The Global Legacy
Edited By Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley
Chapter Three: Equity as Critical Praxis: The Self-Development of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
Equity as Critical Praxis: The Self-Development of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
GRAHAM HINGANGAROA SMITH
Our struggle for equity in New Zealand (NZ) is both similar to and different from the struggle for equality by other indigenous peoples. Māori as a cultural minority have consistently argued for the recognition and validity of their own cultural frame of reference as well as increased economic and resource parity in their own right alongside the dominant Pakeha (non-Māori population) in NZ. Such arguments for cultural, social, and economic inclusion might simply be interpreted as potentially assimilating of different cultural groups into a homogenous form of capitalism and exploitation that in the end is a continuance of colonization. As Freire forewarned in his text Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972) the danger here is that the oppressed may become the oppressors or in our sense the ‘colonized become the colonizers’ as they take on and replicate dominant hegemony.
In this sense education and schooling become important sites of struggle. An important task therefore is to redevelop schooling and education away from the inevitability of the reproduction of dominant cultural, social, and economic norms. This is the project that has been taken up by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, an indigenous higher education institution. While this project is enormous and ultimately reaches beyond education and into the realm of politics, the formation of a critical consciousness and...
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