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Dreams of woken souls: the relationship between culture and curriculum Caddick, Airini Rosalind Milnes 1997

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DREAMS OF WOKEN SOULS: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CULTURE AND CURRICULUM by AIRINI ROSALIND MILNES CADDICK B.A., The University of Canterbury, 1986 Dip.Tchg., Christchurch College of Education, 1987 M.Ed. (Distinc.)., The University of Canterbury, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming tojke-ipquired standard THE UNIVERSITY O K ^ T f l S H COLUMBIA May 1997 © Airini Rosalind Milnes Caddick In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 3 'S, W 7 DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT This text is a venture in honoring principles manifest within conversations for being related. It focuses upon the relationship between culture and curriculum, combining academic discourse relating to the construction of identity, policy and curriculum with conversations undertaken with 42 members of a school community in Aotearoa New Zealand; the intention being to inform the project of teaching culture. This study contributes to curriculum theory by describing a 'language' for the processes and purposes of culture in education, and by modeling the principles of that 'language.' The 'language' describes the tone for conversations for being related, the assumption being that the speakers will contribute their own vocabulary. Principles of the suggested language include the following 'tonal' qualities: • adopting a global perspective of culture that honors particularities of the local context; • incorporating many ways of knowing culture and expressing that knowing; • developing non-oppositional interpretations of cultural difference; • perceiving the teaching of culture as a collaborative, long-term, holistic project; • affirming the coexistence of change and constancy in understandings of culture; • making explicit the teacher's curricular contribution to understandings of culture; • respecting the voices of community, voices that may amend and stand alongside the academic canon. In conclusion, this study suggests that while an initial premise of fluidity and complexity in understandings of culture is present in academic and community sources, so too are principles of constancy which emphasize relatedness. In order that these principles may inform understandings of culture in the teaching of culture, a revisionary perspective is needed towards the canon (particularly the sources of knowledge to be regarded as authoritative), and towards the research, interpretation and representation of understandings of culture. The development of a 'language for being related' is suggested as one way in which teacher and researcher understandings of culture might embrace diversity and equity issues in curriculum. This project contributes to the much needed discussion on ways in which 'culture' might work to promote a philosophy of education that combines many ways of knowing in conversations for being related. iii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Acknowledgment vii THE WELCOME Mihimihi 2 As We Gather Outside 3 On one side 3 On the other side 3 Where we go 3 Principles that guide our gathering 4 This land where we stand 5 The science in our method of journey 6 Obstacles ....7 An interpretive slant-slope 8 Where we are not 9 Strands that bind 10 WORDS OF THE WOKEN Part One Of Theory and Practice Chapter One The Sky Above My Home 15 To Begin. Here? With these lines? 15 Chapter Two In The Mind's Eye 18 Locating The Elusive In This Place-Of Text 18 Locating The Place Of Text 21 Minding Culture and Curriculum: Documented Understandings 24 1. Culture: Meaning between the lines 24 2. Culture: Meaning in place 26 3. Curriculum: Transforming context and text 28 4. Culture and curriculum 31 Fragments of history: The breath and shadows of the relationship between culture and curriculum 31 Chapter Three We Approach, Pause, Remember: The Teacher of Culture 39 Noble Constructs Of Contradiction: The Teaching Of Culture 40 The teaching of culture is (not) the same as the culture of teaching : 42 Teaching culture is good. Yes? 43 1. 'Equality' and the teaching of culture 44 2. 'Truth' and the teaching of culture 46 Being of more than one 47 Priorities in place: Before multicultural education 51 1. Intentions in multicultural education 51 2. From and through bicultural education to multicultural education 53 3. Bicultural education as Education-In-Place 55 Epistemological sketches: Reviewing the teaching of culture...57 Part Two Of Community Chapter Four Conversations For Being Related 62 Breaking light upon the depths of the unspoken 62 Seeking out community voices 63 Incorporating the community voice 65 As we settle ourselves before the reading of lines 68 THE FIRST INTERCESSION 70 Nanny 73 To Climb 76 Nanny: Afterwordsthoughts 84 V THE SECOND INTERCESSION 86 Towards understanding: Stories told without words 89 James 90 The Singing Voices 93 After not-words afterthoughts 98 THE THIRD INTERCESSION 100 Conversations Of the Related 103 Tafili 103 Scribing the narrative 103 Describing the culture: Conversations with Tafili 107 Relating to/with Tafili 116 THE FOURTH INTERCESSION 124 The Working of The Word 126 Mary and Hannah 126 Mary 130 Hannah 137 THE FIFTH INTERCESSION 143 Between Text and Life: Teacher talk 146 Robert 146 Exhibition 150 Exhibition Review 169 THE SIXTH INTERCESSION 173 I Thought This Was About Theory And Teachers 177 My friend and My DearOne 177 My friend 177 To place 180 Great Thoughts 185 Grand Summary of Great Thoughts 188 DearOne 200 COLLECT OF THIS DAY 208 vi Part Three Where we have been and where we now go Chapter Five Speak Again Of The Relationship Between Culture and Curriculum 210 Our Resolution 211 1. Into the universe 211 2. On the Earth 212 Chapter Six My Resolution 218 T H E F A R E - W E L L My Resolve 221 Glossary 222 References 224 Appendix A (School) Field Notes 238 First contact 238 Research Method 241 1. Documented understandings of culture 241 2. Community sensibilities 241 Intermediate School Details 242 The Community Participants 243 Research Issues 244 Contextually responsive research model 244 Role of the researcher 245 Interpreting the interview material 246 Incorporation of community understandings of culture 246 Appendix B Great Thoughts 248 Vll ACKNOWLEDGMENT For my first land Aotearoa New Zealand For my mother, Shirley, my brother, Blake For a university and nation that supports learners new to this land The University of British Columbia, Canada For the guidance, courage and heart of my committee members Rita Irwin, Billie Housego, Rod McCormick For beginnings here John Willinsky For openness, generosity, trust and perspective "Intermediate School" staff, students, caregivers and community For car rides, letters, e-mail, references, 'phone calls, meals, central heating, muffins, awhi, umbrellas, walks, reading group, prayers, patience, koha, circles of ritual and peace, the "little ones," sister, brothers, a forest, waters, music To all my families For the chance to live, to know love, and to need To John William Hayes 1 T H E W E L C O M E 2 MIHIMIHI To the breath of life that sighed before sound was heard, greetings. To the water, air, land, life and lives that have shaped signatures upon this planet and this person, greetings. I listen for the many voices of this Land, the birds, the trees, the rocks and the waters; they speak of Time immemorial, of the confluence of many springs. I stand on a territory known to those who were the first protectors of this Land. And I gather now with those who have since joined the collective histories of the present. Gathering as both One and Many. We listen, seeking reassurance and surprise. We speak of aspirations and imaginings, of memories to be present in our making of the future. We move, impelled by understandings of justice and equity; the dreams of our woken souls Greetings to those who gather, to those who have spoken and speak, to those who have listened and hear, in silence and sound. Greetings As We Gather Outside [the visitors] On one side We gather because we wish to allow good to catch our hearts. There is an openness to the ineffable, possibly even the divine. Perhaps we too shall be converted: to believe in the unseen, to have conviction of our innermost hopes; converted by our yearnings for goodness i n the life of the mind and of the spirit; a brave conversion to constancy. We mingle then, waiting outside before the call to listen. We await the events that shall bring sounds of what we already know: that our words must involve the hidden places of the rational soul; that when we teach we do not teach words as reality, but realities by means of words. [from those who wait] On the other side We see you ready. Almost ready. We see too the hesitancy, the shufflings from uncertainty. Not knowing the way can be disorienting. But we feel your good intent. It should be then that we offer some sense of where we w i l l journey together; to care for you even before we meet across this l iv ing bridge which we are creating. Where we go In this place of placing words we w i l l delve into the relationship between culture and curriculum. We w i l l explore understandings of culture i n curriculum theory, and community sensibilities. Not one voice being superior to another, or case study of another, but many voices combining as we stand alongside those involved i n the 4 teaching of culture. The voices of text and community join to illustrate ways in which understandings of culture collect people and the notions by which people live and teach. This will be our response to "our basic and crucial need to know other people" (Code, 1990: 37). We move through three stages of being: The Welcome, Words of the Woken, and The Fare-well. In welcoming you we describe the principles guiding our gathering in this place of text. We process from there to dwell with many voices and ways of voicing: Part One explores curriculum theory and curriculum practices around culture; Part Two explores community understandings of culture; Part Three seeks some resolution within and between the voices of each part. And then, then we will approach the final stage of our gathering: to carry resolution into resolve as we farewell. Perhaps it is only at the closure of gathering that we begin to understand what passed before and between us. Principles that guide our gathering In this place of placing words we find story telling, narrative, reflective analysis, dialogue, anecdote; the play of words as a semantic description of understandings of culture that are conceptual and emotional. We 'play' to mirror the necessary traits of the teacher of culture; accepting that we-who-teach need to become aware of our projections of meaning upon the otherwise empty word 'culture'. To understand the relationship between culture and curriculum is to understand that teaching culture is more than 'teaching about' and more like teaching as being. That is the way of the words in this place as well: they honor ways of being. We do not seek to define 'culture'. We know there are meanings and meanings and meanings grouped under culture: one glorious multi-jointed word. Yes, that would 5 be a very brave person who would claim to say all the ways of knowing 'culture.' We wish instead to speculate over how we might understand our understanding of culture, that is, culture-as-lived, culture-as-both-construction-and-practice, culture-as-relationship-to-one-another; to speculate upon alternative understandings that will enhance education practices associated with culture and curriculum. We do not seek to define, rather we seek understandings of culture that will enable conversations for being related. This land where we stand We know you have heard the many disparate voices struggling with ideas of culture in education. Whether they speak through theory, research or teaching, each voice joins the cacophony sounding out issues of self and collective identity. We can live with this melee because it invites splits which supply new initiatives.1 And so you will find here in this place we will soon share that we will explore alternatives to the tensions, but not anticipate their full resolution. This seems to be realistic. And where is this 'place' to which we refer? In simple terms it is a domain, the one of this text. In the turn of the page you enter further into a shared domain. In this place of text we will, together, view the 'landscape' features of historical and academic discourses around culture and curriculum, explore the terrain of school community based understandings of culture. And we will share another dimension of 'place'. We can know place in its original sense of "the sole of the foot", that is, the part of the body that touches the earth (Davis, 1994, p. 79); at that point of contact that we become part of the place we occupy. This is how we understand the reality of culture in education and this place of text we will soon share: that in exploring this place we do not attempt a spatial, temporal or social fix on understandings of 1 For further discussion on the hopeful dimension of such splits arising from tensions within understandings of culture, see Rorty, 1991, pp. 13-14. 6 culture. Rather we seek out where these understandings place each of us, our points of contact in this text-place, and beyond. The science in our method of journey In this place we search for what 'culture' might be, not what it is. Rather than turning culture into an object over which we have some kind of control and therefore readily manage in our education settings, rather than this narrowing, we accept a degree of tentativeness in describing understandings because that broadens our way to other possibilities of knowing and being. We might then say that our shared place of text will be an 'essay' rather than research report;2 a reminder that here, as happens elsewhere,3 we search for method, rather than summarise empirical inquiry; that we accept the spirit of the root form of essay, from the French verb essayer (to try), and thereby actively search for further ways of thinking about, and trying out, the relationship between culture and curriculum.4 Methodologically, this is how we will journey. This means that much is expected of you as you enter this place. Things may differ from usual patterns. Here, what is to be learnt and communicated is present throughout the text. That is, because we see that we undertake here to explore possibilities of understandings, and not merely recant them, the entire place of this text becomes educational. So we ask you to look around constantly, as you proceed. We reveal as we go, not waiting to summarise as we conclude (Davis, 1994; see also Cruickshank, 1995; and Bauman, 1993). 2 I am grateful to Brent Davis' (1994) lead in this distinction between essay and report. 3 For examples of this methodology in education research, see Calliou (1996), Davis (1994). 4 In reviewing themes and directions of research production and use in teacher education, Doyle (1990) suggests that a shift to understanding contexts, situations, interpretive knowledge and indeterminacy in meaning (rather than individual behaviour and general cognitive processes) has led teacher education researchers away from the traditional "psychologising" of teaching and towards theories of curriculum that "capture the richness and complexity of teaching practices, classroom life and teacher's knowledge" (pp. 19-20). I write then in response to his call for the further development of a language of education research that is interpretive and procedural, embedded in the particulars of learning domains. 7 O b s t a c l e s The terrain of our text-place may hamper our progress at times. There are some obstacles, despite the good intent. Al though we stride boldly across this place we know that in (re)searching and teaching we are each limited in our scope and power. Our o w n inclinations mean we can offer but a l imited perspective of the multiple perspectives available. Which is why we-who-wait-to-welcome seek out your company and envision the company of others who w i l l join later. We each contribute i n a collaboration of knowledge development. A n d i n so doing we almost believe that we can stop, everything, just long enough to describe i n some way, some view of the everything before us. Which we know is not possible. Not really. Understandings of culture w i l l change, like light across land. We can describe temporal understandings. Should we return one month, one year later, each of us may express different understandings. A n d we, as we move across this text-place, we accentuate the temporality: our shadows (through questions, intervention, presence, absence) interrupt the f low of light. A n d so let us see ourselves for what we are: descriptors, interpreters, representers of history. We gather about us ideas that are of a place and time. What we say and write about these ideas are expressive of place and time. Yet we still anticipate a resonance wi th those who have spoken and written from another place and time. Here i n our text-place we scribe all that has been, and is to be, shared. What was once subject to the w i n d , sounds of sea and land, what we could once speak and hear is to become the written voice. This is regretted but not prevented. We as scribes see our text as an additional conversation - that of author offering and reader 8 responding. It is a new conversation that was not possible in the meeting face-to-face. From the new come further interpretations and meanings. It is the telling of and thinking of a tale that now belongs outside the first speaker. But when we acquire a tale we also undertake a commitment to human dignity. It would be immoral to not make the written voice accessible to the speaker. To not do so is to engage in the conquest of the other - to use, to benefit from, to dump. Our reverence for human dignity requires that the speaker is able to see their voice written. And respond.5 We scribe the voice and accept gladly that in so doing we encounter new audiences, new meanings, new understandings of place and person-in-place; the vista of speech now surveys a world at large. We in return shall respect those who have spoken. To fail to do so is to make immoral the inscription of voice upon this place of text. An interpretive slant-slope As we move through this text-place we will encounter moments of greater clarity where previously there may have been contradiction or perplexity. Our journey towards such insight will depend upon our ability to move between the general and specific matters of culture and curriculum, to interpret and represent those understandings, locating them historically and contextually.6 We retain an aura of interpreting the sacred, and go beyond the epistemological focus to the ontological concerns of meaning in human existence. So although we may begin with the 5 It is for this reason that I will not consider this project complete until I have returned to the school community with their written voices, thanked them and listened to what they would like to happen with the results. To me, it is an integral part of placing academic work. I warm to the idea that 'thesis' derives from Greek meaning 'to place'. 