Pūrākau : sharing the influence of whanaungatanga on Māori kaiako in online learning and teaching within Aotearoa tertiary sector : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education, Online learning, Massey University, New Zealand

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Mā te huru ka rere te manu. Adorn the bird with feathers and it will fly. The education sector aims to adorn ākonga with feathers. In order to support ākonga in their flight we must continually learn and grow ourselves, apply critical and creative thinking, and honour te Tiriti o Waitangi in our practice. The Aotearoa New Zealand education system, and in particular the tertiary sector, has an increased emphasis on the success of Māori, Pacific, and disabled ākonga. The sector needs to understand and analyse approaches to online learning and teaching, which this rangahau aims to do, in relation to Māori kaiako and their online pedagogy. This rangahau explores the pūrākau of three Māori kaiako who teach online in the tertiary sector within vocational education providers. It goes beyond the idea of frameworks and tools to hearing the stories of individuals, understanding the role of values and, in particular, whanaungatanga in their practice, and considering the intentions behind their pedagogy. The stories of the rangahau partners revealed their unique perspectives along with their commonalities. A deeper understanding of whanaungatanga emerged allowing the development of a framework for analysis of online practice/s. This rangahau provides a platform to enhance the mana of the rangahau partners, examine the role of values in pedagogy, and prompt us to always ask ourselves why. The key findings from this rangahau are of both personal and academic significance. Personally, this research has taught me a lot about myself, my own beliefs and values, and the importance to holding fast to what we believe is right even when it might not fit the mould. Academically it has contributed to the body of knowledge around whakawhanaungatanga in the online learning environment. This rangahau has shown that: • Whanaungatanga is an adaptive, responsive and agile value that can present itself in many forms. It does not have one definition but is a lived value that binds tangata together for the common good. • Our innate values underpin our intentions and actions explicitly and implicitly. The values we hold will inform our approach to learning and teaching and therefore we need to be conscious of the values we prioritise. • Māori kaiako who teach in the online learning environment can provide insight as to how we can better support Māori and all ākonga success. We need to connect with those around us and whakaronga in order to develop our own skills and knowledge. • Transparency, consistency, and preparation support the creation of a safe online learning environment which fosters engagement and encourages ako.
Māori Masters Thesis