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dc.contributor.advisorPaterson, Lachlan
dc.contributor.advisorRātima, Matiu
dc.contributor.advisorRewi, Poia
dc.contributor.authorBirnie, John Donald
dc.date.available2018-04-03T23:18:39Z
dc.date.copyright2018
dc.identifier.citationBirnie, J. D. (2018). Exploring learner-centredness for adults learning te reo Māori: easing the path to language acquisition (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/7981en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/7981
dc.description.abstractLearner-centredness takes learners and their needs, interests, enthusiasms and aspirations as the starting point of the education process, and this thesis explores what a learner-centred approach might contribute to adult learning of te reo Māori as a second language. Learner-centredness has a significant role in the literature on adult learning, and in one stream of second language learning; it is, however, strongly contested in many approaches to education, and it is unclear how well it would fit in a Māori cultural setting. The thesis explores the learning experience of ten adult learners, along with the learning and teaching experience of five teachers, and finds minimal presence of learner-centred elements in their learning and teaching. The thesis then presents and analyses the participants’ responses to several key principles of learner-centredness. The interviews showed that most of the learners and teachers offered at least qualified support for various elements of learner-centredness. Most learners (and some teachers) supported basing teaching on the needs, interests and aspirations of learners; however, most of the participants were more sceptical about learners being consulted, or negotiating with teachers, on content, learning activities and assessment, and on the idea of learners having more autonomy. One teacher disagreed with the concept of learner-centredness, and another showed little enthusiasm for the idea. Most participants, however, did not consider that learner-centredness clashed with Māori cultural concepts, and most expressed a belief that learner-centredness could affirm the mana (agency, status) of adult learners while still affirming the mana of teachers. The main potential benefits of a more learner-centred approach appeared to be: increased relevance of learning; a more conversational or communicative approach; a better match of learning activities with learners; stronger engagement through a higher level of mana (agency, control) for learners; and more openness to clarification or questions in class. The first three potential problems were: that it could be impractical or difficult to implement; that individualising programmes could cause fragmentation and lack of continuity; and that implementation could be burdensome for teachers. Two further potential cultural problems were that learner-centredness could clash with Māori values concerning elders and reo Māori teachers, and that learner-centredness could be viewed with suspicion as a Pākehā concept. Several beliefs commonly associated with learner-centredness, such as the effectiveness of minimally guided learning, are not well supported in the literature; however, most criticisms of learner-centred principles appear to have less relevance in an adult context. Consequently, the thesis presents an amended, contextualised model of learner-centredness, asserting the need to find out about the learners, and to allow them to have mana in conjunction with teachers. The thesis concludes with proposals for implementation of this model in university, kura reo, and informal settings. The thesis makes an original contribution by examining learner-centredness in a new educational and cultural context—adult Māori language learning. It is also breaks new ground in a Māori studies setting by adopting the universalist capabilities approach (as espoused by Nussbaum) in conjunction with some key tikanga Māori principles.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectMāori language
dc.subjectte reo Māori
dc.subjectadult learning
dc.subjectlearner-centredness
dc.subjectMāori
dc.titleExploring learner-centredness for adults learning te reo Māori: easing the path to language acquisition
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2018-04-03T02:54:41Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineTe Tumu
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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