6 For some, this is the domain of hermeneutic inquiry. Hermeneutics is a discipline with a long history that has been extensively addressed elsewhere and is one of many elements contributing to the methodological rationale of this study. For a detailed examination, possible sources might include Gadamer, H. (1990). Truth and method. New York: Continuum; Gallagher, S. (1992). Hermeneutics and education. Albany, NY: SUNY Press; Palmer, R. (1969). Hermeneutics: Interpretation theory in Schleimacher, Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press; Reagan, C. & Stewart, D. (Eds.). (1978). The philosophy of Paul Ricoeur: An anthology of his work. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 9 written text, in this place we also seek out understanding in "life as text"; we interpret both scholarly and community understandings of culture. Some preparations to assist in our quest have already been undertaken: analysis of academic texts and relevant policy documents, observation of classroom lessons, planning and teaching units, conversations (incidental and recorded) with community members, consultation with the academic community, personal journaling. The preparations have actually been life-long, we merely list some of the more recent. And unlike some other ways of journeying, where the goals are validity, reliability, generalisability, recording how understanding was reached, this journey investigates ways in which our understandings of culture in education might affect notions of identity. It's that 'might' factor again. We won't catalogue phenomena. Instead we will re-interpret already interpreted phenomena. It is a process, one requiring conversation. And story. Through the ways of this place of text we present, metaphorically, aspects of understandings of culture. We say little about what culture is, and much of what it can be like. This may seem to go against our training to act according to what we observe, to then replace images with prescriptions of generality. Here we proceed along a different pathway where we embrace the metaphor not for its own sake as a form of rhetoric, but for the message it carries in that form (Khamasi, 1997; Ricoeur in Reagan & Stewart, 1978). We "step into learning processes" (Davis, 1994, p. 97), step into the making and remaking of understandings of culture, step into conversations about and with ourselves (see Conle, 1996). This is the educational purpose of our text-place: that curriculum should provide a location for dialogue around culture (Bruner, 1996, p. 123). Where we are not It might be that the thought of meeting with community members leads you to believe you will take part in research rituals: the observation of an 'other', the 10 suspension of judgment, the treatment of people as samples. Perhaps that would be true if you viewed this place as somewhere exotic (Marshall, Rossman, 1989, p. 72). But it is not so for us. This is our home. Here everything is normal. And reverence is part of normality. In this place it is possible, expected even, that we will be honest to each other and to ourselves. So if you arrive from elsewhere and enter and come to know us, then we believe that how you describe us will speak of you; that there is no point from which you might view this place and people without having your soul and soles in contact with this place. You should know too that we are not in a place where we go out, collect and take from one another (Calliou, 1996, p. 304). Instead we strive to create a balance: if one should receive, one should also return, somehow. That is why you will hear a voice from the community and then too the voice of the listener who is also scribe. This one who listens and scribes the voices of text and community must be willing to gift her voice also to text and community; to be honest, possibly vulnerable (Lather, 1991, p. 15). Both the community and the scribe are present in a shared journey. Without isolation. The journey of one and many becomes our story (Calliou, 1996, p. 304). Strands that bind We would hope you will feel comfortable in this journeying. As you trust, so do we. We cannot explain everything now, just some things, the rest must be left for you to learn in time, your own time of readiness. As you approach, we ask that you look for and trust the two strands (intellectual discourse about 'culture', and community sensibilities about 'culture') which bind 11 our words to the educational theme of teaching culture. At times we may seem to follow one apart from the other, but in truth they are strands of the one cord. Cross-strands And we have lingering concerns too that will be present as we walk together. These are like cross-strands within our cord: they complicate but also strengthen our coming together: • if culture is a political, historical and social concept then understanding culture as a polythetical, fluid concept will assist in developing an authentic pedagogy of culture; • if culture is to be an agency of careful self-awareness through curriculum, then it requires contextual orientation; • if culture is implicitly and explicitly present in curriculum policy and practices (and also, therefore, in education research), then all teachers are involved in the teaching of culture; • if research into the relationship between culture and curriculum is a form of interpretation and representation, a story retold, then the researcher has a narrative that contributes to the conceptualisation of culture. All the strands are inextricably linked. As we process towards different understandings of culture each strand should be present, showing how one comes close to the other. In this journey then, we will be part of an accumulation of understanding about culture, the nature of the relationship between culture and curriculum and what it means to teach culture. This too shall be as a mirror: reflecting how we in education must explore our nearness to each other and our lands; that we are in relationship to one another, and that in speaking through text and voice we partake in conversations for being related. 12 Understandings of how culture and curriculum might combine wi th in these conversations of text and voice now call across to us. We see you look towards the cry, we see your face, your hands. There is movement. We behold life. WORDS OF THE WOKEN PART ONE Of Theory and Practice 15 Chapter One The Sky Above M y Home To Begin. Here? With these lines? This then shall be the beginning: this evening, this full moon, this land, this room, this time. How was it that God decided to start somewhere? After ions of void, God says, "Now." How come? Surely it wasn't boredom. A rush of courage perhaps. 'Out of the Void comes light and life.' So the void was not a great nothingness, but Everything. Don't you think? I'm no god, but I do behold a void. From the void I begin. Now. I've been sitting for an artist friend. She likes to draw: portraits, faces, especially. She says that my features are full of strong lines. Apparently they frustrate the drawer's attempts to blend me into what is around. My lines tend to dominate. Which is kind of eerie because that is how I feel most, not all, of my life is. Mostly I create lines so that I can distinguish between one side or the other. It's easier then to stand on one-side-or-the-other: vegetarian, or not; fit, weak; happy, sad; love, null; here, there; yes, no. I took to lines because they offered security. Here on this side I knew where I stood. In fact, I decided where I stood. The lines were my shelter, my safe place. And mostly these creations worked just fine. Mostly, but not always. It's difficult for me to know where I belong. I've tried deciding but that doesn't work. The gut rumbles, my conscience stirs, I look around and around. I thought I could decide to be Me. That way everything would fall into place: woman, scholar, Aotearoa, Samoa, daughter, sister, aunt, partner, friend, one-who-teaches. But it's 1 6 not like that. I say I am Me but things happen and stir me. And off I go into unknown territories. For years I have denied race, resented it, argued against it's very existence. Still do. But now my life is full of talk of what they say my genes have bequeathed me. I do want to know what it means for me to be of my ancestry. I am more than a product-of-my-environment. Surely there's more? But what say the gene is less than what is more ? So' when I look across genes and lines I keep finding 'more'. I find, I sense, a constancy in ways of being: a shared core of lifeway principles, shared without pandering to lines, yet still aware of lines. Like the web. Maybe that's the weakness of the word 'race'. It neatly collects around a core of sorts, but it's full of hard lines. It all seems to be more to do with me and you. Not me and DNA. So there are these other lines, someone else's all over me and I don't always get to decide. I should feel anxious, but I don't. I quite like crossing lines, and being crossed. I'm not bound, but I do know-feel bonding. I feel led and guided... and free. These lines are web lines: translucent, connected, weaving space and design. Each line is integral. There are shared decisions. I may go solo, but I am not alone. There is a sense of being embraced. And watched. I have known it otherwise. And, to be honest, I have also known the anxiety of being watched. And crossed. In the past I was the artist, drawing my own lines. That worked then and produced a 'Me'. Which was fine for then. Nowadays I'm unsure who is drawing. Occasionally, I fail to recognise myself Is this me? Not entirely. 17 I still have lines but now too I have all that comes between. Mysterious spaces. Once void-like I see now that they are not empty. And so I begin. 18 Chapter Two In The Mind's Eye: The Relationship Between Culture And Curriculum This is the route along which I journey with those who seek to understand the world and their place in it. Patience is required. I am to see the trail and the landscape through which I pass; to know and value the journey itself as much as the resting place envisioned. I remember that in Aotearoa New Zealand the curriculum is, in text and in symbol, oriented to acknowledge the relationship between peoples and the land, peoples of the land; that there is 'other', that I too am 'other'. I write through the fragments that I know and learn of life and history in Aotearoa, as well as in New Zealand. I consider worldliness through my first land. Locating The Elusive In This Place-Of Text Place. Time. The young of our community. Who we are. Portrayal, representation, empowerment and suppression of culture. And cultures. These elements combine as inscriptions upon curriculum. We encounter hope and identity. In place. In the worldliness of place. I wish to explore one particular dimension of curriculum theory - the relationship between culture and curriculum. To do this requires a conceptualisation of curriculum that is both document and symbol, principled and particular. This is curriculum as document in the sense of formalised sets of curriculum statements and symbol in the sense of curriculum being the embodiment of private meaning and public hope; curriculum that is broadly principled according to moral understandings and particular to the people, time and place from which curriculum 19 emerges with its focus upon the future. If we are to understand culture, and what culture is to tell us about curriculum, we need to look from somewhere between text and life. This is an arena in which history, politics, ethnicity, gender, phenomenology, ontology, autobiography, aesthetics, hermeneutics, cosmology, theology, epistemology, locality, nationality and globality coexist. Depending upon how culture is conceptualised, the study of the relationship between culture and curriculum will lead to incomprehensible confusion, or apparent clarity. It is this elusive nature which reveals the uncertainties and tensions in the relationship between culture and curriculum. For it is in and through curriculum that "generations struggle to define themselves and the world" (Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery & Taubman, 1995, p. 848). And yet there is constancy also. In this text we move between the universal and the local. This is a consideration of 'culture' as a locator for visions of life; a consideration of understandings of culture in curriculum and what that might mean for practitioners of curriculum; a consideration dependent upon a community containing many forms of knowledge, some within, some outside, the canon of culture and curriculum theory. None of these sounds of knowing stand alone. They each signify an accord with previous ways of knowing. So although the word may be T, it infers 'We' (Nanny, 1996)7 So although the headings may indicate a narrowing of focus from conceptual analysis to nigh-on-case-study, the focus oscillates between the personal, the local and global and beyond. Which, to me, is often the way of life. Indeed, where does the world begin and the local end? 7 The citation 'Nanny, 1996' refers to ideas arising from a recorded conversation with 'Nanny,' a member of the school community that contributed to this study. 20 Within this chapter I explore Part One of the main reason for our gathering by focusing upon the relationship between culture and curriculum, emphasizing the importance of location (geographical and theoretical) in any exploration of questions of relationship between culture and curriculum. Chapter Three moves the regard for understanding culture and curriculum into the realm of action by considering the question: what does it mean to teach culture? A distinction is made between teaching culture ( perhaps as a topic study in Social Studies) and teaching as an expression of culture (that is, the process of teaching as part of processes of enculturation). It is a theoretical distinction only though as both will overlap in practice. Indeed I will suggest that the overlap not only affirms the contestability of the notion of culture in teaching but requires a pedagogical stance which is particular to and responsible to its context. Some would call it bias. I would call it pedagogy that is intentionally and necessarily specific; pedagogy that is community located and, what is more, respectful of community. This placing is my response to ambiguity and a desire for pragmatics. Part Two of Words of the Woken enters into community discourses, responding to the irony that the more one is oriented to a place, its people and ways, the more one comes to understand the broad, fundamental principles upon which relationships are based; core principles and values common to many, yet also the energy behind culture-specific practices. These are communicated in many forms: spoken and unspoken, individual and collective, written and oral; in texts, around kitchen tables, in scribblings on jotter pads, lunch time talk in the school quad, art lessons, phone calls. The living out of these principles in the voices of particularised understandings of culture is the focus of Part Two of Words of the Woken. Chapter Four provides an explanation of the principles behind conversations with and representations of community understandings of culture. In the following five 'intercessions' we read, listen and dwell with conversations with members of a 21 school community. The sixth intercession invites the presence of the researcher. The intercessory voice is represented in text as a pedagogical guide. Prefacing each narrative is a review of issues around the researching of understandings of culture as well as issues specific to the teacher of culture. An assumption has been made that the teacher of culture is also the researcher and re-presenter of culture, and will need to resolve the issues raised. The community voice is represented as a way of informing research concerns. Pedagogical implications of this textual process are also outlined before the 'speaking' of each voice. In this way the intellectual and the local combine, not as interpretation and case study, but as a singular revisionary effort; one whose power and interest expands how we regard the teaching of culture, by interplaying knowledge specific to a historical and cultural situation with worldly intellectual intent to widen awareness in the study of culture. Part Three returns the gaze to the broader and original matter of the relationship between culture and curriculum. Here we seek the resolution that we have been moving towards. A review of principles, alongside 'earthed' pragmatics of understandings of culture is made. As a result, the development of a language for being related, for understanding culture, is suggested and key conceptual elements outlined. Finally, we leave this text-place with words of resolve. In our going out we stand together to recall how good might catch our hearts. Locating The Place Of Text Through it all though, we remain with print upon page. It is not the voice within the throat. These lines do, at times, struggle to convey the life within conversation. They create a new voice. One unique to print, distinct from its mouthed origin. We 22 read 'voice' anew, not quite as fiction, not quite lifeless, but suspended upon fine lines. I scribe these lines between local and global, the community and world, lines that I cannot force to meaning outside my own hearing, ones that will have to be left to your hearing, you who will read and listen to the fine lines of people. In my investigation of the relationship between culture and curriculum I am motivated by my needs as an educator. I have a responsibility to understand and implement curriculum policy, in particular, The New Zealand Curriculum Framework. Imbedded within the curriculum are assumptions about method, truth and knowledge. These concern and intrigue me. And so, while I welcome theory and theorising as a way towards understanding the relationship between culture and curriculum such understanding is context driven, community and utility oriented. It serves distinctive and limited purposes.8 These are limits that speak of belonging. I am of Aotearoa New Zealand. This, my land of birth and upbringing, my land of intended, but tenuous, partnership between tangata whenua and newcomers, my land of struggles to arrive at the 'post' of postcolonialism; this land bears the benefit and burdens of the meeting of peoples. Two peoples. Maori. Pakeha.9 In times past and present. In places personal and public. These relations are the source and ground of knowledge in this land. Like Grumet (1988) I see no point in aspiring to an equitable, tolerant curriculum without 'examining the relations that create and sustain it' (p. 162). Like Spivak 8 Jane Flax's (1993) first chapter in Disputed Subjects: Essays on Psychoanalysis, Politics and Philosophy was particularly helpful wi th regards to the nature, limits and pragmatics of theorising. 