Effective bicultural leadership:A way to restore harmony at school and avoid suspension              Mere Berryman and Son...
Leadership                          and engage. Conversely, diminished distance         hui whakatika can offer a unique p...
true partnership and aimed at the most            Hui whakatika highlighting                        principal, senior teac...
Leadership                              meeting with the boys and their family member          boys successfully finished ...
Berryman, Walker, Reweti, & O’Brien, 2001),          The effective bicultural partnership led by the        cultural mains...
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  1. 1. Effective bicultural leadership:A way to restore harmony at school and avoid suspension Mere Berryman and Sonja Bateman A s the founding document of this country faced by many Mäori are located within Mäori culture the Treaty of Waitangi can provide all New itself. Speaking from an educational perspective, Bishop, Zealanders, especially those seeking equity, with Berryman, Tiakiwai, and Richardson (2003) emphasise clear guidance and support to reflect the three Treaty the benefits that can emerge when both traditional and principles of partnership, protection, and participation contemporary Mäori cultural knowledge, practices, in their workplace. The principle of partnership is and experiences are drawn upon. According to Gordon about responding to issues of power sharing and (1997), while cultural understandings emerging from decision making. The principle of protection is about the experiences of indigenous minorities may challenge acknowledging and valuing indigenous knowledge and mainstream perspectives, this does not mean that such pedagogical values. Participation is the principle that perspectives should be ignored. Indeed, Howitt and provides individuals and groups with equity of access to Owusu-Bempah (1994) further contend that the lack resources and services. of attention to alternatives to mainstream knowledge This paper examines how a mainstream school will leave any discipline (including the discipline of principal supported by a Mäori elder undertook hui education) impoverished. For many Mäori, the term whakatika procedures with teachers and family, rather mainstream in itself maintains the perspective that than standing down or suspending a group of boys. Mäori knowledge belongs elsewhere, that to actually be Thus, both the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous and live as Mäori necessitates belonging elsewhere as, knowledge—specifically, Mäori knowledge—was used generally, mainstream society neither reflects nor values to inform a process of working together to claim equity understandings that are uniquely Mäori. for Mäori. Phinney and Rotheram (1987) argue that there are Before examining this particular case, we consider the ethnically linked ways of thinking, feeling, and acting relevance to it of Mäori knowledge systems, in particular that are acquired through socialisation. The message Durie’s (2006) contemplation of understanding others, implicit in this statement has profound implications in the context of pöwhiri and the marae ätea. for educators, given that education seeks to understand and respond to students’ experiences in order to Mäori knowledge educate. Understanding others depends on three specific As a nation that speaks of inclusion, social justice, and components, as outlined by Durie (2006). These equity for all, it is worth our considering what these components involve engagement, ways of thinking concepts might actually mean for Mäori in terms of how and theorising, and ways of analysing. Durie explores Mäori knowledge has been acknowledged throughout the marae ätea during the process of pöwhiri (rituals history. Despite the growing kaupapa Mäori movement of encounter) as a metaphor for engagement, wherein over the past 20 to 30 years, and Durie’s (1997) assertion particular aspects such as space, boundaries, and time that Mäori knowledge has an integrity of its own, Mäori exact particular significance and meaning. knowledge, beliefs, and understandings are still regularly relegated to the margins, perceived as inferior and lacking Space, boundaries, and time in any real substance, or simply dismissed. In describing the notion of space, Durie (2006) contends Despite this, Bishop (1996) contends that solutions that a realistic degree of distance is necessary at the and understandings for Mäori do not reside within the outset until a relationship has formed. Acknowledging culture that has traditionally marginalised Mäori; rather, a level of distance effectively provides a stage for the solutions and understandings for resolving issues clarifying the terms under which parties come togetherset 1, 2008 25
  2. 2. Leadership and engage. Conversely, diminished distance hui whakatika can offer a unique process for … the traditional may precipitate panic or alternatively lead to restoring harmony from within legitimate withdrawal, both of which impact negatively Mäori spaces (Hooper, Winslade, Drewery, on the processes for building relationships Monk, & Macfarlane, 1999). Underpinned hui, or meeting and establishing engagement. Understanding the concept of boundaries requires ongoing by traditional or pre-European Mäori concepts of discipline, hui whakatika provide a process attention to the distinctions between groups, that follows the same phases of engagement as held within that is, tangata whenua (hosts) and manuhiri (visitors); the living and the dead; the right those outlined above, while also adhering to four typical features of pre-European Mäori - and the left; safe and unsafe; men and women; discipline as identified by Olsen, Maxwell, and