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Reo and mātauranga Māori revitalisation: Learning visions for the future

Alex Hotere-Barnes, Nicola Bright, and Jessica Hutchings

Te reo and mātauranga Māori are linked to a distinctive Māori identity and ways of being in the world. With the majority of Māori students enrolled in English-medium schools, we face the national challenge of how to affirm and promote reo and mātauranga Māori as part of the “everyday” in educational and community life, now and in the future.
This article illustrates how educators in English-medium settings can deliberately affirm, support, and promote reo and mātauranga Māori in their learning processes and programmes. This is illustrated through an imaginative 2040 scenario for reo and mātauranga Māori learning in an English-medium school. While fictitious, the scenario is underpinned by our kaupapa Māori research findings, and the future-building ideas of educationalist Keri Facer. The 2040 scenario presents an ideal picture of what a holistic and “culturally responsive” English-medium school system can be. We encourage you to seriously consider the implications of this scenario, and how your school and community can be proactive supporters of reo and mātauranga revitalisation efforts by affirming ngā moemoeā (whānau aspirations), rangatiratanga (whānau authority and autonomy), and te reo rangatira (learning and maintenance of reo Māori). Our future vision is that intergenerational use of reo and mātauranga Māori positively contribute to Māori educational wellbeing. In this vision, the education system’s role will not be alone in the centre; rather, it will be linked to a host of community of players that are committed to seeing reo and mātauranga Māori survive and thrive evermore.

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