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NZers Need to Communicate Better Between Cultures

Media Release

1 August 2003

The University of Waikato

NZers Need to Communicate Better Between Cultures

Waikato University senior lecturer Angus Macfarlane is using a research fellowship he has won to work on a book promoting better quality of communication between cultures in New Zealand.

“It’s certainly something we need to get a lot better at,” says Angus, of the School of Education’s Department of Human Development and Counselling, who affiliates to Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Raniwewehi of the Te Arawa waka.

As the winner of the inaugural Research Fellowship from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Angus will be based in Wellington for a semester from this month.

He says his book’s aim of promoting better quality inter-cultural communication is timely. “New Zealanders need to examine ways of becoming less polarised in their various groups and looking at strategies and programmes in classrooms and schools seems a good place to start.”

Angus’s most recent research centres around the idea that good inter-cultural understanding between teachers and students can help the learning process. “To maximise learning, teachers need to understand each individual in the classroom as well as possible, and be sensitive to the cultural, community and family values that can have an impact on a student’s educational experiences.”


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