Ako | Education

Completed projects

The Construction of the Indigenous Incarcerated Body: Māori and the School to Prison Pipeline

This project focused on the construction of the School to Prison Pipeline for Māori. Statistics highlight that within Aotearoa there is an over-representation of Māori with the prison population. Research related to the Justice system indicates that disparities exist in the relation to Māori, including higher arrest rates, greater likelihood of conviction and longer sentencing imposed.

It has been argued that these discrepancies are a consequence of wider societal inequities, including the educational underachievement of Māori, which creates a context of material poverty and cultural disconnection that contribute to Māori being more likely to engage in activities that lead to incarceration. Key outcomes for this project are high quality interdisciplinary research publications between Canada, Australia and Aotearoa, and building upon enduring strategic partnerships with leading research organisations.

Taikākā: Optimising Māori Academic Achievement

Taikākā: Optimising Māori academic achievement in a Maori medium teacher education programme was funded by Ako Aotearoa. The aim of the project was to build upon existing teaching and learning strategies to improve academic outcomes in an undergraduate degree level Maori medium ITE programme.

Read the final report one

Read the final report two

Te Pū o te Rākau: Pūrākau and Indigenous Storywork

Always more than ‘an incredible story’ (Williams, 1985), pūrākau were cultural narratives that generated knowledge, understanding and inspiration about our natural, social and spiritual worlds. Today, pūrākau continue to be crucial to our identity, sustainability and flourishing as Māori. Pūrākau enable us to articulate whānau expectations and cultural practices, build whānau resiliency and safety, provide hope and inspiration, as well as encouraging collective responsibilities and support.

This project will support the broad use of pūrākau as a theoretical and analytical interdisciplinary tool, as well as the pedagogical potential of pūrākau as a critical practice. Furthermore, it meets with 'Indigenous storywork' coined an conceptualised by Jo-ann Archibald Q'um Q'um Xiiem (2008) to speak to the power of traditional and contemporary Indigenous stories, and the way they are being utilised by different peoples to seek, address and engage 'te mea ngaro'.

Te Tātua o Kahukura

Te Tātua o Kahukura was a two year project that sought to collaboratively develop evidence based understanding and awareness of the capacity building needs of Māori and Indigenous doctoral students. The project explored processes of academic sponsoring that creates pathways for senior scholars and researchers to provide advocacy and opportunities for early career Māori and Indigenous scholars.

Grounded within a kaupapa Māori research methodology that is informed by tikanga (customs), reo (language), and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), this project will investigate the experiences of early career Māori and Indigenous doctoral students and views of senior Māori scholars as a basis for the design of a programme that will enhance and support programmes and increase Māori participation and success in higher tertiary education.

Read the final report