Maori cultural the old and the young. Appreciation of these distinctions enables mutually respected Morris (cited in McElrea, 1994): • an emphasis upon reaching consensus boundaries to be defined without pretence, through a process of collaborative decision protocols or ways and can provide a more respectful platform upon which relationships can be built and making involving members of the whole community engagement may emerge. Appreciating the • a desired outcome of reconciliation and a of engagement, notion of time, from a Mäori perspective, means that being on time is less important settlement that is acceptable to all parties rather than isolating and punishing the than allocating, taking, or expanding time offender can provide in order to ensure that important processes are acknowledged, completed properly, and • not apportioning blame but examining the wider reason for the wrong with an implicit a supportive accorded the time that they deserve. assumption that there was often wrong on For many Mäori, the same rituals or phases both sides of engagement as those progressed during the • less concern with whether or not there had and culturally pöwhiri process can be applied during other been a breach of law and more concern with situations or contexts of encounter. Guided by the restoration of harmony. notions of space, boundaries, and time, these The four broad concepts of reaching consensus, grounded space phases broadly include: • starting/opening rituals (which includes reconciliation, examination, and restoration are critical to effective hui whakatika. It is respecting space and boundaries at the important to note also that these traditional for seeking outset, and determining who speaks and when) Mäori disciplinary concepts continue to feature widely in contemporary Mäori society as a means • clarifying and declaring who one is by of resolving issues of concern or conflict. and achieving acknowledging where one has come from • clarifying and declaring intentions (which Hui whakatika therefore can be likened to contemporary notions of restorative justice includes the purpose of meeting) (Hooper et al., 1999). Indeed, it may be resolution, • coming together as a group • building relationships and making initial argued that the aims of both processes are fundamentally similar. Restorative practice in connections (which includes sharing one’s schools requires: and restoring whakapapa or genealogical connections) • addressing the particular kaupapa or issue … that harm done to a relationship is understood and acknowledged and that (which includes taking the time that is harmony. effort is made to repair that harm. In order required for open and frank discussions, for that restoration to happen, the voices face-to-face interactions, reaching decisions of those affected by the offence need to and agreements, and defining particular be heard in the process of seeking redress. roles and responsibilities) (Restorative Practices Development • concluding (which includes summarising Team, 2003, p. 11) decisions and agreements, and reasserting What differs however is that the initiation and mana or personal prestige) legitimation of the hui whakatika process is able • sharing kai/refreshments. to be determined by and for Mäori. Thus, hui whakatika can exemplify how all three Treaty Hui whakatika principles (partnership, protection, participation) Macfarlane (1998) proposes that the traditional may be able to be applied in practice. hui, or meeting held within Mäori cultural There are four distinct phases to a hui protocols or ways of engagement, can provide whakatika process: a supportive and culturally grounded space 1. the pre-hui phase: preparing the groundwork, for seeking and achieving resolution, and the planning, and preparation that aims restoring harmony. In contexts such as these, to ensure the work is undertaken in26 set 1, 2008
  3. 3. true partnership and aimed at the most Hui whakatika highlighting principal, senior teacher, classroom teacher, successful outcomes for all parties principal and kaumätua and the kaumätua all attended. Participation2. the hui phase (the hui proper): making leadership and partnership of this kaumätua ensured that correct kawa connections with others who are involved, or cultural protocols were adhered to, thus This hui whakatika concerns one Mäori- setting the direction, and formulating roles protecting both the people and the kaupapa medium syndicate within a large mainstream and responsibilities; throughout the hui (purpose/agenda). She began the meeting with school. Given the trust and respect the phase, cultural processes are followed: mihimihi, then karakia that asked for guidance principal held for the Mäori community, beginning the hui and support. This was followed by a cup of tea and in order to “protect time for teaching - mihimihi (greetings)/karakia (prayer) before the agenda was jointly set. All members and learning by reducing external pressures - response from manuhiri of the hui agreed that they would be seeking and interruptions and establishing an orderly - reiterating the purpose of the hui to fully address the problem without creating and supportive environment both inside and - whakawhanaungatanga (introductions a situation of shame and blame. The principal outside classrooms” (Robinson, 2007, p. 8), and making connections) gave his clear commitment to support whatever this principal opted to work in partnership - sharing food decisions came from the meeting, thus handing with Mäori. The traditional process of hui was developing the hui the power to redress the situation and restore used to resolve a situation that involved three - how we are being affected, how we are relationships back to the hui