Diversity and the Academy
Reasons for Hope
Angus H Macfarlane
University of Canterbury
Aims of this Presentation
• Reflect on some key drivers within the whakapapa
• Introduce an additional question – one that refers to
‘a cultural reality’
• Consider a set of four ‘knowledge areas’
• Revisit briefly Kaupapa Māori imperatives
• Outline five influential factors that offer reasons for
hope in the academy
• UC - Tō mātou whakapapa
Two questions are relevant to
Tuia te Ako 2013 (Durie, 2013)
1. How can Māori successfully participate in tertiary
2. How can the tertiary education sector add value to
te ao Maori?
Consider a third question:
Does the academy have a clear and honest
understanding of the reality in terms of Māori
imperatives and perspectives?
Ways of responding to that third
Truths tolerated
Data sought
Experiences tasted
Assumptions challenged
Talk generated
Feelings respected
Some knowledge areas
• Technical knowledge – analytical or quantitative knowledge
which can provide empirical support for observable changes
in that which is being observed, or those who are being
considered in the research constructs (see Mercier, 2012)
• Practical knowledge – interpretative or qualitative
knowledge, how meaningful something is after the research
process has run its course (see Matamua, 2013; see Savage, et al.,
• Reflective knowledge – developing interventions that will
make a social decision – turning a value into practice (see
Durie, Kingi & Graham, 2012)
• Indigenous knowledge - Māori knowledge being perceived as
having an integrity of its own (see Durie, 1997)
A Methodological History
• The dominance of quantitative methods as wave 1
• The emergence of qualitative methods as wave 2
• The growth of mixed methods as wave 3
 And in New Zealand, a wave of Kaupapa Māori and
Indigenous Methodologies (Smith, 1999; 2012)
Why Kaupapa Māori research?
To provide support for those who wish to:
• Challenge, question and critique expressions of dominant
hegemony (G Smith, 1997; 2007)
• Engage with and seek to intervene in unequal power
relations (ibid)
• Transform Māori aspirations (Pihama, 2012)
• See it as a movement and a consciousness (Cram, 2001)
• Contend that to hold alternative histories is to hold
alternative knowledges (L Smith, 1999; 2012)
• Offer a way of working for professional staff carrying out
culturally related research, individually and in collaboration
with others, in their place of work (Macfarlane, 2010; Russell,
What constitutes evidence and who decides?
Hammersley (2001) believes that:
 “The process of defining what constitutes ‘evidence’ will be
fraught with difficulty, should the privileging of research
evidence over evidences from other sources result.”
 Professional and whānau wisdom and values therefore,
should not be trumped, overlooked or marginalised
An ‘Animal Farm’ analogy….
That espouses the notion that ….
All evidence is equal…
But some evidence is more equal than
An even playing field?
What are the main dangers of Eurocentric
hegemony in the academy?
1. The lack of attention to alternatives to mainstream
knowledge (which is not only Eurocentric but typically
focused on middle-class beliefs and practices) has the
potential to leave the academy bereft
2. There is the potential for damage because of the
'colonisation' of local knowledge, theory and practice by
Eurocentric thought. The dominance of Eurocentric ways of
researching and teaching helps legitimise world-wide
Adapted from Howitt, D & Owusu-Bempah, J. (1994). The Racism of
Psychology. London: Routledge
In consideration of theories
(L Smith, 1999, p. 38)
• Theory at its most simple level is important
• It makes sense of reality
• It helps us to make assumptions and predictions about the
world in which we live
• It incorporates methods for selecting, arranging, prioritising,
and legitimising what we see and do
• It enables us to deal with contradictions and uncertainties
• It allows for new ideas to emerge, and to merge
• It is timely to promote Māori theory (Winiata, 2008; 2010)
Five influences of culturally responsive
provision in C21 tertiary education
• Content integration
• Knowledge construction
• Equity practices
• Skilled providers
• Empowering organisational cultures
Empowering Organisation
Knowledge Construction
Empowering Organisation
Content Integration
• Build on the existing knowledge
• Integrate new, or additional, culturally-based content into
the existing socio-scientific constructs
• Draw from Dewey – Open up a fields of scholarship that
refers to the individual having a stake in the learning
activities or experiences
• Draw from Penetito – Open up fields of scholarship that
determine the importance of ‘place’ having a stake in the
research activities and experiences
• Draw from Durie - Open up fields of scholarship to Māori
ways of understanding and thinking
Knowledge Construction
• Ask ourselves as tertiary education leaders to go deeper
into our analyses of the curriculum, the pedagogical factors
• Carefully consider how we decide what is useful knowledge
and how we organise and frame that knowledge
• Whose knowledge?
• From what perspective is knowledge generated?
• Is it foundational and relative to the worldviews that are
held dearly?
Equity Practices?
• Are the principles of the Treaty understood and applied?
• (Liu, 2010) coined the phrase “Strong on rhetoric, low on
commitment”. If this phrase applies in our organisation in
reference to the Treaty and resourcing, then what?
• What external factors might cause gaps between equity
policy and implementation?
• Can/should we assume that most/all educators will want to
work towards addressing equity issues?
Skilled Providers
• Have theoretical bases
• Insist on research adeptness
• Stress contextual relevance
• Offer exemplars that provide additional understanding, and
Invite participation
Empowering Organisation Culture
… is one that is designed and operated with thoughtful
attention to the myriad of ways that aspects of culture can be
encoded into the basic structures of the organisation
•Adopts a distinctive identity which is bicultural
•Phases out the ‘them and us’ (rātou) model
•Phases in a ‘tātou’ model
•Withholds a ‘mātou’ model
•Develops an accountability structure aligned to a set of
culturally-oriented competencies
In pursuit of a balance – me haere
whakamua tonu
A plan to ‘rise above the challenge…’
• Adopt a goal
• Consider a response
• Generate a process
Adapt the thinking of Joyce and Showers (1989, 2004)
• Reticent consumers
• Passive consumers
• Enthusiastic consumers
Whakapapa: Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Core Values
UC Vision 2020
Ngāi Tahu RC
UC Research Plan
Māori Strategy
Māori Research Advisory Gp
Research & Innovation
Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori
Internal resources
External resources
Māori Development Team
Business & Law
Diversity and the Academy
…. reasons for hope
• Challenge the status-quo
• Critique the knowledge we take for granted
• Acknowledge epistemologies of local wisdom and global
• Look for different angles
• Look for how our children, your children, their children, can
grow up in the best possible way

Angus Macfarlane presentation Tuia Te Ako 2013