The Maori Arts in Education: The Importance of Being : How Maori Arts Education Contributes Towards a Holistic Approach of Knowing Based on the Inter-relatedness of Understanding, Doing, and Being
This thesis examines the impact of the Nga Toi professional development and implementation model on resource teachers of Maori and Maori advisors. It explores the inter-relatedness of understanding, doing and being in relation to professional development, and teaching and learning in general. With the intention of acknowledging that 'being' is an equally important component in arts education. This research is a qualitative investigation into the phenomenon of Nga Toi Professional Development and is embedded within a Kaupapa Maori paradigm. Eight participants were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using themes that arose out of the data itself. The data was categorised into the three areas of doing, being and understanding to allow for an analysis of what the respondents were saying in relation to the research question, 'How can Maori arts education contribute towards a holistic approach of knowing based on the inter-relatedness of understanding, doing, and being?' It is the interconnectedness of these three concepts that allow for a deeper knowing of things. This could be described as a knowing of the mind, body and soul and equates with terms such as realisation or 'in the zone' and enlightenment. The design of the Nga Toi professional development acknowledged and incorporated the allowance for 'being', as interpreted in this study, into the planning. This created some ambiguity in planning as some things emerged through the process and the learning was retrospective or came out of being reflective. Some of the structures, such as the dramaturgy processes assisted in creating an environment which in equal parts challenged yet supported participants to move into unknown spaces. Integrating 'being' as an integral part of arts education challenges current thought that everything has to be assessed and have an outcome. Being challenges this approach to learning as it is often the immeasurable quotient in a performance or action. Being in the arts evokes an emotional or even spiritual response; you know when it's there but can't predict what it will look like or the impact it will have. From the facilitators perspective success in the Nga Toi professional development was expressed through developing skills, understandings and being through experiential or practical workshops and following it up with the theory. A major intention of this study is to create a space and a dialogue for debate and discussion in regards to the inclusion of 'being' in arts education.