launch for invited guests on Thursday afternoon at Whakaturia Dining Hall at Ohinemutu. The book is 224 pages and will be sold for $45.