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Waikato Research Has International Impact

Waikato Research Has International Impact

University of Waikato researchers have been invited to participate in a prestigious international research meeting from April 7-11 in San Francisco.

The annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting is the largest gathering of researchers in education in the world. University of Waikato staff will give a two-hour keynote presentation to Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education.

The University of Waikato keynote presentation will be facilitated by School of Education Professor Russell Bishop, Mere Berryman (Poutama Pounamu Director of Research), Rangiwhakaehu Walker (kuia for the project and Whakarurhau o Poutama Pounamu), and Dr Tom Cavanagh a School of Education researcher.

The title of this presentation is: “Te Katahitanga: A kaupapa Maori approach to improving Maori student achievement in mainstream schools”.

Te Katahitanga is a research and professional project that examines a kaupapa Maori solution to the educational crisis that is currently facing Maori students in mainstream educational settings in a way that connects politics, pedagogy and action.

Professor Bishop says Te Katahitanga aims to improve the educational achievement of Maori students.

“This is done through operationalising Maori people's cultural aspirations for self-determination within non-dominating relations of interdependence. In this sense, the project is informed by a kaupapa Maori theory of self-determination.”

Dr Tom Cavanagh, a University of Waikato Senior Research Fellow says it is exciting and of great value for the university to be part of the AERA meeting.
“Delivering a keynote at AERA is a great honour and rarely granted to people outside of North America, let alone a small country like New Zealand.”

Other University of Waikato educational researchers have also had papers accepted for presentation at the AERA meeting.

Dr Tom Cavanagh’s paper is called: “Creating Schools of Peace and Non-violence in a Time of War and Violence Peace Education.” This explores the impact on schools of values that support war and violence. This research outlines how schools can create a culture of peace and non-violence where safety is viewed as freedom from harm or the threat of harm.

Dr Cavanagh will also deliver a paper with University of Waikato researchers Angus Macfarlane and Ted Glynn and Sonja Bateman from the Ministry of Education. Their paper is titled: “Creating Culturally Safe Classrooms: A Maori Perspective on Culturally Responsive Approaches.” The research examines how students from indigenous, aboriginal, and non-dominant cultures are often disadvantaged in schools because of deficit thinking by teachers. It also explores ways to create culturally safe classrooms, where students can be who and what they are.

*AERA website:


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