9 The concept Pakeha is a complex one in which attitudes, usage, identity and explanation combine, and to a certain extent clash. Joan Metge (1993) states that there are at least six different explanations for this term, some of which are derogatory (p. 13). Because of the confusion and feelings engendered some people choose to relegate the concept to realms of obscurity or irrelevance. For those who accept the term, there is a sense of location and identity. For M a o r i the concept Pakeha is used contextually. In some cases Pakeha w i l l refer to those who are descended from the English, in other situations a two-way grouping might suffice. In this more general context Pakeha can refer to all non- N e w Zealanders and thereby encompass the multicultural dimension in the bicultural construct. However, regardless of the contextually oriented usage, this word links directly wi th the descendants of early English settlers and therefore orientates itself to the relationship established by the Treaty of Waitangi. 23 (1994), I acknowledge that in placing this examination of culture in a context I make myself vulnerable to the claim that I am already taking sides in the controversies surrounding this concept (p. 151). That is my intention. Throughout my text I deliberately situate my discussion in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is for three particular reasons. Firstly, I situate because the relationship between culture and curriculum requires an orientation, a place from which and to which conceptualisations of culture might come to exist and act. Without place and all its particularities we risk nothing. Secondly, the relationship between Maori, Pakeha in Aotearoa New Zealand is the salient characteristic of curriculum in my time and place. It is compelling in all dimensions of education. Finally, the very specificity of location in this discourse poses challenges to broader issues associated with complacency, imperialism and parochialism. So I situate, like most, due to personal concerns; then I analyse, like most, with skills and influences arising from and returning to a consideration of wider society. My text begins from the community and confusion in which my understandings of curriculum and culture reside; a study of curriculum as a study of context. I stand, wanting to know more of the reality which is 'not contained within the dictionary or in grammar' (Ricoeur, 1991, p. 431). I stand here in this land. Place. Placed. Contextualisation exposes the history of that which might otherwise seem to be outside history, that which might seem to be sanitised, natural and therefore universal. My concern is with particularities; curriculum conceived through the dynamics of peoples in regions of context. I cannot teach without expressing or encountering the nature of culture in this land of mine. In the classroom, with the children, amongst the teachers, within the communities, I meet the peoples of this land. To study culture incarnate in curriculum, is to divine understanding of my land. 24 Minding Culture and Curriculum: Documented Understandings I turn to you, my audience. I know you are trying to understand me and to detach yourself in that understanding. But for a while you have to see through my eyes, in order to understand. And then detach. Look a while with me, first at culture, and then at curriculum. I am the learner. 1. Culture: Meaning between the lines My questions about culture have consequences. They betray me and encompass me. The very fact that I should enter into cultural discourse is indicative of the workings of my own cultural ethic - that the assertion and elaboration of differing beliefs is common and acceptable. I write from and of that perspective. As a consequence, although I may try to be balanced in my writing, I inevitably neglect the riches and relevance of materials less accessible. Learner. I believe that I am not alone in my learning. This notion of culture has been bombarded with such polemics, ideology, and questions as to challenge its actual usefulness, as a word or as a course of study (see Spivak 1993, pp. 255-283). To some degree the debate is about the defining and narrowing of the concept itself. It is also about the nature and role of knowledge: the self in knowledge, and the presence, or absence of public and private knowledge. The list of those who have contributed to just such discussions is impressive indeed. 1 0 Through their words 1 0 See, for example Freire, P. (1985). The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation. South Hadley , MA: Bergin.; Giroux, H. (1981). Ideology, Culture and the Process of Schooling. Lewes: Falmer Press.; Hall, S. (1981). Teaching about race. In A. James & R. Jeffcoate (Eds.), The School in the Multicultural Society (pp. 58-69). London: Harper.; Jones, A. (1991). "At School I've Got a Chance": Culture/Privilege: Pacific Islands and Pakeha Girls at School . Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press Ltd.; Metge, J. (1990). Te Kohao O Te Ngira: Culture and Learning. Wellington, New Zealand.: Learning Media.; Said, E. (1978). Orientalism . New York: Pantheon.; Sleeter, C. & Grant, C. (1988). Making Choices for Multicultural Education: Five Approaches to Race, Class and Gender. Columbus: Merrill. 25 we come to recognise culture as knowledge, process, difference, differentiation, personal, public, accumulated information, relations and experience, systemic, materialist, idealist, political, individual and collective, values, attitudes, symbols and meanings, refining and elevating, social process, social function, activities, and instrumental of policy. Spoken and unspoken, written, lived ways of understanding belonging and being. The proliferation of authors and interpretations of culture highlights the way in which words acquire meaning, but do not, of themselves, contain meaning. Meaning is never static; an expression of 'self engaging with the 'other' of the text. The nature of my purpose and polemic ensure that the meaning I apply to culture is an expression of concepts that I bring to the text. These reflect the values, attitudes, experiences and observations that I perceive to be significant in promoting reflection upon issues encompassing culture and that will assist in moving beyond definitional pedantics. It is only at the point of engagement with the word that some aspect of meaning becomes apparent. But there is not an exact transmission of meaning. We cannot be sure of meaning conveyed because we cannot be sure of the interplay between text and thought, experience and interpretation, speaker and listener. To some extent we communicate in faith, believing that shared understanding is possible. And so as each learning scholar engages with the word, the word also engages with the scholar and all their experience, understanding and knowledge. The meaning of culture then is not in the word, is not in exact transmissions of meaning, it is in the engagement with the word. 2. Culture: Meaning in place 2 6 When I think of culture, a particular context comes to mind: Pakeha, Maori relations in Aotearoa-New Zealand. In this case, a bicultural context in which I am both self and other. I seek to be a biculturally aware citizen of Aotearoa New-Zealand; to be capable of bicultural communication. In the process I learn that there are at least two distinct ways in which the people around me conceptualise culture. One way is to conceptualise culture as unique and therefore incommensurable with other cultures (see Sharp 1995, p. 117). In this form, the word 'culture' is used with an article (in both singular and plural forms) so that the focus is upon the particular and collective ways of doing and thinking of particular peoples. Accordingly, Maori ontology can be claimed to be a present and living reality of particular ancestors and gods, an unfolding revelation of a future order generated within that reality; Maori epistemology can be said to comprise unique ways of knowing these things; and a moral code can be constituted, through which these ways might be respected. Pakeha too will possess an ontology, epistemology and morality, contrasting with Maori, and true to Pakeha ways. From this point of view, there are no grounds on which cross-cultural comparisons and judgments might occur. The value of each understanding of culture is equal, untranslatable to another culture, and justified within its respective culture. The views and propositions of a culture cannot be interpreted or challenged from outside that culture. The bicultural curriculum becomes one of separate and separated education systems. However understandable politically, as a response to inequities experienced, this talk of culture as stark, total difference is inherently pessimistic. I must question whether we can expect no good from the nature of human intent, human 27 rationality; no possibility of translation across cultures and 'conceptual schemes' (Hacking, 1982). And again, whether we really do believe that a culture is a conceptual whole - unknowable, separate, entirely unique and beyond critiquing by an other - also unknowable and unique? Then I tell you that this 'logic of separate spheres' is not the practiced or lived bicultural experience. Culture is expressed as an interplay between personal/interpersonal and social/intergroup modes of being. I encounter daily the assertions of separate value systems and yet all the while there is renewal, self-understanding and endless transformation arising from contact with others. I speak English, yet in this land it contains words that testify to the meeting of Maori and Pakeha. We know these words, they are part of our shared language: mana, aroha, rangatiratanga, kawanatanga; place names, family names, plants, creatures, waters, mountains. My name. 'English' in this place becomes te reo Pakeha.11 As an individual I am not, cannot, be a bearer of a coherent, single culture. And really, what would, could, that 'coherent, single culture' look like? I interact with my environment, that interaction is dynamic; it involves multiple cultures. Just as is my self, so too is culture modified and reshaped. And so, we arrive at a second conceptualisation of culture: a compilation of ways of living that people have and share. Joan Metge names this sense of culture: 'lifeways' (Metge, 1993, p. 7). James Ritchie tells us that in individuals such lifestyle patterns are 'personality', in groups: 'culture' (Ritchie 1979). Sharp is more forthright, describing this particular conceptualisation of culture as 'messy' (Sharp 1995, p. 119). I look at myself and the people around me. I see them and me understanding culture in two ways: at once unique, separate; yet also permeable and open to Te reo: the language; Pakeha: non-Maori. 2 8 outside ideas and people. This ambiguity within dual and competing understandings of culture is frustrating, yet useful. In ambiguity the ideal of a definitive notion of culture becomes illusory: the stuff of dreams. The lack of apparent substance reminds us to be cautious about claims to 'cultural values.' But, more importantly, we hear again the need to accept ambiguity and tension as integral to the task of conceptualising culture. 3. Curriculum: Transforming context and text It does not surprise me that when I think of curriculum, a particular text comes to mind: The New Zealand Curriculum Framework : Te Anga Marautanga o Aotearoa.12 In my days of teaching in primary school and teacher education I have, like many of my colleagues, been tentatively behaviourist and stridently pragmatic in my curriculum practices. Ministerial documents, as one of the ubiquitous elements of my education environment, have tended to complement the nature of such assumptions and practices. However, if I was to be honest I would have to recognise that although I start with a document, the NZCF, I actually end up somewhere else, beyond the text. Both the document and this place beyond are part of the notion of curriculum and central to understanding the relationship between curriculum and culture. Through discourse I move beyond the text to understand something of the relationship between culture and curriculum. Let me explain. On my first reading of the NZCF I was immediately taken by its contents. I set about incorporating it into 1 2 A s the first major overhaul of the national curriculum since the 1940s, the N e w Zealand Minis t ry of Education published The New Zealand Curriculum Framework : Te Anga Marautanga o Aotearoa. in 1993. It is the official policy for teaching, learning and assessment in Aotearoa N e w Zealand schools, complementing the more detailed curriculum statements, in each of the Essential Learning Areas. Essential skills to be developed by all students are set out, along wi th an indication of the place of attitudes and values in the school curriculum and a policy for assessment at national and school levels. The intention is to provide a coherent, understandable national curriculum statement that reflects and affirms Aotearoa N e w Zealand's identity.-29 all my preservice teacher education courses and enthusiastically extolling its virtues to my students. Within the Framework principles alone there seemed to be emancipatory messages of hope, respect and national identity.13 For a person like myself, concerned with issues of culture in the curriculum, these were noble, honorable principles on which to base education in the 1990s and beyond. I continued to teach and extol. But gradually, I turned from the text to the symbols, theory and enactment of curriculum. As I looked closely at recent research findings on the implementation of the curriculum in New Zealand classrooms the hopes I had for the relationship between culture and curriculum began to waiver (see Alton-Lee, Nuthall, & Patrick, 1995; Jones, 1991). I was reminded that contradictions abound when curriculum, teaching and culture combine (see for example Britzman, Santiago-Valles, Jimenez-Munoz, & Lamash, 1993, p. 188). As I continued to investigate understandings of culture, the vision of a national identity seemed increasingly artificial. And I began to question the nature of the society that would be produced and reproduced through following policy documents like the NZCF (see McCarthy, 1990). I puzzled over reproductive functions of curriculum (see Grumet, 1988). In the end I saw my initial response to the NZCF in the light of the relationship between culture and imperialism (see Said, 1993). Was my enthusiasm a reflection 1 3 The Principles: Nga Matapono (NZCF 1993, pp. 6-7) The New Zealand Curriculum Framework establishes direction for learning and assessment in New Zealand schools The NZCF fosters achievement and success for all students. At each level, it clearly defines the achievement objectives against which student's progress can be measured. The NZCF provides for flexibility, enabling schools and teachers to design programmes which are appropriate to the learning needs of their students. The NZCF ensures that learning progresses coherently throughout schooling. The NZCF encourages students to become independent and life-long learners. The NZCF provides all students with equal opportunities. The NZCF recognises the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi. The NZCF reflects the multicultural nature of New Zealand society. The NZCF relates learning to the wider world. 30 of the lingering substance and shadows of imperialism that exist in the cultural, political, ideological, economic, social and educational practices in Aotearoa New Zealand? Did I really envisage genuine reformation? Or was I actually interested in perpetuating social (comfortable, beneficial) reproduction? I looked around me and at me and wondered if I was part of 'They' in Arthur Fairburn's poem: They change the sky but not their hearts who cross the seas (Fairburn 1966, p. 22). So I changed my mind. I withdrew my enthusiasm and replaced it with caution, not cynicism, but caution. This change now forms the basis for my words here. I wish to be supportive, yet careful; hopeful, yet judicious; cognisant of the multiplicity of understandings and experiences involved in understanding curriculum and its relationship to culture. I wish to see curriculum as ascribing and responding to decisions about what knowledge is of most worth, how we perceive ourselves and how we will describe culture through curriculum. A responsive enactment of a future plan. So these were my lessons. The first: that critical, emancipatory, theoretical discourse is inherent in investigating the relationship between culture and curriculum; the transformation of conditions of social struggle. My second lesson: that curriculum is an encapsulation of culture and cultures. Curriculum not only includes cultures, it is culture. Therefore, the interpretation and experience of curriculum is a lesson in the conceptualisation and perpetuation of culture. And my third: that curriculum is dynamic. Once I began to explore the multiple dimensions of curriculum, its meaning changed, it became the product of my labour and not simply the site of that labour (Pinar et al. 1995, p. 848). I change and am changed by curriculum. I learn. 31 4. Culture and curriculum We can be willing fools in discursive analysis. The construct of culture can be deceptively simple: you, me, points of dialogue between. The construct of curriculum is equally deceptive: documents, statements; learning and teaching between. Yet the contextualised experience of curriculum and culture is far from simple. It is characterised by complexity, ambiguity and struggle. It really is so easy to encourage transcendent discourse when we talk about a relationship between culture and curriculum. 