A Heideggerian Analysis in the Teaching of Science to Maori Students

He Kupu 1 (3):31-43 (2007)
Abstract
Teachers frequently find that their teaching is unsuccessful with a particular group of students. This paper describes how Heidegger’s ontology was useful to teachers as they developed a distance education platform to teach astronomy to culturally diverse Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school students. Māori students do not perform well within their State’s model of normalising education, and academic authors ascribe this “failure” to the effects of cultural difference and imperialism. This paper conjectures that Māori are not merely “culturally different” but that they represent a metaphysical heritage that is akin to that described as Greek metaphysics by Heidegger. There are cultural artefacts and practices that serve for modern Māori in a way that parallels Heidegger’s account of the ancient Greeks. Māori may represent an ontological tradition that stands completely outside of Western metaphysics. If the conjecture is correct, normalising education is unlikely to ever to be satisfactory for Māori.
Keywords Teaching  Science education  Indigenous education  Heidegger
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