I am an education professional, working with schools to build capacity for learning and teaching with digital technologies. As a middle class white woman teacher, I tried to build good relationships with all of my students and honour the intention of the Treaty of Waitangi which I believe laid the foundation of a bicultural nation. I am not sure if that was the intention of the Treaty of Waitangi, but but it certainly influenced my practice in that I wanted my Maori students to achieve and flourish in my classes.
Acutely aware of my lack of knowledge around Maori culture, I tried to learn more and make connections to what I did in the class.
Years on, I am still in the same predicament, - a middle class white woman trying to learn more and reach out and make connections. How do you capture the essence of Maori culture in a digital world? Efforts that I have made so far are almost a bastardisation of the Maori culture. I don't believe that culture is a static concept - it changes as the world progresses, but is it just downright rude of me to try to incorporate what I know of the culture in my work, or should I graciously bow out of trying?
These are my thoughts this morning.