'God-tricks', Haraway (1991) calls it: a promised vision of cultural equity being omnipresent in curriculum. Promised. Promises. And what of responsibilities? Limits? They change the sky but not their hearts who cross the seas. I want to, have to, believe there are changing hearts. Under this sky. Such is my desire for earthed, worldly change, for positive, effective bicultural dimensions of the curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand. So, for a while you look through my eyes and I reveal my hopes and my ignorance. And yet, from just such revelations, I believe, comes understanding. Eventually. Fragments of history: The breath and shadows of the relationship between culture and curriculum I grapple with considering the composition and construction of my own discourse. I see it is ethically precarious to highlight particular themes, omitting others. I extract and appropriate words. What is the agenda that I bring to this extraction? What is it that I sustain? If the notion of culture in curriculum is also interpreted from an extraction of the total Aotearoa New Zealand 'story', and the very process by which it was selected (and other selections were not made) is not critically examined, then 32 the reality and potential of this notion begins to slide into yet another form of 'imperialist philanthropy' (Said 1993, p. xviii). Madelaine Grumet (1988) reminds us that conceptual analysis is of limited use as an agent of change when it ignores the sociocultural and historical context in which curriculum (whether as theory, policy or practice) operates. She reminds me that clouds of history do cast a shadow over my exploration of relationship between culture and curriculum. And yet, there is a sense too in which history is something new to Pakeha; temporally and testimonially. There is a certain uneasiness for Pakeha in historical reflection. Some Pakeha do not have a conception of history that extends beyond two or three generations, and many do not align themselves with the word 'Pakeha', as a history or a concept. These people see themselves as New Zealanders and for them there really is no history to which one could, or should, testify. History is something that is made today and will be made again tomorrow. Traditionally the response has been to suppress the historical dimension, but this very suppression testifies to its presence. When I read the words of Witi Ihimaera, I realise that there is a perspective other than the one with which I was reared, which will bring meaning to curriculum: All New Zealand school children are taught about Captain James Cook's discovery of New Zealand and his historic landfall at Poverty Bay in the Endeavour in October 1769...They are told, to some amusement, that the reaction of the people on shore was one of awe for the huge white bird, the floating island, and the multicoloured gods who had come on the bird. Ah yes, the stuff of romance indeed! But what the schoolchildren are not told is that Cook's landing was marked by the 33 killing of a Maori called Te Maro, shot through the heart by a musket bullet, Monday 9 October 1769. Then on the morning of Tuesday 10 October, 1769, another Maori called Te Rakau was shot and killed, and three others were wounded. During the afternoon of that same day a further four Maoris were murdered in the bay merely because they had showed fight when molested, and three of their companions were taken captive. Captain James Cook claimed New Zealand for Britain. The Endeavour finally left Poverty Bay on Thursday 12 October, 1769. The glorious birth of the nation has the taste of bitter almonds when one remembers that six Maoris died so that a flag could be raised and that the Endeavour had lain in Poverty Bay for only two days and fourteen hours (Ihimaera 1986, pp. 36-37). Curriculum which is located by history is part of the environment in which culture evolves. Although Cook sailed away, the effect of the engagement between Maori and Pakeha remained. A potential energy had been generated that meant new relationships within the country which Europeans called New Zealand, as well as with the world that lay beyond. That energy, even in its suppression or denial, would carry sufficient force to fissure the social landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand society. During 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by certain chiefs and representatives of the British Crown. In the years that have followed, the treaty has been the symbolic, as well as legal, economic, political and educational epicentre of national development. Its significance is recognised as one of the foundational principles in the NZCF. There were several reasons for signing; the memories of which echo in understandings of the relationship between culture and curriculum. For Maori people the treaty agreement promised the benefits of trade and settlement plus the 34 protection of British law to curb increasingly troublesome European settlers. Land was becoming an increasingly contentious issue. Firstly, as aggressive European land buyers made their mark in Aotearoa; and secondly, as some Maori began to see the disposal of land as a new way of fighting old enemies: if there is no disputed land, because it has been sold, then there is no need to fight for it. Treaty negotiators described the treaty as a personal agreement, a covenant, between Queen Victoria, sovereign of the world's major naval power, and the Maori chiefs to help the people against settler trouble and against France or other nations. Maori people would look after their own and would be assisted to do so through the agreement with Queen Victoria herself. The perception was that by signing the Treaty, the shadow (kawanatanga) of existing rights to land, water and forest passed to the Queen, and the substance (rangatiratanga), the sovereignty, remained with the Maori people. In effect however, the rubric was reversed as the British desire to hasten settlement was gradually revealed and achieved. Pakeha have begun to join Maori in understanding the 'fish-hook' of British intent concealed in the treaty. Things have come too far for Pakeha to collapse into moralistic, guilt-laden forms of self-flagellation. There is simply an awareness of pending requital for the. failure of one partner to honor a contract with the other partner. Such awareness shadows Pakeha understandings of the relationship between culture and curriculum. This is, as Pakeha writer Peter Beatson describes, a relationship in which ambivalence towards authentic understandings of history is not accepted as an excuse for the abrogation of actual responsibility : The Treaty was a necessary expedient for the British who were numerically totally outnumbered. It was hailed, and continued to be hailed, as a unique moment in Western 35 imperialism. It stood for truly moral, truly peaceful colonisation, a contract made on equal terms between British gentlemen and Nature's gentlemen. But it was imprudent of the invaders to nail their moral pretensions to the mast, pretensions which, by the very logic of colonisation, they would inevitably violate...Possessed of the substance, the white descendants of those who signed the Treaty still live in its shadow. The Maori of today are in no hurry to let perfidious Albion off its own petard (Beatson 1989, p. 5). This is the scene from which to look beyond: the emergence of Maori and Pakeha from the shadows and substance of imperialism. The ensuing years after the signing of the Treaty have the characteristics of epochs of confusion, conflict, oppression and resentment.14 Children growing up in the context of this history now fill the schools of Aotearoa New Zealand. Through these classrooms we gaze into an opaque mirror of the future. Reflected, we see the extraordinary injustices of imperialism alongside the extraordinary benefits; reflected, we see that to move on, the peoples of the land must forgo the Eurocentric ties of imperialism. They must, we must, truly arrive and reside in and of this land. Distinct and collective. Narratives of emancipation and enlightenment are also narratives of integration 1 4 In the period from the signing of the Treaty, up until after the First World War, the history of Aotearoa New Zealand was marked by the rise of Maori prophets of war and prophets of peace, massive and often bloody land alienation, and swift, deadly waves of influenza that culminated in Maori becoming the numerical minority. The legislative force of the New Zealand government swung into action to legally alienate Maori from land and resources, suppress Maori from language and lifeways. Following the end of World War Two Maori society began to radically change again with a massive exodus from rural to urban living. This period coincided with the decolonisation of the British Empire and the beginning of New Zealand's emergence as a 'stand alone' member of the global community. This stance was further bolstered following Britain's 1973 decision to join the European Community, severing traditional economic and ideological ties with Aotearoa New Zealand. Key events during the 1970s and early eighties (the 1975 Land March in which Maori walked from the northern end of the North Island to Wellington to act upon land claims; successful, highly publicised and political land claims at Raglan Golf Course and Bastion Point in 1980; and the fervent, nationwide reaction to the 1981 Springbok (South African) rugby tour of New Zealand) further fissured the context of culture in Aotearoa New Zealand. As New Right fiscal policies now transform this society from a social welfare state to a consumer-based economy, Maori continue to be disproportionately represented in failure rates in schooling, in convictions and imprisonment, in poor health figures, and in lower socio-economic status indicators. 36 not separation (see Said 1993, p. xxvi). Constitutionally, in the post-colonial world towards which Pakeha and Maori move, integration is to take place within the bicultural world of Aotearoa New Zealand. Maori and Pakeha engage in distinct and combined struggles to comprehend ways of knowing and being in Aotearoa New Zealand. For Maori, the identification and identity of Aotearoa is sought and asserted over that of New Zealand. For Pakeha: there is the birthing of an identity based upon life and land in the South Pacific. For education, the relationship between culture and curriculum: an arena for distinct and combined struggles to know and to be. Some resolution of each struggle will require separate cultural development: deliberate epistemological and ontological bias that promotes equity in and through the relationship between culture and curriculum. This is the space in curriculum for people previously excluded to now conceptualise the aspects of identity that will be subject to negotiation within a shared curriculum. Resolution will also depend upon curriculum being able to appeal to comprehensiveness: the ability for ways of knowing and being to be translated across cultures, and shared; requiring some continuity, some constancy in principles of being human. But still, if interpreted in this resolute light, the relationship between culture in curriculum is not a forum of placid platitudes, but a political dialogue for addressing the memory of the imperial past. It is impossible to pass through history, into the present, without creating a particular vision of what should be; a vision located in place and history. Curriculum looks forward. Understandings of culture ground that vision in history. And Here. Perhaps you look for transhistorical elements now. I do not. My concern is with : 3Z particulars. These are the scaffolding for the social and historical construction of human experience. My experience. If I think through the particular, I am able to interpret politically. Understandings of culture as expressed and experienced in curriculum are political; concerns of power and equity. I, as Pakeha, describe the history that surrounds me as I come to culture in curriculum. This is a vision of location and identity in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is a vision of cultural elements incommensurable with my own, yet also absorbing meetings across cultures. I as one-who-teaches am earthed through the particulars of the relationship between culture and curriculum. As I looked out from my room, across the white, the shine of snow, a stray-no-collar dog walked the edge between forest and flat. Such lightness of foot while tracking closer to where I stood, fixed silent and still. At the point nearest me the four legged paused. A look left to the forest, right to the South and just once behind to the West. Then that lightness of foot again, across the edge and into the trees. 39 Chapter Three We Approach, Pause, Remember: The Teacher Of Culture In any sense of hope there will also be that which we seek to avoid. Efforts aimed at understanding culture and the advancement of equity in education encounter dilemmas and tensions for which there may be no apparent or total resolution within the context of the situation. For all our hopes, for all the words of curriculum frameworks, for all our visions of a future that prove we are evolutionary creatures, for all this, our faith in education as the perfection of our theories may well be little more than wishful thinking. It is no coincidence that 'Utopia' means 'not place'.15 And yet while I flinch so slightly as I see myself as an accessory to curriculum misdemeanors, I do know that if we are to go forward we need an awareness of that which we leave. I do not seek to deny the teacher-thinking and ways which precede me. Rather, I seek sufficient awareness that I can move through them and progress without constraint to follow the trail already laid. And so let me glance back now, to look at tracks laid down through teaching culture. For, although my steps are lightened by hope and desire I am yet to regard the shadows of my footprints.16 1 5 More, T. (1965). Utopia (P. Turner, Trans.), (p. 8.). New York: Penguin. (Original work published 1516). 16 It may seem that I am about to cast the teacher in the role of villain: the one about whom we hiss and boo when critical of educational outcomes pertaining to culture. While I do wish to inflect my writing with comments about teacher understandings and practices with regards to culture, I do this to illustrate the vastly complex task of teaching. Those who teach are at once an integral part of national society and also the authors of self-contained micro-worlds in which their lessons take place. Through the interpretation and implementation of curriculum policy, the teacher's classroom programme reflects the structure and values of their society, while also aiming to bring about change, to reform, not reproduce society; radical to some extent, restricted to a large extent. Teachers confront daily the inevitability of unequal patterns of educational outcomes in an inequitable society. This is part of democracy-at-work-in-capitalism-at-work-in-democracy. The complexities faced by teachers mean that it would be too simplistic if a tale imbued teachers with mindless malevolence. What, I wonder, could be achieved by parading such a scapegoat (other than a temporary distraction from analysing the stressful political and material conditions of teaching)? No, I write in solidarity with teachers; carefully supportive of the ways in which they seek and believe they are working in the best interests 40 Noble Constructs Of Contradiction: The Teaching Of Culture Somewhere between theology and science will teaching and culture meet. Somewhere other than in images and concepts alone. For, teaching and culture are sites for the construction of identity, the very fundamentals of personal and social existence. When teaching and culture combine, they continue to construct in an endeavour founded upon the curriculum goal of our young learning to be responsible and culturally conscious human beings in the collective history of the present. This is more than a matter of behaviour management, more than dictation, chalk and talk. When teaching and culture combine, the teacher of culture enters pedagogy through philosophy. From theory to practice to community and back. We prepare to listen more fully, with purpose, to understandings of culture. 7 This chapter illustrates ways in which the teaching of culture is a philosophical endeavour that requires the perspective of location. I am, like you, undertaking again and again the task of attempting to construct some fragile, provisional sense out of the processes through which we became and become what we are, and aspire to what we might be. At least, we may think it fragile. But doesn't our persistence suggest more stability than that? Something that drives us on through the sheer physicality, the soul-full-ness of teaching; the day-to-day, day-after-day, pleasures and grind of it all? Of the many issues facing the teacher of culture the following four will be focused upon because they highlight the pedagogical alliance to be made between of their students. I am grateful for the accounts of excellence recorded by Mary Donn and Ruth Schick (1995), to know that there are positive and effective practices promoting 'racial' (sic) harmony in the schools of Aotearoa New Zealand. They are in mind as I consider what it means to teach culture. As I stand alongside the teachers I know that villains they are not. But nor are they all heroes. 1 7 The 'asides' in this chapter are sourced from conversations with the Intermediate School community (students, teachers, parents and caregivers) and myself. The community sources are acknowledged as 'Student talk', 'Teacher talk' or 'Caregiver talk'. All other asides in this chapter are my own. 41 philosophy and location. Firstly, I address the distinction and overlap between the teaching of culture and teaching as a form of culture. Secondly, I examine the teaching of culture as an expression of culture: particular expressions of particular perceptions of culture. This ushers in an appraisal of recent attempts in teacher education to develop preservice teacher confidence and competence in cross-cultural pedagogy. I suggest that multicultural education has had a misplaced and distracting influence simply because its aims are not congruent with every educational context, I mean, my context, that of Aotearoa New Zealand and the educational project inscribed by the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.18 To glean stability amidst complexity, the philosophical requires earthing. The teaching of culture requires philosophical and practical location at home. My home. So, at chapter's end, and as an entrance to conversations with school community members from Home, I sketch an epistemology based upon situating the teacher and the teaching of culture in particular historical, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts. I do have an audience and context in mind to whom I address my talk and thought about the teaching of culture: fellow pedagogists, who, like me are members of the numerical and power-based majority in a westernised country. 'Culture' is a construct marked by ambiguity. This I do not deny, but indeed affirm. Therefore, I write through my own orientation, that of Pakeha perspectives, and my own context, that of teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand. Deliberately. Intentionally and necessarily specific. Connolly (1984) points out that there is no contradiction between affirming the contestability of a concept and then making the strongest case available for one of the positions within that range (p. 145). This is the task of my 1 8 See for example the NZCF principles (see Chapter 2) which are general (e.g., "success for all students," "students as life-long learners") yet also specific to the context of education in Aotearoa New Zealand (e.g., recognising the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi). This chapter explores issues that the teacher of culture faces in resolving the general philosophy undergirding curriculum with the specifics of context. 