A three-way partnership to raise Māori student achievement : a thesis presented to Massey University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Masters Degree in Education

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Massey University
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The New Zealand education system produces high levels of academic performance (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD, in Timperley, Wilson, Barrar, & Fung, 2007). Contradictorily, New Zealand is also one of the few countries that produce a huge divide in performance levels between Māori and other minority culture groups on the one hand, and non-Māori and dominant culture groups on the other (ibid.). However, school policies on Māori student initiatives appear to generate minimal success for Māori students. Therefore, an urgent critique, and transformation of school policies are required to bring about better educational outcomes for Māori students. Hence, this qualitative study is underpinned in critical and socio-constructivist theories, and adopts a Kaupapa Māori orientation that is grounded in the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Obstacles to Māori student achievement were firstly identified to determine how partnership relationships among students, whānau, and the school can be strengthened to raise achievement. Teacher questionnaires, parent individual interviews, and student semi-structured interviews were used to gauge perceptions of Māori student achievement, and explore the rationale and nature of partnership relationships. Misperceptions of Māori and education were found to significantly contribute to severed partnership relationships. Therefore, this research study advocates for power-sharing consultative, and collaborative decision-making processes within a culturally inclusive curriculum to strengthen partnership relationships among students, whānau, and the school... to raise Māori student achievement.
Maori education, Academic achievement, New Zealand