Waikato Journal of Education
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How to Cite

Lee, H., & Lee, G. (2017). The politics of Māori education: History, policies, conflicts and compromises. Waikato Journal of Education, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v1i1.527


This paper examines policy changes made in Maori schools by an almost exclusively Pakeha group of officials who sought to determine the future shape and direction of these schools. As we review the controversies surrounding Maori education policy we will note the dominant social traits, principles, assumptions, and aspirations that underpinned the establishment and growth of a new community. We will then survey major developments in Maori education during the period 1816-1879; account for the increasing attempts by colonial education authorities to introduce a more 'relevant' practical/agricultural curriculum for the Maori schools; and discuss Maori resistance to such 'adapted' schooling provisions. Finally, we will reflect upon the degree of mismatch between official Maori schooling policy and Maori' schooling reality, and then compare this with the changing social, economic, and vocational contexts in which the schools were being located.


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