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Conversations between a teacher and game designer: Redesigning a teaching game about Māori–Pākehā histories

Ruth Lemon and Rich Durham

If The New Zealand Curriculum vision statement is aiming for students “who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Maori and Pakeha recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring” (p. 8), then we need to teach accurate understandings of historical Māori–Pākehā relations in New Zealand schools. Characteristics of pre-Treaty Māori–Pākehā engagement can be taught to undergraduate teacher-education students through the story of the first school in New Zealand. Traditional instruction was not enough to engage students critically with the concepts and events at play, and so a game was researched and designed to make the learning more engaging. This dialogue between teacher and game designer explores the alignment of educational rationale and game-design approaches through the combination of our technical and cultural worldviews. This reflects the relevant history of the exchange of contrasting worldviews of 19th-century Māori and Pākehā. Collaboration was important, as we brought different knowledge, skills, and experience to the game’s redesign.

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