Critical pedagogies of place: Some considerations for early childhood care and education in a superdiverse ‘bicultural’ Aotearoa (New Zealand).

2020-06-20T08:54:02Z (GMT) by Jenny Ritchie Angel Chan
© 2019, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. All rights reserved. It is important that national education policy respond to demographic changes. In Aotearoa (New Zealand), recent immigration policy changes have produced the new challenge of ‘superdiversity’, which overlays the ‘bicultural’ context of Māori and settler populations and the longstanding impacts of the colonisation of the Indigenous Māori. The lack of equity in this ‘bicultural’ arrangement remains to be fully resolved due to the dominance of the settler culture and the historical (and in many instances ongoing) reluctance of this majority group to recognise and address injustices. The early childhood care and education (ECCE) sector requires of its teachers deep cultural understandings of and engagement with all those children and families present in the education settings. This article provides a discussion of the tensions arising when the new reality of superdiversity interacts with a ‘bicultural’ ECCE policy environment. It then describes the results of a study that utilised a process of documentary analysis to critically examine the macro-and micro-level policy statements and reports with regard to bicultural, cultural diversity, equity, social justice, and place-connectedness matters in ECCE settings in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The implications of the findings point to challenges faced by teachers when translating policy commitments into pedagogical enactment, and highlight the importance for teachers to not only engage deeply with the Indigenous Māori language, culture, and local histories of connectedness with place, but that this engagement should also be made available to all children and families present, including immigrant children and their families.