Towards collaborative pathways of leadership in education for Māori : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education, at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
This thesis investigates Kaupapa Maori approaches to leadership that could assist secondary school principals and teachers to foster an environment to facilitate more appropriately, in Maori terms, the learning and teaching of Maori students who are attending mainstream secondary schools and kaupapa Maori schools in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The study included two types of secondary schools: one mainstream secondary school; and one kaupapa Maori school. In each school, interviews were undertaken with the two principals, groups of teachers and groups of parents. The aim was firstly to identify leadership approaches in the two schools that staff and parents there saw as successfully encouraging teaching and learning practices that are meeting the needs of Maori students. In addition two significant Maori leaders in Maori education were interviewed for their insights about the current state of Maori education and the potential future of Maori education. By capturing the perspectives of all the participants through a series of face to face interviews/kanohi ki te kanohi conversations the research investigated a framework for Kaupapa Maori approaches to leadership that is adaptable for mainstream and kaupapa Maori schools.
The thesis concludes that there were multiple approaches to kaupapa Maori in terms of unique experiences and understanding, rather than one exclusive form of a Kaupapa Maori approach. The diversity of many Maori worldviews across iwi explained why there was no singular, universal concept found. Respondents identified tikanga Maori values and practices that were iwi specific, inclusive of cultural identity and whanaungatanga family relationships, as significant in kaupapa Maori approaches to leadership, but had reservations about the capabilities of schools’ leadership to adapt. Hence they highlighted the importance of collaborative pathways of leadership that encompass change in order to make a difference for Maori students. An implication of the findings is that principals need to be held accountable for the results of Maori students in their schools. Furthermore, secondary schools need to change the leadership, structure and pedagogy of schooling for the majority of Maori students attending mainstream schools, and for some in kaupapa Maori schools. Strategies for how to implement change implicated in the findings are explored.