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Bicultural Education Describe The Historical Development Of One Issue Of Concern To Maori And Critically Examine The Events, Attitudes And Beliefs That Relate To This Issue. Discuss The Significance For Bicultural Practice In Early Childhood Education.

2041 words - 8 pages

James Lochead-MacMillan ID 12413
Surveys held in the 1970's determined that the use of Maori as a spoken language was in severe decline and only begin sustained by an older generation according to Benton & Benton (1999, cited in New Zealand Tertiary College [NZTC], 2009). At this time some Maori were losing the knowledge of their culture they "no longer spoke the language and had little knowledge of Maori…culture" (Soutar, 2005, p.9). Soutar goes on to show a newer generation concerned with revitalising the Maori language and knowledge and raising their children with bicultural access.In the 1970's the education system was mono-cultural and "denied their (Maori peoples) rights to learn their own language" (Ka'ai, 2004a, p.184, cited in NZTC, 2009, p23) Baker, 2001(cited in NZTC, 2009) found that in bicultural society, the majority spoken language was adopted as it was felt that the opportunities for development could be missed if they didn't.Interestingly Maori was the predominant language in New Zealand prior to the 1840's, according to www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz, but the Native Schools Act in 1867 decreed only English should be spoken and not Te Reo, an Act that was later overly enforced. It was only through the urban migration over the 1940's that the decline of the language and the culture stats it's decline. According the Durie, 1997, the loss of land and need for employment and the planning regulations enforced were some of the key reasons behind the urbanisation. "Urbanisation led to the evolution of different lifestyles" (Durie, 1997, p7) and being separated from the tribes and way of life they knew before, Maori adapted by adopting the majority language. Durie goes on to explain that the need to fit in with the new life and a combination of government policies led to some Maori cutting ties with whanau and adopting the new customs and cultures of their new community.Maori, as a written language was a development from the missionaries in 1841 (www.korero.maori.nz). The website goes on to explain that prior to this the handing down of culture, customs and knowledge was done orally, from one generation to the next. "Selected individuals were…trained to be careful and adept crafters of the spoken word" (www.korero.maori.nz, 2009). It was the elder generation passing down to the next. However, with the urbanisation and the cutting of ties meant that the "Manaakitia", capacity to care as part of the Nga Take O Te Whanau (Durie, 1997) was difficult to maintain in terms of caring for the elderly as the family had been split. This again could have been a contributing factor to the decline of the language.Language is especially important for the cultural significance of the Waiata (songs) according to www.korero.maori.nz. Songs and chants have many different uses in the culture to support the ongoing life of the tribe. If the language disappears, these too could disappear. Chanting and singing was passed from the gods to the Maori...

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