Being tohunga: An Indigenous perspective on the duties within academic development
Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session
Room 2 – 303-G14, Sem
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
The clash between colonial and indigenous paradigms continue to create a conundrum for academic developers in Aotearoa New Zealand, as education and institutional policies are strategically calling the need for mātauranga me tikanga Māori (Māori knowledge and ways of being) to be woven into curriculum and research practices. My PhD research adds to the burgeoning performative autoethnographic research that captures the experiences of educators engaged in critical pedagogy, particularly those engaged in decolonising ‘self’ as well as the institution. I captured my experiences, thoughts, and problem solving in journals and visual diaries. As I set out to support academics’ practices of “honouring the Treaty of Waitangi”, I was quickly thrown into the political psyche of the University, where I found myself constantly holding the University accountable to the Māori values it espouses and promotes. This highlights a philosophical conundrum of academic development to “speak back to the university vs agents of the university” (Barrow, 2017). At the heart of my research is wānanga, the theoretical practices of tohunga, Māori wisdom keepers. With an ethos to manaaki, to care for their community, being tohunga reveals a new Indigenous perspective to the duties of care in academic development.
Academics – Academic Development