Kei roto i te tuakiri o te tangata Māori he rongoā hei whakatutuki mātauranga? = Formulating Māori academic success : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education at Massey University, New Zealand
There has been a long standing issue in mainstream schools throughout New
Zealand in regards to Maori students underachieving academically. Numerous
efforts have been made by The Ministry of Education over successive years to
combat this problem. A series of strategies ensued focusing on supporting,
adapting and improving various related areas of the education system in order to
cater better to its Maori students learning needs.
This study sets out to explore the notion that there exists a prescription to Maori
academic success. Not in a clinical sense but rather the unique characteristics,
attributes and innate qualities found in successful Maori academics. It is
anticipated that the revelation of certain attribute consistency will contribute to
the overall outcomes of this study.
This study explored the experiences of Maori tertiary students, and the essential
elements of their educational lives that are related to their success in mainstream
education. The study focussed on what was and is currently working for
academically successful Maori as a basis for new perspectives in regards to Maori
The study was underpinned by a contextualised theory of seven categories
representing commonalities found within each of the participants that
contributed to their educational experiences. Five of these categories were
intangible, human qualities that each participant possessed while the remaining
two categories were found to reside in their surrounding environments.
These results show that the foundations to a potential formula for Maori
academic success can be found dwelling within the individuals who are
undertaking a journey to find success in education.