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Marae ā-kura: Tracing the birth of marae in schools

Jenny Bol Jun Lee

Marae ā-kura (school marae) have been part of the New Zealand educational landscape for nearly 30 years. Marae ā-kura began amidst the wider kaupapa of cultural regeneration; they are also a response to state school policies of assimilation, integration and Taha Māori. Marae ā-kura represent the aspirations of Māori as well as the Government’s aspirations for Māori. This article considers two strands in the whakapapa of marae ā-kura: a Māori-led initiative to revitalise Māori language and culture in schools; and the Government’s selective inclusion of Māori culture in the curriculum. Marae ā-kura provide a context to not only teach Māori, but to learn as Māori.

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