Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series 2018

World-changing research. Free lectures.

The Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series at the University of Waikato introduces our newest professors to the community and gives them a chance to demonstrate how their work is having a real impact on the world around us.

All lectures are free, open to the public and held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Tuesdays (dates below) beginning at 5.15pm. A cash bar is open from 4.30pm.

The 2018 Inaugural Professorial Lecture schedule

20 March Professor Mere Berryman Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
17 April Professor Troy Baisden School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering
15 May Professor Samuel Charlton Psychology Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
19 June Professor Karin Bryan School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering
17 July Professor Michael Walmsley School of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering
21 August Professor Rangi Matamua Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
18 September Professor Don Klinger Dean, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
16 October Professor Tim Coltman Dean, Waikato Management School
13 November Professor James Brasington School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering

20 March 2018

Our Choice: ‘Forced fit’ or ‘belonging’ as Māori

Professor Mere Berryman ONZM

Professor Mere Berryman is committed to promoting the best possible outcomes for all learners by enhancing leadership and promoting effective teaching theory and practice across the education sector. Originally Mere’s work has focussed on Māori students, although latterly refugee and immigrant students are an emerging concern.

In her address Mere considers how, having to leave our culture at the school gate to achieve in schools that marginalised and belittled cultural identity, has been the experience of generations of Māori students including herself.

Mere suggests that regrettably, especially for Māori boys not prepared to compromise their cultural identity, many were forced to fit within a schooling system that held little promise for their future. As a result, too often these students were described as having ‘fallen through the cracks.’

Mere suggests this is no mere accident. “Assimilation is the systematic redefining of students’ identities, so that they are forced to fit into the culture of the majority group. The combined loss of the potential of these young people, over generations, has been enormously wasteful and continues to be costly for our country,” she says.

“This kaupapa (agenda) requires influencing change at the political, policy and evaluation levels, and it must be undertaken from the outset in collaboration with iwi and other community groups.” These are the contexts that Mere researches and writes about, focussing on both developments within the academy and across the education system.

Mere positions her work within a platform of decolonisation using Māori cultural metaphors and relationships. She then works with culturally responsive methodologies in the areas of supervision and research, and responsive teaching and learning in education. Mere has published widely using kaupapa Māori and critical theories together to more effectively involve researchers, educators and community members. “How to listen to people and evaluate these contexts in a critical and iterative way, while maintaining sector-wide coherency is, I believes, our collective challenge,” says Mere.

For this work Mere was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016 and became one of three finalists in the 2017, Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the year.

During her lecture, Mere will draw on her own personal experience as a teacher and her extensive research across the New Zealand education system.

Professor Mere Berryman’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture 'Our Choice: ‘Forced fit’ or ‘belonging’ as Māori' is on Tuesday 20 March at 5.15pm.

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