Saturday, May 30, 2015

Digital Pepeha: an enquiry into technology and tikanga Māori

Tangata Whenuatanga

Socio-cultural awareness and knowledge. Recognising that learning occurs within a cultural context. Knowledge of whakapapa; knowing who children are; where they are from and who they belong to. Our Identities, our languages, and our culture.

My enquiry consists of the planning, development, and teaching of a unit for Year 7 and 8 Digital Literacy classes where students will develop a “Digital Pepeha”.

The project acknowledges the worldview (whether Māori, Pākeha, or whatever Iwi) of our rangatahi (youth) and their digital realities. There is a naturalisation of sharing and the forming of social bonds (Manākitanga), often across physical distances, present in their lives as digital citizens. This enquiry aims to combine a contemporary aspect of their worldview with a particular piece of tikanga Māori - the pepeha.

The pepeha is a way to introduce yourself in te reo Māori. It delivers a brief historical, geographic, and genealogical overview of the speaker’s background. The pepeha’s narrative journey back in time culminates in the speaker’s name, and lastly his or her marae.

It is easy in a class focussing on Digital Literacies to be obsessed with the future. Such contemporary courses align well with our developing “future focus”, a pedagogical strategy embedded within a particularly Pākehā cosmology that privileges the future over the past. The Digital Pepeha aims to explore how digital literacies may intersect with an aspect of a traditional Māori worldview, particularly the tradition of walking backwards into the future, “Ka mura, ka muri.”?

81.5% of Māori know which “iwi” they belong to, indicating that whakapapa might still be a strong influence in the worldviews of most Maori.

Where I’m at so far:

To accomplish this required me to explore and develop my own pepeha. To this end I have consulted with Whaea Te Ao Marama Hau, and Whaea Huhanna Davis regarding the pepeha form. I have also developed the Digital Pepeha Generator, a Google Form that enables students to enter the specific elements of their pepeha (maunga, awa, moana, etc.,) online in order to generate both English and te reo Māori versions of their pepeha automatically. We are currently compiling the text and images for generation of the final products.

My Pepeha (so far):

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko te Whitirea te maunga
Ko Pipitea te awa
Ko te Titahi te moana
Ko Ngati Pākehā te iwi
Ko Simpson te hapu
Ko Roger tōku matua
Ko Thomas tōku whaea
Ko Glenn tōku tungane
Ko Jackson raua ko Georgia ōku tamariki
Ko Michelle tōku wahine
Ko Brent Simpson tōku ingoa
Ko Piritahi te marae

No reira,
tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

No comments: