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Attitudes to Māori learners not new

Attitudes to Māori learners not new

Māori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell has congratulated Hana Turner for her research titled Teacher Expectations, Ethnicity and the Achievement Gap, for bringing to the fore conclusive evidence of bias and discrimination in our school system.

“Hana’s research has hit a chord, because it proves what many of us who have been through the New Zealand education system already knew; that some teachers’ attitudes towards Māori students are appalling and downright discriminatory.”

“I was quite surprised actually, that those who participated in Hana’s research were so honest about their attitudes. In their honesty, however, I found myself questioning – can’t they see their own racism?”

“Since Hana’s research was publicised yesterday, many Māori young and old have shared their stories of discrimination. It’s opened up a can of worms, because unfortunately many Māori have experienced the negative impacts of attitudes that teachers bring to the classroom with them.”

“Rates of Māori achievement in education are poor. What Hana’s research tells us is that teachers’ attitudes count, and that is why the Māori Party championed Tataiako, a cultural competency resource for teachers. Of course, more needs to be done to address the widespread attitudes.”

Mr Flavell today asked a question in the House to the Minister of Education responsible for the Education Review Office.

“I want to know what processes are in place to keep these attitudes in check, out of our classrooms and away from our children.”

“Our kids deserve the very best education, and they deserve to be surrounded by people who expect success, who motivate and encourage them, and who support them. These attitudes are demoralising; discouraging and demotivating, and we really want to see something done about it.”


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