Wairua and the relationship it has with learning te reo Māori within Te Ataarangi : a report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Administration at Massey University

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Massey University
This “compressed ethnographic study” (LeCompte & Schensul 1999:59,88) investigates wairua as an aspect of second language acquisition within the organisation of Te Ataarangi, and suggests that wairua is an important phenomenon within the discipline of second language teaching and learning. As this particular area of enquiry has not been a subject of research, the literature review was essentially interdisciplinary. A literature search that incorporated Ethno-linguistics, Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Physics and Indigenous epistemologies provided the support for clear understandings that are being discussed in this thesis. An analysis of ‘organic intellectual’ experiences and flax-root theory regarding wairua and its relationship with learning te reo Māori was interpreted through Māori and Language Acquisition epistemologies based upon implicit learning, and then tied back to other disciplines when the literature was scarce. Wairua a spiritual phenomenon, as described by participants in this study enters the learning environment through a variety of means, which can then be utilised within the teaching and learning process. It is posited that this is essentially through a physical gateway as paralinguistic phenomena, such that sound vibration derived from positive thought intent with related kinaesthetic body responses act as vehicles to transport wairua. Thus wairua becomes an affective input for the implicit unconscious of students. Common links, patterns and themes within participant interview material triangulated with observations, written teaching resources and documents were arrived at with the aid of NVivo, a computer program designed specifically to “give access to data” that “can be examined and analysed” (Gibbs 2002:11) in order to build theoretical understandings. Teaching principles and practices identified by participants as the essential keys in accessing wairua to enhance the learning of te reo Māori are documented. This study opens the field for further investigation which potentially strengthens the work being done to “further current goals for Māori wellbeing” (Durie1995:8) within the cultural framework of a Māori world view.
Maori language, Psychological aspects, Study and teaching, Second language acquisition, Te Ataarangi, Matareo, Wairua, Mātauranga wetereo