Ka whakamāramahia e Tammy Gardiner rāua ko Marama Reweti-Martin ko tā te Māori titiro ki te pakirehua. Nā rāua anō i tautoko ētahi kaiako ki te whakarite pakirehua, te whakatau he aha ngā taumata ka eke, me te kawe ake i tēnei kaupapa kia tīna.
Tammy Gardiner and Marama Reweti-Martin explain pakirehua. They connect the wider concept of inquiry within Māori culture with teaching as inquiry. They describe how they have worked with teachers to setup inquiries, identify target students, and carry out an inquiry. Teachers have seen accelerated results in student progress as a result of focused reflection on their practice.
I believe that pakirehua or inquiry is nothing new, it was evident in the times of our tūpuna and it was something that helped nurture and helped us to establish and grow as a people and good examples of this are horticulture, navigation, astronomy and the intergenerational transfer of Mātauranga Māori. It’s something that’s happened mai rā anō and it continues to happen today. As for inquiry with teaching and inquiry and learning, I believe it’s merely a method to improve professional content knowledge and pedagogical practice so that ultimately all our mokopuna succeed and that ākonga achievement occurs within the classroom.
We came up with what we thought was an approach looking at it from where Māori might have originated the idea of inquiry and going back to what might have been the first inquiry for Māori and we came back to the creation story of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Our approach is giving a rationale, if you like, for what inquiry is from a Māori perspective and the processes that we’ve seen developed through the marautanga and the NZ curriculum are more about the practicality of how we implement that in schools so this gives us a good foundation. We found that once the teachers had the understanding of pakirehua inquiry from a Māori perspective, we were then able to use that information to help them set up individual inquiries related to their own students. We’d look at achievement data, identified target students and initiated planning and appropriate programmes to suit them. Through a very deliberate process that we’ve used, we’ve been able to see accelerated achievement within a space of six weeks. Because it’s coming from a Māori perspective, it feels natural for them to think in that way. Also they’re able to extend those ideas into a lot of the other Māori myths and legends, pūrākau. They can also extend it into their local histories and their local stories as well. I think what this does too, is it says to us as Māori that inquiry is natural, it’s natural for everybody and we don’t have to see it as something special that we do. We inquire about anything and everything, just as our tūpuna have done.
This approach we have found has been really good, especially with a lot of our older teachers or teachers that have been in the sector for a longer time. A lot of our kaiako within kura have found that inquiry is mere compliance and with them understanding what pakirehua is about has actually made the whole process a lot easier. They’ve actually got to the point that they can see that it is a Māori pedagogy and that it is something that our students can actually acknowledge and understand and use within their own learning as well. So once our kura and kaiako can connect via whakapapa, it makes the process a lot easier.
From a Māori world view we know that we have a different perspective on most things, so to bring that into the way we’re teaching, in the way we’re working with children in our school communities is a natural flow on from everything else that we do.