42 text: to affirm the multiplicity of the understandings of culture in teaching and then make a case that echoes of solidarity, a form of union in educational purpose, a particular position within a particular context. We'll do both: flux and stand firm. The teaching of culture is (not) the same as the culture of teaching Most teachers wonder if they are doing the right things in their work. Sometimes called evaluation, it often feels closer to self-doubt. The problem is that teaching involves believing that it is possible to fulfill two educational goals that frequently conflict: to help students reach their potential as individuals, and to prepare them to be positive citizens of the national society (Metge, 1993, p. 20). The teacher is at once in relation with the individual student, the school, and the nation. The task would be difficult enough in an introspective homogeneous social grouping, but in a society concerned with itself as both nation and global partner, every teacher faces a diversity of cultures. In the classroom, the teacher lives through the political problem of the conflict, resolution or recognition of differences; differences that cannot be transformed into a unitary whole. Solutions for addressing this dilemma tend to be constrained, largely because of the limits that society and its power-holders place upon the education process. However, curriculum theory does investigate two major areas in which diversity might be addressed: the teaching of culture and teaching as an expression and reinforcement of culture. In my work and in my text I distinguish one from the other, as well as acknowledge overlap between the two. I base distinction upon context. When I refer to the teaching of culture I am thinking of my job in teacher education, coordinating courses in which students investigate the conceptualisation of, and issues surrounding, their own cultural identity and that of others. In the background is my memory of experiences in primary education, teaching Social Studies units which 43 focused on people distant or near in time and place. In these ways, the teaching of culture was, and is, the stated focus of learning objectives, contained within unit studies. Don't you wish teaching could always be beautiful? However, it is possible to also recall those times in which teaching has communicated culture unintentionally; has been a form of enculturation. There is a hint of disillusionment there for me as I know that I must have been selective in my recall of Social Studies experiences, and blind to many of the times in which I inferred or demanded maintenance of the structure and values of society-at-large; believing all along that I was acting for the greater good, yet possibly doing little more than reinforcing positions of domination.19 Teaching as a form of culture is a continuous theme; present in every educational context and in every teacher. I do not deny it, or decry it. I simply acknowledge its existence and look for the role it can play in the adequate treatment of difference. The teaching of culture is always interplaying with teaching as culture. Hear the presence of both when I focus upon the teaching of culture. Teaching culture is good. Yes? Generally, it is assumed that the teaching of culture is in itself a good thing that will result in good. Experts generate knowledge that is neutral, reasoned; displacing ignorance and prejudice, free of ignorance and prejudice. Neither privilege nor domination is exercised in the teaching of culture. Instead the results are for the good of all. 1 9 For example, the research of Adrienne Alton-Lee , Graham Nuthall & John Patrick (1994) and Alison Jones (1991) tells me that even when attempting to design lessons based on principles of equity, in my body language, questioning skills, selection of resources, references to self and other, and my teaching practices I am and have been reinforcing iniquitous social relations. 44 By good I mean the fulfillment of the Enlightenment promise that truth will set us free (see Flax, 1993, p. 133); free to live fulfilling lives that bring no harm or violence to any other person. Teachers as agents of the assumed good have a privileged relation to this truth. As channels of progress and freedom for all, they can be informed only by what is 'truthful' and 'good'. Therefore they are innocent of mistruths and beyond the influence of their own particular historical and social contexts. This story of goodness in education is deeply embedded in the sense of identity and purpose of Western educators. It is the guarantee of service to something higher and outside themselves. "I teach to plant a seed."2^ So we need to be careful to understand how words are used in association with understandings of culture and the teaching of culture.21 These claims of 'truth' and 'good' in education depend upon unstated background assumptions that include a belief in the worth and neutrality of equality, and secondly, a belief that the teaching of culture when grounded in 'truth' is clearly distinguishable in content and intent from systems of prejudice and oppression. But is that really so? 1. 'Equality' and the teaching of culture Ideas and ideals of equality seem to inhere within understandings of culture and the teaching of culture. One of its major appeals is that equality in education is proffered as a remedy for relations of domination. However, this notion of equality may be inadequate or even inappropriate for such a task. In my first land the NZCF (1993) acknowledges the "value of the Treaty of Waitangi, 2 0 Teacher talk. 2 1 This need to ensure shared understanding of meaning associated with particular words motivated Raymond Williams (1983) to write, Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. By discussing the origins and usage of a broad range of terms (e.g., art, folk, dialect, class, modern, image, status, utilitarian, work, romantic, taste, western), Williams creates a patchwork which in its entirety offers a perspective of how certain central words concerning culture and society have evolved in their meaning. My own writing in this project is a similar endeavour in the quilting of understandings of culture in relation to curriculum. 45 and of New Zealand's bicultural identity" (p. 1) and with it the special responsibility that the Aotearoa New Zealand education system has towards te reo Maori. However, while The Maori Language Act, 1987, made te reo Maori an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand, the NZCF does not make instruction in te reo Maori compulsory; it requires that programmes in the Maori language be available for all those wanting to learn it. The principle of choice is used to invoke ideas of equality, to support visions of evenness and sameness, to avoid Pakeha resistance to compulsory instruction in te reo Maori and to avoid the necessary bias towards things Maori. Equality can be a convenient universal which sidesteps equity and its prerequisite conditions. Equity-centred practices would accept the need for justice bound bias in curriculum decisions. There may be times when it is appropriate as an act of equity to decide to emphasize particular understandings, aspects, practices of culture over others in order to genuinely address relations of domination. The principles of equality would not permit such bias. We are left instead with assimilation to existing cultural norms. In my land, despite the rhetoric of legislation and curriculum policy, principles of equality work to constrain deviation from Eurocentric norms of Western education. To base the teaching of culture upon equality alone is to risk confirming the superior position of the European measure of sameness.22 "I can't give them anymore of my time because that wou ld be unfa i r . " 2 3 Teachers of culture can become involved in the creation of their own binary oppositions which pander to the maintenance of existing relations of (Eurocentric) power. Difference is understood as being either 'same' (as us) or 'different' (from 2 2 The distance between state education initiatives and community perspectives is discussed in K u n i Jenkin's & Tania Ka'ai's (1994) review of directions in M a o r i education. She points out while both state and i w i share a desire to advance M a o r i society, the directions that the state has chosen to take using cultural frameworks (e.g., Taha Maor i , bil ingual and total immersion programmes) are different from the direction of Maor i initiatives in education. She suggests that a fuller awareness of the range of crises facing Maor i education (rather than the state perception of one crisis, namely under achievement) is necessary before an alignment between state and M a o r i initiatives w i l l be possible. 2 3 Teacher talk. 46 us), with no space for alternative constructs of identity and culture. The possibility of blurred understandings of culture, of imagining 'freely floating differences in which there is no homogenous identity' (Flax, 1993, p. 114), of the absence of ability to categorise a culture, of the genuine acceptance of legitimate diversity in partnership (Snook, 1995, p. 10): it all becomes too troublesome, irrational. And yet, the genuine pursuit of cultural equity, of a just distribution and representation of power and resources, leads education analysts to understandings and conceptualisations of culture which are not binary, but blurred. Nothing is fixed, nothing is finite or functioning endlessly according to set rules. The line between is almost transparent. 2. 'Truth' and the teaching of culture Similarly, the belief that the teaching of culture is grounded in truth also supports claims of neutrality. The good in teaching culture is supposedly flowing through the neutral language available for the assessment and representation of culture(s). The medium of representation, the teacher, accordingly operates in a manner which overcomes the possibility of distortion or contradiction. The world portrayed is stable, consistent, incorporating differences but governed according to rules which offer equality and freedom for all, patterned to follow an existence independent of the teacher. Bias and prejudice are transformed by transparent, reasoned, neutral forms of knowledge that form the power of the educated mission. Truth is a universal, empirically neutral wonder, an expression of the school's hold on what is Real. Yet such certainty and impartiality has been seriously challenged intellectually, politically and socially. Western supremacy over the rest of the world is no longer assumed. Nor is it a given that intellectuals should be invited to judge, or even to be present, in the expansion of popular culture. The hegemony of the academy to ; 47 validate (or otherwise) society has expired, taking with it any sense of authority, validity, comfort. Assumed patterns have been disrupted by struggles for ethnic, cultural, gender, nationalist identity. Epistemological security has been seriously corroded. So if I can't be certain, then nothing will be certain. In effect what has happened is that the contingent, constructed, contestable nature of notions of culture and identity have been exposed for what they truly are. Constructs. And in turn, we, those who teach culture, lose our sense of impartiality because we are constructors, and therefore we bear the consequences of that which we have made. The world, well, the world is not to be contained by this kind of Truth, or doctrines of what is Real and Good. The world is local, personal, interpreted, represented. This is a world of partiality, bias, perspective. Multiple perspectives. We who teach occupy spaces of discourse, spaces where what is known, what is real, is regarded as constructed, that is, a product of the human mind. We in academia posit then that the task of the teacher of culture is to engage with endless forms of meaning for culture, that appeals to a unified body of knowledge should be ignored, for they might warrant making invisible those cultural elements which do contradict, do challenge, do undermine attempts to even out the representation of culture. A worthy caution certainly, but it must not also undermine appeals to understandings of cultural unity which coexist with diversity. I listen for Tafili's voice Being of more than one How it is that teachers represent culture is profoundly important. This is the portrayal of real people before real people. Taken individually, a culture taught 48 becomes categorised, sanctified; a construct divorced from its contemporary practices, its history, its instability and dynamism. So where is the understanding of culture that is both fragile and robust, collectively claimed and individually transformed. We look for 'culture' that is an accumulation of that which is remembered and that which is lived. Always undergoing change; more a matter of culturing than culture. Jane Flax (1993) introduces the term 'gendering' as an initial step towards recognising that gender is not a fixed or simple identity or set of relations (p. 23). She notes a desire to also think through treating other identities, including race, as verbs as well. For some time I have seen 'race' as a construct of limited positive worth and have no wish to rehearse here my concerns about either its inadequacies or the academy's baffling fixation with the notion. But I do wish to follow Flax's lead, at least in part, by considering culture as both noun and verb: teaching a culture; teaching as culturing; culture as anything but a static category. I see this as indicative of the way in which culture is indeed 'culturing'; process oriented and complex; both verb and noun; requiring the producing and reproducing, working and reworking of thinking about identity. Do I seem obscure at times? Perhaps you and I are culturing? Teachers of culture tend to present a unitary conceptualisation of culture, both as 'culture-with-an-article' and without.24 Culture is conveyed as a category and with it complicit support for the social relations which make the concept problematic and vulnerable to abuse. We forget that individuals engage in giving meaning to this construct - that it does not have meaning in and of itself - and that in political terms, meaning resides with those who dominate power structures. Any category of 2 4 Joan Metge (1993) distinguishes between culture used without an article (and used in the singular only) and 'a' or 'the' culture (pp. 5-6). Without an article, culture can be broad enough to refer to ways in which life is ordered so as to distinguish humankind from other species, or narrowed to describe limited aspects of this ordering, such as the arts. With an article, culture implies the existence of a social group in which dynamic symbols and meanings are used to make, and communicate, sense of a particular context. 49 culture is vested with relations to domination and to people. Culture is not a category of neutral origin or consequence. Nor is it a singular, static universal. It is of people, in place. It might seem that there are clearly identifiable cultures, but this is an illusion, one that awaits claims to it being reality.25 There are many ways in which you or I might be of 'a culture'. And we can make that claim. But it still remains an illusory construct. The overlap with many forms of social relations and identity, including gender, age, and socio-economic status, means that borders between cultures, between forms of identity, become blurred. Culture is thoroughly complex and variable: a response to structures of power, language and social practices coupled with the experiences and struggles we face with and within those structures. She said we each have many roles to play. He said culture changes too much to be connected to anything. It's everything.2^ You and I are of many cultures; some were meaningful yesterday, some we will forgo tomorrow. Culture is an 'internally differentiated social relation' (Flax, 1993, p. 24) which we each produce and circulate; many times in many ways. Joan Metge (1993) contends that it is a mistake to think of culture as a singular entity (p. 6). Culture is most usefully thought of as a collection of ways of doing and thinking; a collectivity, not an organism. For this reason Metge suggests an alternative word, lifeways, as a useful indicator of pluralities and process inherent in culture. These form a repertoire of possibilities in the process of living; to be cherished and passed on through interaction with each other; to remain dynamic, yet familiar. At times the dynamism of culture is lost to processes of pedagogy. In representing 2 5 In examining questions of truth and justice in Aotearoa New Zealand, Irihapeti Ramsden (1993) suggests that reality is relative to the claimant and their experiences (p. 237). I find this helpful as it contributes a personal and political sense of agency. Reality is not to be extracted from life, but to be an intimate expression of one's life perspectives and experiences. 