participants. Year 7 and Year 8 Mäori students found to have feeling After much discussion and at times extremely been experimenting with marijuana during the heated debate, the marijuana incident was fully - successes to date, strengths school day and in the school grounds. discussed, ownership was acknowledged, and - barriers to success Phase 1: The pre-hui phase consequences were collaboratively determined - seeking out a new story (restorying), by and agreed to. The students involved in the determining and agreeing on the way The teachers—who were Mäori—and the incident, and their parents, contributed to both forward: what we will do, who will do Päkehä principal sought advice from a the debate and the determining of solutions what … kaumätua (elder) directly connected to the and consequences. The hui continued with - setting a time and venue for forming local hapü (sub-tribe)—a woman held in tasks being agreed to and allocated and then and consolidating the plan very high regard within both the Mäori and it was time for poroporoaki when everyone was closing the hui (poroporoaki/rituals of non-Mäori communities. Her advice resulted given an opportunity to have their final say. The farewell) in the staff members, the three students, and meeting then concluded with a karakia. - whakakapi (summing up) members of their families agreeing to come to a - final comments by members meeting at the school the very next week. This Phase 3: Forming/consolidating the - karakia group understood, albeit some of them with plan3. forming/consolidating the plan scepticism, that the meeting would be held As a result of the collaborative decision making4. follow-up and review (at a later date). according to Mäori protocol in order to seek within the hui, the group planned a four-day in-In line with Durie’s domains of space, solutions by engaging within the supportive school suspension intervention, to be developedboundaries, and time, and according to and culturally appropriate learning contexts by the teachers and supported on a daily basisMacfarlane (2007), each of these four phases is provided by the traditional hui (Macfarlane, by a person from each boy’s family. Teacherscritical to the overall success of a hui whakatika. 1998). The group also understood that the agreed to set up the separate programme aimedIt is imperative that sufficient time and effort school policy response would normally have at providing these three students with positiveis invested in the initial pre-hui phase, as this been to suspend the boys, thus removing them Mäori cultural messages and role models,part of the process is equally as important from the education setting and potentially as well as specific and accurate informationas the actual hui itself. The pre-hui phase exposing them to even greater risk of drug about marijuana and the consequences of druginvolves determining who needs to be involved, abuse. The teachers and the families involved abuse. The students went home from the huiestablishing a willingness from all parties to wanted to avoid this situation at all costs. with family members, and then returned theparticipate in this process of making amends, The principal understood that support from next day ready for their four days within the this kaumätua on previous occasions, usingmeeting with all parties separately in order to newly determined parameters of the in-school traditional Mäori responses, had alreadyexplain the process and preparing them for suspension. provided some effective solutions. Althoughwhat will happen in the hui, hearing their The plan focused on three key areas: this situation was very different from thestories about what has happened and, finally, • accurate information (about marijuana and others he had encountered, he trusted that aselecting a venue and time. Phase two of the the implications of its use) traditional Mäori response could indeed beprocess, the hui proper, follows the protocols • open and honest sharing of information very effective.of engagement as represented by a pöwhiri (between the specific school staff, the boys,process. Effective facilitation of this phase is Phase 2: The hui phase and their parent(s); amongst parents; andalso crucial. between related professionals) At the direction of the kaumätua, family These four phases are now used to present • keeping the boys in the education system (the members accompanied each of the three boys,a case study in which bicultural leadership alternative would almost certainly have been including a grandmother who was there forprovided a way to develop new understandings suspension). her own mokopuna (grandchild) as well asand effectively restore harmony in a mainstream Each of the four days of the in-school suspension for the other boys. The principal, deputyschool. began with the senior teacher and kaumätuaset 1, 2008 27
  4. 4. Leadership meeting with the boys and their family member boys successfully finished his Year 12 having for karakia. The day’s work and timetable were competed in top college sports and cultural By developing then discussed. On the bell, they each returned teams throughout his secondary schooling. with their work to one of the three syndicate For these boys, no repeat incidents such as this and maintaining classrooms and seated themselves in their desk were reported as having occurred throughout placed to the rear of the room. Here, the boys the rest of their schooling. each worked on their individual programme Conclusion relationships of trust under the further guidance and support of the family member who had agreed to support For Mäori who are working to support the them on that day. Four visitors, who were learning and cultural needs of Mäori students and respect with able to speak