Based on extensive interviews with 21 individuals, this book allows us to listen to M?ori from Northland recall the mid-20th century rural world in which they grew up. Metge's work tackles important questions about M?ori teaching and learning: What was the role of whanau and hapu, household and marae, kaumatua and siblings, work and play in learning? How much learning was practical and how much by teaching?
Metge shows that M?ori ways of learning flourished alongside the school system in rural Northland and that those educational practices had a particular form and philosophy. M?ori focused on learning by doing, teaching in context, learning in a group, memorising, and advancement when ready. M?ori of rural Northland imparted cultural knowledge as well as practical skills through daily life and storytelling, in whanau and community activities.
Under achievement of M?ori children in state schools is often attributed to deficiencies in the children's home environment. Joan Metge presents a different view. She introduces readers to M?ori methods of teaching and learning that are rich in lessons for us all.
Dame Joan Metge was born in 1930. A trained anthropologist, she is particularly famous for her outstanding promotion of cross-cultural awareness. She has published significant books and articles on cross-cultural communication, including Talking Past Each Other (1978/1984) and Korero Tahi (AUP, 2001), and on M?ori history and society. She was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand's inaugural Te Rangi Hiroa Medal in 1997 for her outstanding scientific research in the social sciences and, in 2006, won the third Asia-Pacific Mediation Forum Peace Prize, previously won by Jose Ramos-Horta. Her most recent book is Tuamaka: The Challenge of Difference in Aotearoa New Zealand which we published in 2010.