2 6 Caregiver talk. 50 what is passed on, teaching practices can reduce culture to a form in which time, place, features are frozen. Most common in the treatment of minority groups, such a strategy denies the mutability of culture. Change will occur because culture is passed on through individuals acting as part of a collective. Modification, however strongly resisted, is inevitable. But we should beware of the blessed change-is-all-around mantra. Its claims are true at one level, that of practices, but they fail to acknowledge a logic of culture that honors constancy of values. The presence of change and not-change in understandings of culture can be heard in the voices of the community, those who usually regarded aside from (rather than alongside) the authorities of the canon. The role of the teacher of culture then is to mediate between these voices, between curriculum in document and practice; teacher as conceptual and interpersonal mediator. In many ways the teaching of culture is without meaning, at least until it is given meaning by the teacher, the learner and their community. The teacher lives in and of a land and society, in and of a personal and public history, in and of power relations. How that person lives and understands living is to be the meaning applied to the teaching of culture. A culture tourist? A critical cultural worker? Noun or verb? Noun and verb. Meaning. Constructed. Everyone is within culture systems. Multiple systems that change. The possibility of continuity. We endeavour to know which representation is essential, or ultimately destructive. We try to know so that we might honor and tell. All. She said we inherit and we pass on.2^ Is there something lingering in culture-as-lived that gives it meaning before I know it? Something that awaits to be 'passed on'? Caregiver talk. 51 Priorities in place: Before multicultural education I seek to understand what it means to teach culture in and through my land. I take with me the learning from beyond my shore. Now though I stand on the beach, shoeless, water and sand between my toes. I'm sinking a little. Earth covers my soles. The air can be smelt, the marram grass ripples to mirror the ocean. I touch and am touched by land. 1. Intentions in multicultural education Since the mid-seventies, education in Aotearoa New Zealand has been marked by the public expounding of principles promoting a positive view of cultural diversity. Policies indicating the need for cross-cultural communication and understanding, as well as an acceptance of the responsibility of both majority and minority groups to change in affirming a culturally diverse nation, have received educational support. In 1982 the Minister of Education directed that all teacher education institutions must implement courses in multicultural education. The term multicultural education is ambiguous and subject to the frames of reference of dominant cultures (see Hoffman, 1996). To some educators it means teaching about many cultures; that is, information about the minority groups in Aotearoa New Zealand. The phrase has also been understood as education for members of minority ethnic groups with aspects of each group's culture being included in the curriculum (see Metge, 1993, p. 33). In neither interpretation is the western framework of education in Aotearoa New Zealand considered relevant or contentious. One cultural tradition, that of the Pakeha, forms the basis of formal education in Aotearoa New Zealand. In the guise of unity, of universal equality, the distinctly western, Pakeha character and purpose of the education system goes 52 unseen, even by the disadvantaged (Jones, 1991). The teaching of multi-culture(s) is indeed the teaching of (a) culture. She said she wanted the kids to read other authors, Maori authors, so they'd know they're not the only ones feeling like this. 2 8 The integration of the many cultural perspectives through multicultural education does not necessarily provide solutions to issues of domination. The emphasis continues to be placed upon the objectification of non-Pakeha cultures, constructing cultural identity at such a level of abstraction that many differences are unrealistically exoticised or simply excluded. These 'tamed', contained, differences will no longer include those elements which make political life meaningful and just educational practices possible. Indeed, without an educational agenda that promotes political autonomy through restructuring operational relationships in schools and developing student discernment of the exercise of power in issues around culture, multicultural education may simply replicate and reinforce asymmetric power relations (see Troyna & Carrington, 1989, p. 206). "And," she said looking at her friend/'you're a half-cast, aren't you? That must be awful." 2 9 Multicultural education should be the locale for engaging, however briefly, in the lifelong processes of reconciling self and other, and private and public realities. It is not about the repression of the instincts to communicate, and to seek continuity. But it should establish a sense of safety; that in creating something of meaning to self and other, we establish boundaries between our private and public worlds; accepting that there will be gaps between self and other; accepting a sense, however provisional, of self containment. These spaces and places, though, are transitional. We are able, as Jane Flax (1993) describes, to "play with, tolerate, appreciate, or imagine ways to remake the variety 2 8 Caregiver talk. 2 9 Student talk. 53 of relations, authority and rules we find present in the external world" (p. 125). Without neglecting senses of place and responsibility for the individual, we learn to live with public and private ambiguity. We see culture in the context of all human relations; of first relationships between baby and mother; of later relationships towards and through adulthood; of intimacy with land, sky, water; of integrity with the natural order (see Walker, 1987). We then construct culture to transform identity from object to process. And once understood as process, fluidity and multiplicity in culture becomes a way in which we manage being both private and public creatures; solitary yet related. He says we're all in this together, we know together. That's how come we don't need to understand every word.3^ 2. From and through bicultural education to multicultural education While the need for constructs of culture depends in part on private dimensions of experience, political constructs of culture can only be enacted in public, relational spaces. In such spaces we connect culture with citizenship and nation. And that is why I, from where I stand, must challenge the assumption that multicultural education is the appropriate educational tool for living with cultural diversity. Emphasis upon 'multi-' in the teaching of culture is distracting. The profundity of relationships to the land in which education occurs requires an emphasis upon bicultural education when teaching culture. To think of bicultural education is to think about beginnings, origins, honor. In every nation there will be a people who are aboriginal, the first people of that land. In every nation there will be people who came later. Never mind how many peoples make up the group of those who followed; the relationship is primarily between two groups: the first people of the 3 0 Student talk. 54 land, and those who came later. The relationship between citizens is bicultural. 3 1 "What about the moriori?" he s a i d . 3 2 To teach bicultural education is to recognise an equitable partnership between the two groups. There is an epistemological shift away from minority status and dominant power relations. Instead we have tangata whenua and manuhiri. The significance of this bicultural relationship is embedded in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The ideal would be for each group arriving in Aotearoa New Zealand to negotiate its primary relationship with the tangata whenua. In Aotearoa New Zealand this relationship has been formally constituted by the Treaty of Waitangi.33 Through a failure to honor the Treaty, groups following after the British colonialists have thought their primary relationship has been with Pakeha. They have negotiated accordingly, reducing Maori to minority status. The authentic bicultural model would maintain inter-group contact while requiring each group to affirm and negotiate a primary relationship with the indigenous people of the land. " W h y do I teach Taha Maori? Because I have to, the law says, curriculum says and the Treaty. Besides it's part of being here. Isn't i t . " 3 4 In this authentic bicultural relationship, manuhiri are acknowledged, along with the 'Pakeha' expanding to include all those non-Maori (whether British or not) who 3 11 am careful here to use the word 'citizen', being cognisant of those groups who reject outright, constructs of nation that have arisen from those who arrived later and not from those who are the first people of the land. For these people my own emphasis upon bicultural education is also misplaced and assumes an acceptance of those who arrived later. More appropriate wou ld be a monocultural perspective: one in which cultures are conceptualised as separate spheres, autonomous and incommensurable wi th other cultures. Without wishing to enter upon, or appear to reject outright, arguments of sovereignty, I do declare my own perspective that no one person is the bearer of any single, coherent culture. Today we live in a land, we live under the influence of each others' cultures. Political redress for historical wrongdoings is totally appropriate. For now though, my use of 'citizen' is to suggest the current position of those l iv ing in a shared geographical space, however temporary, wrong or repugnant that may seem to be. 3 2 Caregiver talk. 3 3 The Treaty of Waitangi was signed M a o r i and Pakeha representatives in 1840. It enshrined a relationship between the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa and Pakeha. According to the treaty negotiations the British C r o w n was granted kawanatanga, governorship, of their own people's affairs and lands. The indigenous people retained tino rangatiratanga, sovereignty, over Aotearoa, the recognition of hapu as mana whenua, and retention of the hapu right to determine their own affairs according to tikanga. Al though recognition of the Treaty is one of the principles of the NZCF, the record of history shows that the Treaty has not been honored. 3 4 Teacher talk. 55 identify Aotearoa New Zealand as their 'place to stand'. And rather than a multicultural emphasis which merely masks a Pakeha hegemony to maintain monocultural dominance in New Zealand (Walker 1987), the completing of and completed bicultural negotiations become the primary focus in the teaching of culture. It is upon this network of bicultural relations that multicultural education would rest. My declaration, as one who teaches, of the primacy of bicultural relations does not necessarily mean it becomes the sole focus in the teaching of culture. The idea of bicultural education will not in and of itself create an adequate network of relations, nor compensate for its absence. And so any emphasis upon bicultural education will require complementary emphases upon multicultural and monocultural education. Developing responses to these latter two forms of education is a critical aspect of bicultural education. Indeed, such responses should contribute significantly to the constitution of bicultural education. 3. Bicultural education as Education-In-Place "I'm not against Maori things," he said. "Some of my best friends are Maori. I just want balance. "35 The teaching of bicultural education does take place within a community. The teacher is part of a community that can take responsibility for the forces by which people exist individually and collectively. To have and sustain that collective responsibility the following conditions need to be present: • individuals desirous of bicultural interconnectedness and dependence; • open discourse that is accepting of spaces of cultural transition; • a sense of mutual benefit and cultural equity arising from bicultural education; Caregiver talk. 56 • a conceptualisation of cultures as both separate and capable of absorbing ideas and people from 'outside'; • connections between bicultural discourse, empathy, resourcing and educational outcomes. In bicultural education a transitional zone exists for the purpose of communication. Here are established the norms, rules and practices for collective bicultural discourse and action. These are f lu id , being open to renegotiation, yet expressive of elements of any particular group's patterns of discourse. The power of the bicultural discourse resides w i t h the collective agreement to honor these norms, rules and practices; an agreement reinforced by the reassurance of the presence of the conditions of collective responsibility. "So his mother said he wasn't to do Taha Maori. He can't read, so why do Taha Maori?" 3 6 The ideological shift from mult i - to bicultural education ensures that the teaching of culture is genuinely situated within a public arena that is shared wi th others. We see the limits of our wants i n the light of a mutual responsibility for understanding and negotiating the bicultural character of a nation. There are joint and separate practices; protective and collective spaces. In my place-on-earth, I move my feet upon this land and know that if the teaching of culture is to be responsible, meaningful, then I must honor the contexts of action and power in the place, the land of learning. Bicultural understandings of culture must take priority. My land inspires the will to stand strong before monocultural decisions and practices disguised as multicultural pedagogy. My focus turns instead to the ideas and ways of a nation living within bicultural relations of power, community, justice and action. 3 6 Teacher talk. 57 Epistemological sketches: Reviewing the teaching of culture Both our capacity to teach culture and our need for constructs of culture arise from lifelong processes of reconciling community with individuality. Through these processes we create transitional forms of meaning that not only bridge gaps between you and me, but clarify points, however provisional, of boundary. And still culture remains as process; not fixed, not predetermined: constructed by individuals, expressive of interplay between individual subjectivities and collective objectivities. It is all too apparent that any claim to a comprehensive understanding of what it might mean to teach culture seems more likely to invite blind naivety than to advance the possibility of genuine cultural equity. "You don't, I still don't see a Pakeha child go up to an Asian child and say, 'Hey, will you be my buddy in P£?'"37 Yet even with fragile understandings of culture, the design or engagement of teaching culture presents the opportunity for exploring modes of relatedness with others.38 I learn that you and I relate through particular historical contexts, contexts which show us that in culture we respond to political, economic, environmental and cross-cultural social relations. With this understanding we have the opportunity to create a transitional space that has meaning and purpose both for me, you and I, and for others. There in that space resides a moral force of mutual implication in one another's lives (Sharp, 1995, p. 125). Without assuming attachment to land and peoples of the land, we are morally obliged to treat all people as human beings. And when attached to a land, the 'moral force' has a locus of concern. Location reveals differences due to geographical location, culture and belief; that is, the particular obligations and responsibilities inherent in respecting persons of a particular land as human beings, as individual selves, as persons of social groups that bear cultures of that land. These are obligations which recognise 3 7 Teacher talk. 3 8 Jane Flax (1993) first described modes of relatedness in her analysis of the play of justice (p. 122). 58 the primary cross-cultural relationship as being between the first people of the land and those who followed later: bicultural negotiations are the foundation for multicultural relations. I know though that it would be immoral for teachers of culture to solely emphasize bicultural perspectives. To ignore multicultural aspects of society is to lay aside the imperative to learn to live together, to remember and honor obligations to each other. These are ideals of both bicultural and multicultural social relations. To unduly emphasize bicultural education would be a denial of multiplicity, a reluctance to reconcile or tolerate multiple differences without feeling a need to annihilate them. Principles of cultural equity teach me to generate processes whereby I can live without fearing multiplicity. It would be an evil to attempt to collapse my world of multiplicities into either monocultural, or bicultural understandings only. Equally so, it would be iniquitous to trivialise in any way the profundity and particularities of genuine bicultural relations. "I don't know whether it breaks down barriers or not when they go to Maori lessons, or what's achieved. I suppose it does to an extent, if it's a voluntary thing."39 I have, as one who teaches, a responsibility to locate myself as a constructor of claims to knowledge and truth; I work alongside frameworks of curriculum. Whether in the guise of freedom or oppression, claims to truth and knowledge reside in a desire for power: the opportunity to have greater control over one's environment (Flax, 1993, p. 145). For this reason, any hint of the teaching of culture being an innocent pursuit of good should be met with caution. We function in a terrain of morality and knowledge which is appropriate to its unique domain (Flax, 1993, p. 146). And our own interests in its maintenance. We look and listen for ways to mediate between power and right relationships. Caregiver talk. 59 A discerning approach to the teaching of culture is not a rejection of that endeavour. M y anxieties about its content, process and purpose represent an attempt to make sense of the complexities and nuances of forms of culture education. I see this as a political matter; one i n which claims to doing good should be carefully examined alongside illusions of innocence. A s we approach our community, we pause and remember those who teach within community; the ones who have opened light for many. We acknowledge the heartfelt hopes of the teacher of culture. Together we realise that our need in curriculum is for insight and bonds that take us beyond woven baskets and food dishes. A t its best, the teaching of culture provides the opportunity to take the responsibility to situate ourselves within changing and imperfect contexts, to acknowledge our individual and community differences; those differentials which exist within the geographies, genealogies and cultures of identity. We become bound together because of land; the history, or essential human relatedness, our distinct claims to belong. A n d as teachers we become involved through understandings of culture wi th the noble exploration of contradictory possibilities: conflicting claims and limits that stand alongside our very human capacity to engage in discourse, to empathise and to appreciate each other. We are in-deed human. We teach, we learn, together, through our instinctual response to the quest for a sense of belonging in the world . "It's like, it doesn't mean anything if you haven't got it like inside you."4^ Former Intermediate School student. PART TWO Of Community 61 Embrace. Me. Know that I have a pulse. We breathe, closely. Intimate even before we know each other. And welcome. Welcome to my home. You are no longer an outsider. You are amongst us now. Bring what you have and meld. You are just in time. See? Many are gathering, some will speak, some will not. But all are present. As you are also. These will be our conversations for being related. And this will be a unique gathering: you, me, us, here at this time. But it will disperse eventually, each returning to their own homes, their own gatherings, their own conversations. And they too will disperse, eventually. I'm glad you have come to my home because, you see, here in my home the way I live makes sense. My rituals, my quirks, they are all precious. Take them away from here and the way they are honored, or not, may change. Here I can explain how, all things being equal, some may be at some times more equal than others. Yet I am Learner also: both teacher and learner. I observe, I explain, but I must also listen, genuinely listen and be ready to change. And you, you the one who holds my lines, you too must be responsible. If I held you, if I was right there sharing your breath, you'd believe my intentions, you'd feel. Then believe me, feel the sharing of breath in these words. I do, Line Holder, expect you to listen, genuinely listen. That means thought. And vision. It means an intent to act. If this is not to be then stop reading now. I shan't waste my breath. 