knowledgeably on the effects in mainstream settings, following principles of marijuana, had each been invited to share from te ao Mäori can pose many challenging cultural experts their expertise at lunchtime sessions. These visitors were all Mäori; their involvement had dilemmas. In terms of the Treaty of Waitangi principles of participation and protection, been organised by the kaumätua from her many Mäori educators strive to ensure that the and others, and by strong local networks. They included another kaumätua with a young, recovering drug user, students and their whänau with whom they work are able to access all of the resources and a Mäori Youth Aid Officer, a doctor, and a benefits available from within the New Zealand seeking to work man working in the field of drug rehabilitation. education system. Simultaneously, they work to At lunchtime on each of the four days, the protect and revitalise their own cultural identity within these cultural boys came together with members of their own family and the teachers. The boys, their and integrity, as well as the cultural identity and integrity of others with whom they work. family members, and the teachers shared food, These activities are regularly positioned within spaces, opportunities attended each of the four related presentations facilitated by these visitors, listened, questioned, the spaces between the minority/indigenous Mäori and the dominant Päkehä cultures and talked openly and honestly. arise which enable (Durie, 2003) and, within these spaces, cultural Although the rest of the students in the constructs such as pöwhiri and hui can provide syndicate undoubtedly k new what had legitimate spaces, determined and governed individuals to see happened and was happening, the syndicate teachers did not discuss any of these events with by Mäori culture and protocols. These are the spaces from which enormous learning and them; nor did the principal discuss these events strength for both groups may be drawn. themselves in at a staff level. Interactions between these boys and their classmates were greatly reduced over By developing and maintaining relationships of trust and respect with cultural experts and relation to others and the four days of the in-class suspension and others, and by seeking to work within these although teachers did not actively monitor this, cultural spaces, opportunities arise which it was promoted by the classmates themselves. enable individuals to see themselves in relation to learn from these On the Friday afternoon exactly one week after the marijuana incident, the in-class suspension to others and to learn from these relationships. Within these spaces, one is able to bring one’s ended; after the weekend the boys resumed self, and all that that represents, to the kaupapa, relationships. Within their usual relationships with their peers and and be listened to. Power is able to be shared school returned to normal. between self-determining individuals and/or these spaces, one is Phase 4: Follow-up and review groups. Participants are able to determine their own actions within relationships of This response ensured that these students interdependence (Bishop, Berryman, Powell, & able to bring one’s remained at school and after the in-school detention they were accepted back by their Teddy, 2007; Young, 2005) that are culturally prescribed and understood. Too often, Mäori classmates as if nothing untoward had happened. have not been accorded respectful or legitimate self, and all Importantly, this response opened up more partnership space within New Zealand society, effective two-way communication and support regularly being relegated to the position of that that represents, between the homes of these students and their school. All groups learnt from the process, the junior partner (O’Sullivan, 2007). Rather than continue to perpetuate such disparity, a outcome was seen by all to be just and equitable determination to reclaim legitimate spaces and to the kaupapa, and relevant to the misdemeanour, and, more importantly, none of the groups (school, student, protocols, as supported by this principal and facilitated by the kaumätua, is necessary. be listened to. or family members) lost mana. Pöwhiri and hui whakatika therefore can This incident happened a decade ago. The provide a powerful analogy for the notion of boys all remained at school until at least the claiming spaces as they both provide distinctive end of Year 11. The youngest of the three protocols for establishing relationships (Glynn,28 set 1, 2008
  5. 5. Berryman, Walker, Reweti, & O’Brien, 2001), The effective bicultural partnership led by the cultural mainstream. Keynote address at thethat are based on mutual respect and trust, but principal and kaumätua in this case can provide Partnerships in Educational Psychologyalso on rangatiratanga (self-determination). others with a model to restore harmony and conference, Brisbane.Traditionally, mainstream education has avoid suspension. Ten years later cases such Gordon, E. (1997). Task force on the role andperpetuated power imbalances that have only as this are still the exception in mainstream future of minorities. Educational Researcher,served to denigrate and marginalise indigenous schools rather than a new norm. The reassertion 26(3), 44–53.knowledge and practices (Bishop & Glynn, of Mäori cultural aspirations, preferences, and Hooper, S., Winslade, J., Drewery, W., Monk,1999; Mead, 1997; Smith, 1999). For many practices, supported and legitimised by cultural G., & Macfarlane, A. (1999, July). School andPäkehä, pöwhiri and hui whakatika will require leaders, can lead to more effective participation family group conferences: Te Hui Whakatika (aa shift in mindset, away from the