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Signposts and symbols: A study of Maori and numeracy in a tertiary institute


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This research, conducted across a private New Zealand technical institute in 2009, is based on the understanding that there is a widening gap in literacy and numeracy between Pakeha and Maori students. Growing interest in the transition period from school to tertiary study has been fuelled by concerns about the increasing numbers of Maori students who are failing in their first year of tertiary education, and although mathematics and reading enjoy a special position in the elementary and high school curricula, the knowledge and skills of incoming Maori students do not mirror this fact (Artigue, 2001). A possible reason for this is that a number of changes occur in the transition to post-secondary education, including those in teaching and learning styles, the types of texts and practices taught, conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge required to advance through the material, and changes in the amount of mathematical and comprehension thinking required.

Adapting Tall’s (2004, 2005, 2009) three worlds of learning model and linking these with greater use of Maori tikanga (cultural practices) the author undertook a module of learning with a group of beginning Maori students at the Institute of Technology (Hamilton). Preliminary results indicate a significantly higher student retention rate and enhanced success in both reading and numeracy, affording entry into subsequent degree programmes. This in turn is expected to accrue greater cultural and social capital in students’ lives and relationships.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tall, three worlds of learning, tikanga, numeracy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools > School of Communication
Depositing User: Ross Kendall
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2010 00:36
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:22

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