62 Chapter Four Conversations For Being Related Breaking light upon the depths of the unspoken So I become the story maker. Within community. In place. I am carried, as Nanny says, by the experience of the people; those who have been present in some way in my living. Some I have met, some I have not. These are the ones of the Earth and on the Earth who urge me, through understanding culture, to wonder upon what it means to belong. But let me say again: this is not a fairy tale, I tell you. Let us honor the voices of those who present their past to us. With faith. In faith. Their tales evoke feelings of the nearness of truth. Empathy. Collections, maybe treasures, re-collected as we listen. Passages of time and experience, passed on. Perhaps they did happen. And if they did not? Understandings of who we are and how it is that we wish to present ourselves to the young of our communities are encapsulated in curriculum. It is the very stuff of culture as lived and envisaged. Through the collection of accounts of understandings of culture, a space is created in which voices of curriculum, the experiences of living and shaping communities, might be heard. This sharing and hearing is engagement in relationships with others and the world. Phrases from the private, giving voice to the worldliness of curriculum. And so I engage now with those voices of community, people I have met with, talked with and now represent to you. I seek to honor their embrace. It could be that my task is to recite that which has been shared from the place at which it was shared. But my intentions are to go further than affirming previously 63 unheard voices. Such a gesture would achieve little more than a case study of presence and absence. And so I seek out many versions, many forms of understandings of culture, a quest that is apparent in the ways I have sought and incorporated the voices of school community members. Seeking out community voices41 For some time I tried to reside within a school community. Over a period of seven months I recorded conversations with forty one members of the Intermediate School community, meeting with students (10-12 years old), parents and caregivers, teachers, the school principal, ancillary staff, community members, male and female, and members of a variety of ethnic groups. I also took part in staff gatherings, lessons, lunch duty, school related community activities, meetings and a plethora of incidental events that make up term life in a school. I felt honored by the willingness of staff, parents and students to accommodate my presence and demands. Some parts of some of the recorded conversations are cited in my text. I undertook conversations because they were an interactive mode of talk. It was my hope to reduce distance between narrator and scribe (see Peterat, 1983, in Khamasi, 1997, p.24), to allow for differences between and within understandings of culture, and to join with the narrator in a process of gathering 'lived-experience material' such as stories and recollections of cultural incidents (van Maanen, 1990, p. 64). And although I did not realise it for a while, I think I too wanted to be present. The 4 1 In the same way that I assume a shared understanding of the way I set about reviewing academic texts, I seek here to ensure there is a shared understanding of the way I set about consulting 'life-texts' in a school community. Basic contextual information that the researcher would presume the reader to have is provided in this section. Further information about the general context and method, but not directly connected to those whose scripts are cited, has been appended. Just as a list of references works to indicate the books that have been significant influences upon my writing, so too does the appending of information about Intermediate School and my interaction with its community. 64 conversations involved me in what Gadamer describes as "the art of testing" (Gadamer in van Maanen, 1990) fundamental assumptions about life, ways of knowing, ways of being. I, too, found myself questioning meaning, I too became involved in developing possibilities for my own understandings of culture (Denzin, 1995), I too became related. My talk with the school community members was something other than the recording of case studies. I regard their voices and ideas as sources, stimuli in many ways, for furthering understandings of culture in curriculum. These are the voices of the colleagues of academic texts with which I also 'conversed.' How they have been incorporated into this text reflects my methodological stance. Just as with quotations of academic texts, interview extracts were selected where they were perceived to contribute in some way to the matter under discussion. The voice is not that of an object on display, but rather a stimulus for further thinking. At times I record that new thinking in the text (see, for example, 'Mary'). I have been presumptuous though; presuming that you are involved in interpreting and willingly doing so. In my role as writer then I wish to assist where necessary but not dictate.42 I have followed Cruickshank's (1995) lead and provided basic biographical information which a narrator would expect a listener to have. But that is all. You must dig in the text rather than arrive constrained by the weight of unnecessary detail. And I too am a narrator and therefore I have detailed the issues I had to resolve as the conversations progressed (for example, a review of the use and non-use of the critical incident interview technique). These are matters of context and so they are placed alongside the relevant community member quotations. 4 2 For example, in some cases I have not stipulated the ethnic identity of the narrator because that is made apparent in the text. 65 Incorporating the community voice Interpreting the conversations Within each transcribed conversation I looked for events, ideas, opinions that would reveal that person's understandings of culture. I was looking for ideas that would enable a series of illustrations reflecting this person's and this community's understandings of culture, how they influence ideas of education and how they relate to academic discourse around culture. As in any community, common and unique understandings were present. Yet, themes did emerge. Some were detailed and in narrative form, some appeared vague without a discernible outcome. Yet, they were themes. To me, at least. Look: 'the-mes'. It seems impossible to determine where my influence ends and community voices begin. And pointless. I have a desire to understand culture, a desire to consult widely, a desire to include both academic and community voices and a desire that they should be regarded carefully as equally valid sources. I heard-read themes that assisted me in fulfilling those desires. Themes became 'the-mes' and in the process assisted me towards greater understanding of the relationship between culture and curriculum. Representing community understandings of culture In order to evoke, rather than report, different ways in which community members understand culture I incorporated a variety of styles for representing selections from the conversations. It seemed both risky and natural. And I did have my reasons: • to honestly acknowledge that I can only formulate a reality that is my own; • to utilise research methods concerned with thinking and feeling rather than procedure and behaviour; • to use forms of expression that evoke and show understandings of culture 66 rather than record; • to avoid processes of othering and exoticising the community members • to encourage and respect the autonomy of the reader to reach their own conclusions from the texts; • to avoid assaulting the reader with combative, oppositional forms of writing; • to involve the reader in a process of discovering understandings of culture; • to model respectful, challenging principles of teaching culture. You see, this is all part of the journeying towards understanding, journeying together. I only wish I could hear you speak now. Would you see in my ways that I strive to revere? Would you have sufficient patience to develop understanding rather than demand? And would you gather together the many strands of knowing, not just single threads? I am trying to be honest. The research rituals were not enough to help the conversations and understandings. Honestly, we needed something else. Intentional bias in my methodology The me-ness of curriculum and culture keep jabbing me. On the one hand I can look beyond my own reality and beyond that of one school community. There is to be a linking of words and texts in order that large narratives might be addressed: ethnocentrism, community, 'race', nation, 'belonging'. In short, my respect for community, a particular community, causes me to place the smaller within a global setting; to scrutinise understandings of culture through an intellectual process that links specific historical and cultural situations with a world of texts, critiques; within the contestation for values and forms of interpretation. It reveals my belief that there is great educational good to be gained from interpreting the voices of a few as enlarging and refining grand narratives; I, we, have a concern for resolving questions about the kinds of communities that can be justly created and sustained 67 out of our human diversity. But look and notice: as the world turns I return to me-ness. Except it is me-of-place and not me-alone. The world is not my first concern. As I look at my hand I look down and see the connection. Through the working of my hands I make my written words, words that scribe me across the land that supports my body. They are part of my body, part of the land on which it stands. I am compelled to speak-write out as an advocate of epistemological bias in curriculum. Just as in the teaching of culture so too in curriculum theory and research, a specific cultural perspective, that honors place and the constitutional, national, cultural understandings of equity and justice in that place is appropriate and, what is more, necessary. If curriculum is to have purpose, to be progressive locally and globally, then it needs to be located in place and identity (Freire & Macedo, 1995). This is the difference between curriculum centred upon academic aspirations or upon authentic voice. In seeking the voice of the participants in curriculum, it is essential that place and identity are accorded due regard. We approach each other more closely when you and I are located in place and being. 68 As We Settle Ourselves Before The Reading Of Lines If I was to be honest, my current world of curriculum is truly a world of ideals. I speak theoretically; I utter '-ologies', hypothesize. In my life there is no such thing as a neat compartmentalising off between public and private, between researcher and teacher, then and now, beginning and end; in my nation there is no equitable power base that genuinely honors both signatories of the Treaty of Waitangi, no pleasantries over Pakeha and Maori rights and identities. And so, in these postmodern times and spaces in which we now reside, we, in the absence of authentic self, other, truth or justice, attempt to proffer a response, possibly tinged with a sense of failure, perhaps even a crisis of purpose. We turn to transcendent and postmodern discourses. In these we find voices and voice for theories without limits and responsibilities; ever changing identities, changing 'here', 'there', 'me', 'you'. All life is bracketed into a story; reality is a fiction. And very neatly, we are then able through theory, to sidestep Life. Well, my life is otherwise. I bracket and I line'. Both. It's how I know I exist. Nowadays, that is. I have trouble distinguishing between being one-who-researches and one-who-teaches. It is that line thing again. I , do, both. I am motivated by both. Research and teaching stimulate each other. But I need a line in order to think. Just for a while. So let me lay down a line that is temporary. As I begin to hear-read the words from a community, they speak to me, primarily, as one-who-teaches. As I consider issues relating to the collection and recollection of understandings of culture, I explore, primarily, as one-who-researches. But the line is entirely specious. Usefully emblematic. That's all. I know that what matters to me about representing understandings of culture in research is of import to me in teaching as well. But 69 that's Life. I cannot bracket out one part to focus on the other. I cannot think it through without a line. My roles and ways are untidy. Yet somehow it doesn't seem such a bad thing. There is this sense of stability still. What is that? What voice says that? So away with immutable lines. And away with constraining brackets. Encounters with understandings of culture are to be raw and contradictory, apparent and illusory. This is the endowment, the experience, of Life. Listen closely, though, there is a voice that sounds throughout. 70 THE FIRST INTERCESSION May we-who-research speak of the world through the person-in-place We begin with a single voice yet remember that self coalesces with community, many communities. We encounter something of the world in the voices of the local. And we are urged to listen closely to all soundings (see Said, 1993, p. 312). It is the regard for worldliness that is purported to save the community voice from being merely an informative ethnographic specimen of limited use outside a specialised field. Our perspective is lifted from the brink of regionalism, even narcissism, we regard life dynamics at both the micro (personal) and macro (societal) levels of experience. And we almost have a God's eye view of it all. Except. This idea of worldliness in the voicing of understandings of culture begs the questions: whose perception of the world are we to use; in this 'worldliness,' how shall we regard the place from which we speak? And we gently offer our view of it all: Accept. Accept there is no point on this earth or in the universe from which our world might be objectively interpreted. We speak from and return to Place. The claim to worldliness in itself arises from a particular perspective; it is regional, local, personal and societal, worldly, aspiring to wholeness. Both, and. Not either, or. We never know another country like that in which we spent our early years; early years of intimate memories forever acting like directional forces in a compass. From here, we undertake visions of worldliness. Turn and return, whether privately or publicly, in person or in thought, to places of beginning. 71 I view the world from a place marked by lives past and present, near and distant. In the land of my beginning, Aotearoa New Zealand, Eurocentrism has dominated national development. It has been the yardstick for education knowledge ventures, despite this being the land of Maori and Pakeha. We saw Hebraic ethical rationality and Hellenistic scientific rationality combine in the purging of 'non-rational' modes of thought. We talked of post-colonialism but Pakeha were yet to fully arrive here in this land, yet to come to understand and affirm what it means to live in this part of the world, to be partners with Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi. And still some argue that our nation and Pakeha, in particular, are still too colonial to be post-colonial (Awatere, 1981). Worldliness, in Aotearoa New Zealand, has been Eurocentric in its inception, audience and purpose; part of a missionary-like war that continues purportedly between the prophets and pagans, and is now inextricably bound up with economic and political struggles. But not all non-Maori wish to filter experiences through a European lens. Pakeha living in Aotearoa New Zealand still claim a worldly perspective, but their voice describes the world from this particular place in the South Pacific. It is the voice of a people named by Maori;43 Pakeha as partners in the Treaty of Waitangi, born of and borne by this land; accountable to the peoples of this land, protective of the place of this land; a voice that is both earthed in this land and of this land on earth. Biased but not blinded. When I ask people to describe their understandings of culture I aspire to be able to form both a worldly view and an affirmation of place-in-the-world. I remember the how and where of my beginnings and my daily living. I understand that in research some degree of detachment is claimed; a stance which must necessarily be 'detached' from a particular point of view, one in which selected, privileged, voices Thank-you John Willinsky. 72 will feature. To explore understandings of culture is to disclose links between worldly knowledge, academia and the personal. Through the description of understandings we can approach the theoretical order that bonds society to nature, nature to society, self to many, many to self. In this sense, the theoretical is an integral component of the practice of day-to-day living. Viewing the world through place-in-the-world affords us the opportunity to alert all those involved in the collection and recollection of understandings of culture that there are things of place that we may not like to think about but ought to be remembered, things that we might otherwise help them forget about. 