familiar ways in and learning for Mäori students (Bishop & time for making amends). Paper presented atwhich they prefer to engage in Mäori or Päkehä Glynn, 1999), but only when we as educators the Keeping Young People in School Summitspaces to learning how to engage respectfully in are open to new possibilities. Conference on Truancy, Suspensions andlegitimate Mäori cultural spaces. Effective Alternatives, Auckland. Within this hui whakatika, what was References Howitt, D., & Owusu-Bempah, J. (1994). Theacceptable and not acceptable was defined within Bishop, R. (1996). Whakawhanaungatanga: racism of psychology. London: Routledge.Mäori ways of understanding. These cultural Collaborative research stories. Palmerston Macfarlane, A. (1998, November). Hui: A processcontexts, led by cultural experts, ensured that North: Dunmore Press. for conferencing in schools. Paper presented at theno one voice was able to dominate. Instead, each Bishop, R., Berryman, M., Powell, A., & Teddy, Western Association for Counselor Educationmember brought their own set of experiences L. (2007). Te Kötahitanga: Improving the and Supervision conference, Seattle.and expertise, and participation evolved on the educational achievement of Mäori students Macfarlane, A. (2007). Discipline, democracy, andbasis of interdependent roles and responsibilities in mainstream education Phase 2: Towards a diversity: Working with students with behaviourwithin which trust, respect, and obligations to whole school approach: Report to the Ministry difficulties. Wellington: NZCER Press.each other and to the kaupapa were fundamental of Education . Wellington: Ministr y ofto the collective vision of restoring harmony and McElrea, F. (1994). The intent of the Children, Education.respecting the mana of all participants. Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. Bishop, R., Berryman, M., Tiakiwai, S., & Restorative justice? Youth Law Review, July/ In Article One of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Richardson, C. (2003). Te Kötahitanga:Crown undertook to enter into a partnership Aug/Sept, 4–9. Experiences of Year 9 and 10 Mäori studentswith Mäori; under Article Two, the Crown Mead, L . T. (1997). Ngä aho o te käkahu in mainstream classrooms: Final report to thedeclared that Mäori would receive protection mätauranga: The multiple layers of struggle by Ministry of Education. Wellington: Ministryand the right to define and retain all of their Mäori in education. Unpublished doctoral of Education.possessions; and under Article Three, Mäori thesis, University of Auckland. Bishop, R., & Glynn, T. (1999). Culture counts:were guaranteed participation in, or access O’Sullivan, D. (2007). Beyond biculturalism: The Changing power relations in education .to, all of the benefits that the Crown had to politics of an indigenous minority. Wellington: Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.offer. Throughout the decades, Mäori people Huia Publishers. Durie, M. (1997). Identity, access and Mäorihave continually tried to assert their rights Phinney J., & Rotheram, M. (1987). Children’s advancement. Paper presented at the Newunder the Treaty of Waitangi, rights which ethnic socialization: Pluralism and development. Zealand Educational Administration Societyenable them to both define and promote Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. (An Indigenous Future) conference, AucklandMäori knowledge and pedagogy. Within the Restorative Practices Development Team. (2003). Institute of Technology.legitimate Mäori spaces provided by this hui Restorative practices for schools. Hamilton:whakatika, Mäori were indeed able to claim Durie, M. (2006, October). Foundations for University of Waikato.these rights and reach resolutions that were of psychological and social interventions with Robinson, V. (2007). School leadership and studentbenefit to them, while at the same time having Mäori. Presentation at Compass Professional outcomes: Identifying what works and why.their mana maintained. Rather than denigrate Development Seminar, Auckland Institute of (ACEL Monograph Series No. 41). Winmalee,or marginalise the Päkehä who participated, Technology. NSW: Australian Council for Educationalthese cultural spaces were inclusive—all were Durie, M. H. (2003, March). Mäori educational Leaders.able to participate and learn. advancement at the interface between te ao Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: The people in this hui whakatika were looked Mäori and te ao whänui. Paper presented at the Research and indigenous peoples. London &after by leaders who understood the importance Hui Taumata Mätauranga Tuatoru, Turangi New York: Zed Books; Dunedin: Universityof mana. The principal acknowledged that the and Taupo. of Otago Press.mana of these students would not be upheld Glynn, T., Berryman, M., Walker, R., Reweti, Young, I. M. (2005). Self-determination as non-within the context of stand down or suspension; M., & O’Brien, K. (2001, July). Partnerships domination. Ethnicities, 5(2): 139–159.thus he sought out and supported an alternative with indigenous people: Modif ying thesolution. The kaumätua ensured that all of theappropriate traditional practices and protocols, Mere Berryman is director of the Ministry of Education (Special Education) Poutamaincluding those implicit in traditional Mäori Pounamu Education Research and Development Centre in Tauranga.discipline, were employed throughout the Email: mere.berryman@minedu.govt.nzintervention. This in turn ensured the safety of Sonja Bateman works for the Ministry of Education (Special Education).all and the ultimate success of the intervention. Email: sonja.bateman@minedu.govt.nzset 1, 2008 29

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