Published on January 17, 2022
Lesley Kay Rameka, Brenda Eva Soutar, Vanessa Anne Paki, Leanne Clayton
Wellbeing, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy” and is fundamental to an individual’s ability to function and live well (Cram, 2014; Durie, 1998). From a Māori perspective wellbeing or hauora, also incorporates, spiritual, physical, mental and emotional, and social aspects (Durie, 1998). Mana (power prestige and authority) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) encapsulate a holistic Māori worldview, and the relationships central to Māori understandings of wellbeing (Dobbs & Eruera, 2014; Hutchings, et al, 2020). The recognition of mana is important for mokopuna (grandchild/ren/child/ren), as is the understanding of how to accrue and enhance mana through kaitiakitanga (Marsden, 2003; Paul-Burke & Rameka, 2015). This article outlines the findings from the second phase of a Teaching Learning and Research Initiative (TLRI) funded project, Te Whakapūmautia te mana: Enhancing mana through kaitiakitanga, which involved working with kaiako (teacher/s) in Puna Reo (language springs) and Kōhanga Reo (language nests). It also discusses some of the implications for Early Childhood Education (ECE). The project aimed to explore the ways that ECE accords mokopuna opportunities to recognise mana and understand ways to accrue and attain mana through being kaitiaki (guardian) of themselves, others, and their environment, thereby contributing to a collective sense of wellbeing.
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