This thesis describes the 25 year journey of two schools and their community’s determination to resist and reject alienating school environments in favour of a relevant culturally-located, bilingual learning model based in a secure cultural identity, stable positive relationships, and aroha (authentic caring and love). While the research design is a case study, in terms of western, “white space” academic tradition, it is also a story in terms of kaupapa Māori and critical race methodology. More importantly, it is a counter-story that chronicles the efforts of these two schools to step outside education’s “white spaces” to create new space. This counter-story is juxtaposed against pervasive, deficit-driven whitestream explanations of “achievement gaps” and the “long tail” of Māori and Pasifika “under-achievement” in New Zealand schools. In the process of this research the focus shifted from how could Māori and Pasifika learners develop secure cultural identities in mainstream schools, to examining what barriers exist in schools that prevent this from happening already? As these issues became clear the language of the thesis shifted accordingly; “developing” a cultural identity was reframed as a reclamation of educational sovereignty — the absolute right to “be Māori” or “be Pasifika” in school — and “mainstream” schooling became better understood as the “whitestream.”
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Milne, B. A. (2013). Colouring in the White Spaces: Reclaiming Cultural Identity in Whitestream Schools (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7868