Coastal Taranaki School teacher, Chris Luke explains the importance of marae-based learning and how he connects the students' at the marae with the learning in the classroom. Parents describe how marae-based learning gives an authentic learning experience for their children. "Having the kids learning on the marae, knowing their tikanga, their te reo, and using the iPads and bringing it into the school, into the home, I just find that really good for everyone."
What they do here at the marae then I take back to the school and because I have these students in my classes as well, so I will take what they’ve done here and I’ll use them as a teacher to teach the rest of the students at our school.
For me, in terms of the importance of learning on the marae is that things are normalised. The reo is normalised, tikanga is normalised, and children are able to walk, my children Tuawaerenga and Punawairongonui are able to walk comfortably and feel at home and not like they are sitting on the fence looking in, but they are actually a big part of it for me, that’s really important as a mother having Māori children.
They are in an environment where they can see the whare, they can see the names, the tīpuna on the walls, we can visit the river, we can see the maunga, and then they can hear the kōrero from our whānau, our kuia, our kaumātua, and I also think it’s important to strengthen the relationship with the kura and to invite them into our marae to help them feel comfortable about being on a marae.
It gives us a real authentic learning experience for our kids. I mean it’s not something, as I say it’s a different education actually living these experiences, and if you can make them one and the same then you’ve got a recipe for success it seems to me, and that’s what it’s been about for us. I mean this applies also to our environment, the stories, the local people who have stories to tell, all of that is just a hugely important dimension because it’s real, and that’s what our kids need.
I think having the kids learning on the marae, knowing their tikanga, their te reo, and using the iPads and bringing it into the school, into the home, I just find that really good for everyone.
We have an opportunity here, we live up the road, 5ks from the school, to actually bring them here. So the school agreed to have the boys come every Monday morning and in terms of whānau, it’s brought our whānau together. We have hui together, we have kai together. The whanaungatanga is strengthened, and it also provides an opportunity for our whānau to kōrero about education, about the aspirations. On top of that we’ve created a blog, and on the blog we often, I’ll share a lot of the work that the boys are doing here, the activities, online, photographs, videos and our whānau add their comments. So it’s an opportunity to share with them online what we are doing here on the marae.
To learn in the world of our ancestors, and to be able to take the knowledge that they learn here and combine that with the modern world in terms of for us the iPad, and using the iPads as a tool to again feel good about themselves and their identity, improve their literacy and numeracy at the same time was just a win-win situation.
(reciting a pātere)