Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Initial teacher education
critical theory


Initial teacher education (ITE) is critical to shaping New Zealand's education and social futures, and has the potential to do more. In particular there is a need for reflection on ways in which ITE might be restructured and reconceptualised to make a bigger contribution to participation, achievement and outcomes at higher levels by Māori and Pasifika learners. While a discourse of equity provides the theoretical underpinning for pursuing education outcomes that are more just and fair, the economics of 'parity' may provide the greater opportunity to accelerate the pace of change. Government funding for tertiary education now operates on the expectation that tertiary organisations (including ITE) will ensure that Māori and Pasifika students participate and achieve at all levels at least on a par with other learners (Tertiary Education Commission, 2012). Given the current context, what is the role of ITE? Is ITE part of the problem or the solution for equity? This paper offers ideas towards a contemporary model of equity through initial teacher education based on the interplay between structural and conceptual changes. From a critical theory base, a model for equity through ITE is explored, with four interdependent action areas: plan for impact, resource for parity, build equity concepts, and engage with high-quality research. 


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