Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Have Been Reading........ Kathryn Delany

Ruta McKenzie shared this important quote with us, “The culture of the child cannot enter the classroom until it has entered the consciousness of the teacher” (Samoan saying).
This quote makes me wonder: How does the culture of a child and their family and whānau enter my consciousness? I think people, books, reading and practicing new things have been a large part of my bi- cultural journey.
So... having put my hand up to review some books  I was left thinking what books have been most important to me on my journey towards bi- culturalism?
And there are many. Both books for adults and children have been part of this journey for me. Thinking of the notion of this Early Childhood Education setting as being a place of learning and teaching I have taken many opportunities in reading books and using resources with children that have enhanced my use of Te reo Māori, ngaTikanga Māori and understanding of Te Ao Māori.
We have a list of great books on the ELP Website’s resource section with small reviews and guidelines about each book’s content ( LeadershipProject_Resources_Books_Maori.php).
It was very hard to select one or two books but here goes: 

My favorite book and one that I consider essential to all teachers is Te Wheke by Dr Rangimarie Turuki Pere CBE. Dr Pere shares her wisdom and understanding in every word. It has been a read that supports the culture of the child to enter my consciousness. Even if you have read this book already I recommend keeping it at hand and dipping into occasionally.
This book is especially useful if you use the concepts (chapters) for pedagogical discussion topics to grow bi- cultural teaching and learning practices.
Choose one concept (e.g. Aroha, Mauri etc.), read it as a team and then have a discussion framed up by “What are the implications for my/our practice here?” 

In the Beginning by Peter Gossage is my next choice. It offers learning opportunities to adults and children alike.
In this delightfully illustrated and written book Peter Gossage introduces us to the creation story. To Papat
ūānuku and Ranginui and their children. The illustrations are vivid and the text flowing and brief.
I hope you enjoy some rich exciting reading experiences that provokes and inspires us to support all children’s whakapapa and funds of knowledge and to draw in to our consciousness their culture. 

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