Students at Burnham School found the process of creating and sharing a mihi, which involved engaging with their families and the community to research into their past and using technology to share that with their parents/whānau for feedback, was valuable.
The mihi was particularly significant with our Māori students. I had children in the class who would never have the confidence to stand up in front of their peers and present a speech or a seminar with the pride and the mana that they showed.
They’d feel a lot more confident talking about something that they were certain about, like their heritage, rather than something that they had gone and taken information out of, say, library books to present to the class.
They had to involve their families in the first place. So there was that researching into their past and the only way to do that was by engaging with their families and the community around them. So once they had that information, bringing it back into the classroom and working together on how they would structure their mihi, working with their peers to practice the mihi and then playing around with the technology so that they could deliver it to the world through the Internet and their blogs. Then sharing that with their parents so they get feedback on what that included. When I presented the kids back with what they had done it was just really, really clear that they could see a lot of worth in being able to put their work online and be able to take it home and share with their parents.