Friday, March 5, 2010

Andrei Culturally relevant schools?

Tariana Turia wades in
Associate Social Welfare Minister Tariana Turia says schools need to become more culturally relevant for Maori children.
The Government is putting more money into cracking down on absenteeism and truancy in schools, after a survey by the Ministry of Education found 30,000 students per day are skipping classes. More than half of them are Maori and Pacific Island children.
Mrs Turia told Waatea News that too many students are not inspired by what they get in the classroom.
Because of the deficiencies in schools, Mrs Turia said money has been invested in teaching non-Maori teachers how to educate Maori children.
The real disconnect here and it is not only Maoris and Pacific Islanders that exhibit it, is that we live in a technological civilization which we take for granted.

And the things we take for granted from indoor plumbing through to iPods and cell phone networks require mathematical skills and numeracy to build and maintain.

Skills which are often held in contempt - so much so that a large number of technical roles throughout the world now are filled by Indians and Chinese.

Mathematics and Science are what should be "culturally relevant" for all - I am not sure how we "inspire" kids to these subjects but I suspect investing money into to teaching non-Maori teachers into how to educate Maori children is unlikely do little to address it.

2 comment(s):

Psycho Milt said...

Turia's right! The cultural relevance of schools is of vital importance! Just look at how difficult Asian kids find it to do well in our schools... er... oh.

Turia and people like her are the biggest obstacle to improving Maori educational achievement. It will only improve when Maori figure out it's their culture, not the schools' culture, that's the problem.

I.M Fletcher said...

It reminds me of an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air where Will Smith uses as an excuse that he is failing history because it isn't interesting and the African-American history isn't being covered enough. He figures he is in for an easy ride when his aunt becomes the tutor for a new class dedicated to African American history but soon finds out that the work is just as challenging.

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