Over 30 years ago when Professor Russell Bishop started teaching he was struck by a single question: Why did so many Māori students start out well but fail as they went through school? Bishop, Professor of Māori Education at the University of Waikato, and colleagues interviewed Year 9 and 10 high school students, their families, teachers and principals from which he developed the very successful Te Kotahitanga education model in which teachers receive special professional development on how to better teach Māori students.
This research project focused on Māori youth and documenting their social territories using multi-media visual data generated by the participants, in conjunction with wānanga and university-based practitioners and students in photography and film media. The researchers employed new methods in visual sociology and worked collaboratively with Māori youth and their iwi communities. Relationships were established with communities within Ngāpuhi, Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Toa, Ngāi Tahu, across urban, semi-urban, small town and rural areas.
This project reviewed published literature relating to Māori education, in the compulsory schooling sector, from 1990 to 2008. The researchers concluded as a general finding that there is a need for increased commitment and resourcing of research across all aspects of Māori education and schooling. It is also clear that there remains limited research related specifically to Māori education defined, controlled and undertaken by Māori.
This project examined current practices for measuring Māori participation and achievement in science and mathematics, investigated student experiences of science and mathematics in English medium and Māori medium schools and investigated the views of whānau, parents, caregivers and teachers of Māori students regarding science and mathematics education.
This project focused on kaiako literacy instruction practices and tauira learning pertaining to reading comprehension and Māori vocabulary development. It involved five Kura Kaupapa Māori schools located in rural communities or small rural townships. Kura staff and researchers were involved in a collaborative process involving the collection, analysis and feedback of student achievement and classroom observation data. The first year of the project involved collecting baseline data to develop literacy learning and teaching profiles.