chapter  22
Freeing Ourselves: An Indigenous Response to Neo-Colonial Dominance in Research, Classrooms,
BySchools, and Education Systems
Pages 19

Introduction This chapter draws from the work that I have been doing over the past 25 years in the field of Māori and Indigenous education within the frame of kaupapa Māori theory. This journey over time has led me from researching the impact of colonization on my mother’s Māori family to an appreciation of just what researching in Māori contexts involves. What I learned from that analysis was then extrapolated to re-theorize the marginalization of Māori students in

mainstream secondary school classrooms. From this understanding, a means of supporting teachers and leaders to reposition themselves discursively and create caring and learning relationships within mainstream classrooms was developed. From these theoretical beginnings a large-scale classroom-based, school-reform project grew and eventually developed into a comprehensive approach towards theory-or principle-based education reform that is being implemented in 49 of the 320 secondary schools in New Zealand.