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Relational and Responsive Inclusion

Contexts for Becoming and Belonging


Edited By Mere Berryman, Ann Nevin, Suzanne SooHoo and Therese Ford

Socially unjust circumstances continue to perpetuate inadequate classroom, school and system-level responses to longstanding social justice imperatives, shutting out power-sharing solutions to educational disparities and marginalizing populations of Indigenous and minoritized peoples. To address these educational disparities, this book proposes a relational and culturally responsive framework, from within a critical and indigenous paradigm that is designed to foster one’s sense of becoming and belonging in the world with all people, and thus promotes inclusion. Praxis such as this challenges traditional paradigms that marginalize or dehumanize those with whom we seek to work. Social justice in education must be concerned with recognizing, respecting and being inclusive of the diversity of all students. Social justice is about valuing and including all children for the potential they arrive with and for the families that stand beside them, rather than on what we might aspire to change and mold them into being.
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About the Cover


The cover features a painting by Tūhoe artist Donn Ratana. It comes from his series called Te Wero (the challenge).

On important occasions, when New Zealand Māori greet visitors, wero are the first cultural ritual undertaken by the host’s lead warrior. The warrior challenges the visitors as he advances with fierce eyes and taiaha (wooden staff) in hand. Carefully he lays down a token of greenery or plumage at the foot of the leader from the visiting party. How the token is retrieved signifies the visitor’s intention for future collaboration.

Metaphorically, the wero in this book challenges the reader to critically consider their own role in perpetuating socially unjust circumstances that continue to marginalize Indigenous and other minoritized peoples. Our book poses power-sharing solutions for becoming and belonging that are relational and culturally responsive, and if appropriately undertaken, have the potential for future inclusion. ← xxi | xxii →

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