AbstractThe development and implementation of Ngā toi i roto i te matauranga o Aotearoa ((Māori visual and performing arts) has seen Kapa Haka (a (Māori performing dance group) emerge as a dynamic and powerful way for many schools and teachers to engage student learning about (Māori culture, language, and traditions (New Zealand Qualifications Authority, 2002). The main aim of this paper is to focus on the importance Kapa Haka has for (Māori students, and to outline why many (Māori students are now actively choosing Kapa Haka as an integral part of their educational programmes. The first part highlights the dilemmas associated with (Māori underachievement and the move by educators to include more innovative and culturally appropriate learning programmes to support the (Māori learner. The second part highlights the importance of (Māori pedagogy as it reflects the cultural dimensions associated with the teaching and learning of (Māori students. A more innovative approach considers Ngā toi i roto i te matauranga o Aotearoa (Māori visual and performing arts) document launched in March 2001, and the implementation of NCEA (National Certificate in Educational Achievement) which has helped to raise the educational status of Kapa Haka, supporting many Māori students to obtain a formal qualification. Finally, the paper considers some of the challenges facing teachers in their attempts to access the benefits associated with the time, energy and effort Māori students give to Kapa Haka.
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