Kaupapa (collective vision, philosophy)
Just as Māori medium education institutions have a collective vision, a kaupapa that provides guidelines for what constitutes excellence in Māori education that connects with “Māori aspirations, politically, socially, economically and spiritually” (Smith, 1992, p. 23), so too do mainstream institutions need such a philosophy or agenda for achieving excellence in both languages and cultures that make up the world of Māori children. Such a kaupapa is essential for the development of education relations and interactions that will promote educational achievement and reduce disparities.1
The educational achievement of Māori students in mainstream secondary school classrooms is the main focus of this research and professional development project. If we want to make a difference to the worrying statistics of disparity, then we need to focus on this group, because it is only by focussing on the problem that we will solve it. This is the most pressing educational priority of today.