Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Inequity in schooling
low ses schools
pedagogy for empowerment


New Zealand based research demonstrates that the education system has consistently failed the children of low socio-economic status (ses) parents. In contemporary times a large number of such children are Māori and Pasifika. Teachers, while not the whole solution, are integral to making a positive difference. Specific recruitment and courses for 'urban (low ses, inner city) teaching' are the norm in parts of the USA, with researched positive effects. The argument of this paper is that New Zealand pre-service teacher education must consciously prepare teachers to teach children from low ses areas, and in particular non-Pākehā (non- white) children. The paper's focus is on an optional teacher education course which aimed to prepare students for teaching in New Zealand's low ses (low decile) urban and rural schools. Freirean theoretical and practical ideas underpinned course planning and implementation. Lecturer and student reflections complement the paper's argument. 


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