In this essay Te Ao Maori, Te Reo Maori, Tikanga Maori and Treaty of Waitangi will be examined. The relevance of these to the teaching practices will be reflected upon. Few appropriate strategies will be discussed to support the implementation of a bicultural curriculum in early childhood education.
According to Irwin (1984) for Maori, the creating myths form an important part of their world view, “conveying myth messages that people practice as ideals and norms in their lives “(p.1). The Maori creation myths begin with three stages te kore, te po and tea ao Marama.
In the beginning there was Te Kore, the nothingness. Then came the te po the night , it was this night that the seven gods began crawling in the narrow space between their parents bodies, who were Rangi (sky father) and Papa (Earth mother). One day Tane –mahuta god of forest, began separating his parents apart so that there was enough room for them to move around in. So when Tane became successful in separating his parents, the world of light – te ao marama was created .
The sun used to move across the sky quite rapidly and it used to be hard for the people to finish their daily chores such as cooking, hunting due to the insufficient time of the sun in the sky. So, Maui the demi – god decided one day that he needs to slow down the sun. As stated by Reed (2007) “Maui battered the sun until he was weakened (p.28). Ultimately, the people were able to finish their chores as sunlight was there for more hours.
Te Ao Maori has played a significant role in my teaching practice, because the creation of the Maori myths is similar to showing the children how to grow a seed into a plant, the different growing stages of the plant depict the Maori strategy of growing of the world vision.
The strategies that I will be using to implement Te Ao Maori in early childhood education would be by celebrating Matariki (the Maori New Year). Provide storybooks relate to the Maori myths and legends such as Maui, Rangi, Papa and the Maori gods. By providing these resources children will be able to learn about what type of role they all played during the creating of the Maori world view. Also by providing Maori arts and puzzles, because the Maori puzzles will help the children to learn the significant shapes in Maori culture such as Koru (beginning of new life ) , Heru (hair comb) and Hei Matau ( fish hook) Ref.
Te Reo Maori means the Maori language as mentioned in free dictionary. As suggested by Barlow (1991) “language is the vehicle of which thoughts, customs, desires, hopes, frustrations , history , mythology , prayers , dreams and knowledge are communicated from one person to another “ (p.114) . Te Reo was contained in one of the three baskets ‘Kete Maturangi ‘ (kit of knowledge ) and was given to people by Tane (god of forest ) because it is a gift from god it is considered ‘taonga’(treasure) ( New Zealand Tertiary College [NZTC] , 2010). Te Reo Maori is now merely spoken in Marae...