73 Nanny-Nanny is kaumatua at Intermediate School. Professionally and personally I was compelled to meet with her and, as They say, consult. But it wasn't easy to make contact with Nanny. My learning through her began before we talked or met. I had to find her. That meant finding talk-time with others who knew her. And then I wasn't sure whether I should just arrive, if it should be me alone, me in the company of others, what koha to take, when to go. And then what would I say? In the end one of the teachers sent me along with some kids to show me Nanny's house which was down from the school. It still took me several weeks to build up the courage to 'drop by'. They all said to do that, but I found it hard all the same. She was, from the start, very generous and very patient with me. I can see now in looking back on our times together that I did ask and do some culturally clumsy things. But Nanny was kind. On our first meeting she asked very early on, "Well, what is it that you want?" I could hear the expectation that yet again this would be a demand on her, one that she would endeavour to meet. I fumblemumbled some things about culture and school and teaching. Nanny spoke about her vision of language classes being run in the school, after hours, as a way of upskilling parents and community members so that there would be some support for the bilingual tamariki coming through the system. I offered to help. I had skills with accessing community funding, writing applications, Nanny had skills in teaching te reo. And this then turned out to be my koha to her, for now. We did manage to establish language evening classes at the school - funded by the local council, attended by local community members. I would pop around and talk with Nanny every now and then. She wasn't well so I 74 had to be gentle and careful. Sometimes I would just leave food for the family meal, goodies for in-between. Sometimes I would see her, sometimes not. And after about six talk-times at the kitchen table I got up enough courage to ask if she and I could tape one of our conversations. She was a little shy but agreed all the same. A couple of visits later it seemed like the right time to bring out the machine and begin to interview-talk. Nanny told stories, wonderful stories. She was frank and passionate about mana Maori and the care of the tamariki. She still wasn't well and the interview-talk made her cough. But she was kind and generous. In an odd way I became glad of my Samoan heritage. Not because it was a 'ticket' to some deeper research realm, but because I felt this part of me glow (is that too strange to tell?) as Nanny spoke. It was not quite intimacy. Yet it was the opposite of alienation. Is it affiliation? Whanaungatanga? Kindred? I liked it when she told stories that included Polynesian, especially Samoan, people and ways. I liked it too that she looked for humour in her telling. Laughter was an important way of her talking. That and interruptions (not "interruptions", just part of keeping everything whole, avoiding the artificialities of isolation - no matter how quiet it may be). So we tape-talked once, stopping soon after her brother and family dropped by for cuppateaandkai. We talked and ate together several times after that. And when it came time for me to leave Aotearoa New Zealand, Nanny prepared the way for me through blessing taonga, giving me a koha (why oh why hadn't I thought to do that for her?) and praying with me. Her koha are here now as I look up from my typing. I accept and acknowledge Nanny's assistance in exploring understandings of culture. I try to honor her awhi and aroha. For this reason, Nanny's contributions are cited in the same way as other sources. Relevant extracts from our recorded conversation in August 1996 have been footnoted because they cannot be sourced 75 elsewhere. In adopting this format I seek to avoid exoticising or marginalising Nanny. It may be that Nanny herself would have preferred it otherwise. I do not know. The decision is mine and it is based upon a desire to respect Nanny. I remember my own repugnance at being treated as a sample, or worse, being presumed to be a spokesperson for all. This is a way of trying to learn from those experiences. I acknowledge Nanny's generous spirit, I am grateful for the koha of words. I guess this shall be part of my koha. 76 To Climb For The Teacher Of Culture 4 4 Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That the generalising of understandings of culture should reflect the local context. Soundings: Community voice focus That equity in education will require a clearer distinction between Maori and Pakeha cultures, within structures of interdependence. Towards a resolution: Rationale of form of textual representation In the style of academic prose, this intercession models community and academic discourses informing each other; incorporating the indigenous voice without exoticising or marginalising i t . 4 5 So simple. Deceptively so. A ladder. Tikanga Maori on one side, tikanga Pakeha on the other; steps of dialogue, interchange, exchange in between. I first encountered this analogy through my teacher Rose Parker, during graduate studies in 1989. This was a Maori perspective, her envisioning, of the philosophy and organisation of learning in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kia ora Rose. Your words still bug me and stir me as I look, years later now, at understandings of culture. I have mustered as much worldliness as I can, as much integrity, as much intent for pragmatics in all this talk of principles; but I remain caught within a congeries of understandings. So I wonder how it could be that I should choose to give a portion of my quota of heartbeats, memory, breath to this task, when in the end I seem to remain clogged and bogged in a mire of theory, ideology, critique and now voices. I, 4 4 As stated in Chapter 2, each of the Intercessions includes an 'aside' for the teacher of culture. Details are provided of the particular research and curriculum, community voice, and textual representation focus issues addressed in that section. The pragmatic intent of each intercession is encapsulated in the 'asides' by posing dilemmas faced by the teacher of culture and then modeling possible responses based upon the amalgamation of academic and community understandings of culture. 4 5 Extracts from a recorded conversation between Nanny and myself have been included in this Intercession, with the abbreviations 'N' and 'A' used to indicate each speaker. 77 in exploring the understandings held by others, have in effect been exploring both my own individual condition and my social condition. Despite the entanglements I still find a sense of hope, not because there is an apparent, concrete conclusion to be made, but because there is not an apparent, concrete conclusion. Now when I recall Kant's investigation of morals, I am excited: AH that we may hope in the end to comprehend of our own condition are the parameters of its own incomprehensibility (Kant, in Denzin, 1989). My excitement is a direct outcome of seeing diversity as a human, necessary, positive dimension of self and scholarly reflection. My own condition as a social creature of this land is incomprehensible because of a dialectic that exists in the relationship between culture and curriculum. This does not mean then that there should be a slide into indifference, but rather, a positive willingness to encourage thought and inquiry. I seek out that morally defensible vision of social good, seek that it might be bolstered through the very processes of review, broad consultation and reflection upon understandings of culture. Where there is a healthy, normal interplay of forces, combined with politically strategic coalitions between self and other, we can drive towards social change. Without such interchange, even confrontation, curriculum and the discourse of culture within it, is reduced to a monologue (Beatson, 1989, p. iii). Incomprehensible, yes, in part only though. For now. For me, one of my land, understandings of culture work to embody the worldliness of curriculum theory in particulars of policy and practice. There is an educational plan and process of action to address the nature and context of life in Aotearoa New Zealand, there is an appeal to principles of national identity, principled concern for bicultural relations. For my nation, the one of my birth, identity, both private and 78 public, is foundered on a history that was previously a matter of choice for Pakeha, yet fundamental for Maori. Before agreement can be reached on what Aotearoa New Zealand identity is made of, there must be recognition that an immigrant settler society superimposed itself on a considerable aboriginal presence, anticipating annihilation of that presence. Education played a crucial role in the imperial imposition and colonialism.46 Yet the Maori spectre has remained (Nanny, 1996): I as educator must understand culture as binding me to a relationship between aboriginal and newcomer that is embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi. New Zealand is in-deed Aotearoa New Zealand, bicultural; in power distribution and the socio-cultural experience of education, it is not. The analysis of understandings of culture raises questions relating to the historical and modern purpose of schooling, indigeniety, and the role that Democracy should play in reconceptualising the purpose of learning in a particular nation. My reflections, then, upon my place in my land are actually concerned with interdependence. This isn't about me alone, it's about you and me. And you. And you and you. So, contrary to the scholarly mode of self-reflection, I am led to hesitate over scribing the T (Nanny, 1996) 4 7 And while the presence of more than one in this place may well lead me to construe this to mean our wills operating in opposition to each other, I could also, in the name of positive social growth, proceed from a presumption of an existing tie that binds you and I together. Even if I choose not to conform, I do so on the basis of social concerns, as a response to the social. 4 6 Commentators on postcolonialism in education have contended that this role needs an ongoing critique based on the assumption of continuous engagement with the effects of colonial occupation. In this sense the 'post' of postcolonial does not mean 'after'. Not yet (see Spoonley, 1995, p. 97). 4 7 Thank-you Nanny: A .... Is that part of ... the T, T person? N Yeah A They talk about what I have done N That's it A when really it's about N what we did, we all did. You know, because I couldn't do, I couldn't sit here and talk if I didn't have the experience of the people. So it's not an T thing, it's a 'we' thing. 79 The interconnectedness and reciprocity within it remain constant. There's a relatedness, not relation by blood, but relation by mutuality. This is the relatedness inherent in Aotearoa New Zealand. Relatedness may be represented symbolically in terms or conceptions such as 'culture', but ultimately the relationship is one of actions and reactions in which things and ways are modified. And that's the space of incomprehensibility; where the dynamic exists, but not the resolution. If I describe a curriculum that is broadly principled according to moral understandings present in culture, then I describe how visions of Right, duty, respect, arise from relations one with another. They gain authority because they express a relation that binds people together.48 In my 4 8 A One of the things that happens at a school I know is that when people learn about the Treaty, tikanga Maori, and learn about their own culture and such, the Pakeha go into one group and the Maori go into another group for that learning and the Pakeha learn together N So therefore there's no debate. If Pakeha go over here, Maori go over here, there's no debate. If the korero was on the Treaty A Yeah N there's no debate. There's only one whakaaro. A Well, yeah N There's only one thought. Pakeha thought here, Maori thought here. A Yeah but the N So where's the good to come out of it? A Wanting to stop Pakeha making people tired, Maori, you know, feeding off Maori ideas again. N Yeah but um this is the difference I think between our cultures, A Yeah? N is that the Maori can handle that. They can handle that. Whether they get ridiculed or whatever, the Maori can handle it because they can always retaliate with their knowledge and and I just feel that, oh, that shouldn't happen anyway. If you're in the one class, the best debate to have is have a Maori there to really wero, eh? To wero a Pakeha, oh to jab at a Pakeha or throw, throw some sparks into the fire, or out of the fire, into the crowd, make them jump and realise that um they need to research it more. A Mmm. N But um, to talk about a Maori kaupapa with only Pakeha people there, I don't think that's right. I don't anyway. Aue. D [another adult who joined the conversation at a later stage] Perhaps if they do come together eventually, it might be able to free up the talk on both sides, in discussions without ah being challenged. And perhaps then come together. But ah yeah I think that's fine really to get together on issues... A Which is what, which is what the whole thesis, my research is about: How do we come together? And that's why having your ideas, other people's ideas is so important: how should we come together? N Well perhaps it's understanding. A Mmm. N Understanding and respect for one another. 80 land and my view, there can, then, be a sense of Pakeha interests coinciding with, yet in many ways distinct from, those of tangata whenua. However, there is ambiguity in appeals to social cohesion and community. The necessary unity of purpose may not always be achievable through unity in process. Indeed, separation within the community in general and education in particular, may be needed.49 This would be a moral response to social, cultural, educational and economic matters of that community's particular time, people and place; concerned with distinguishing between right and wrong; concerned with overthrowing principles of social practice which ensure the rise of one sector upon the ruins of another.50 Yet the claim to separate cultural space for action in education still concurs with notions of community (particularly, nation) when it contributes to the better welfare of all. Such a claim to space is not based upon universal abstracts. It emerges from within, and is specific to, a particular nation's diversity and its curricular vision of justly created and sustained communities within nation.51 4 9 Nanny explains such a need with regards to language education: N I don't go along that um how can I put that without sounding pompous? I don't think a Pakeha, oh there's no other way, I don't think a Pakeha should be teaching our language. I don't. Unless um, if I heard them and they can talk to me without 'nay-ee' when it's supposed to be 'ney-ee'; or 'nay' when it's supposed to be 'ne'. But even then I'd find it hard to accept a Pakeha teaching our language because I know there are Maori that will teach if they're just given a chance. See, I've had no experience really of being a teacher for te reo. I only give out what I know A So when I'm teaching in the classroom, as a Pakeha teaching, do you think it's a good idea that I use te reo as part of my teaching? You know, like for "E noho" ,"E tu"? N Yes, well, you know, um yeah those sort of words. But as far as conversation... Listening to me saying that I wouldn't like a Pakeha to teach my language, well that's disrespectful, for some Pakehas who have. But that's my language. And the English is taught to us by the English, by the Pakeha people. And I just and I'm quite adamant with that, that no Pakeha should teach Maori language. I'm really thing with that. D Not today anyway. N No D Once upon a time we relied on them. But not today. You know, we've got enough people through our educational system and there's people out there that don't need the ticket to go teach. Yeah. A Mmm,mmm. D Once upon a time of course. 5 0 This is a paraphrase of W.E.B. DuBois's 1890 speech at Harvard where he challenged ideas of individualism and nation (cited in C. Haddock Seigfried, 1996, p. 233). 5 1 Snook (1995) makes a similar observation in considering the interaction of democracy and education. He argues that due to the particular form of bicultural partnership between Maori and Pakeha, 81 And then the ambiguity continues: one group might, through separate education, contribute good to all, but the possibilities of that good may be thwarted by another group's inability to act upon or even perceive that good.52 There is a clash between individual virtues and those that foster solidarity, between traditional criteria for determining nation and a reinterpretation that alters notions of social morality. Some sense of all groups being part of a combined social effort (rather than allegiance to personal morality) is necessary if this ambiguity is to be resolved. Alongside this sense must be an acceptance of genuine partnership within cultural diversity. This claim to separate education may not be entirely selfish, but simply indicative of the way in which cultural identity when in-institution is preserved through continuous reconstructive processes, processes in which we all bear some responsibility and interest. In Aotearoa New Zealand the complexity of understandings of culture requires context specific responses. One conceptualisation of education in Aotearoa New Zealand is ladder-like, a seemingly simple, uncomplicated structure, with Maori and Pakeha dimensions bridged by steps of interaction, dialogue, negotiation. Integration and assimilation do not configure in this concept, but dialogue, compassion and "kindness" do feature. Culture is expressed in "logical" ways, ways that speak of dignity and respect for fellow humans being, but in that harmony the sovereignty of each person and each cultural group is to be maintained.53 In spaces democratic principles emanating from Western liberal traditions and therefore peculiar to one side of the partnership, are not applicable in the resolution of issues of equity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Recourse to such principles is unfair to both Maori and Pakeha, their needs and aspirations. 5 2 This becomes apparent when Nanny responds to a monetary koha given to her following talking with a Pakeha professional group about Maori issues within that profession: N But the thing is they, you know, they think money is, oh you know, is the thing of everything. I mean, it's a great help to have this money, but um at the end of the day I would like to hear them say, " Right we'll teach it this way." Or, "Well, we'll try and have this respect that you're talking about." 53 N I think there could be a start to going back to being culture aware, culturally aware, of things ah that are um are logical; not so much um like Maori culture; some things that are logical. Like um the hongi and the ruru... It doesn't matter if you're only a day away from one another, 82 where there is dialogue between Maori and Pakeha, a bicultural culture, that of Aotearoa New Zealand can be anticipated to function. At times it will be dominated by tikanga Maori, at others tikanga Pakeha; at all times by a cross-cultural conversation. And kindness and harmony would seem then to be the order of the day. But that would be naive of me, given the way people, rather than constructs, operate (Nanny, 1996).54 It would seem that for a positive conceptualisation of culture in curriculum to happen, three elements which are specific to identity in Aotearoa New Zealand, should be present: the ability to understand culture as historical, social, individual and valuable; a willingness to be ignorant, to seek out ignorance and learn from relating to the horizons of 'other'; an acceptance and professional recognition of the processes, and responsibilities of the substance, not the shadow, of self-governance for both self and other. It is in this way that understandings of culture might operate to collect peoples and the perceptions they live by. As one-who-teaches, I do want to look honestly at myself as Pakeha and my heritage when we see one another, we still awhi and you know hug and kiss one another.... And those are the sorts of things we have to learn about culture: how to be made culturally aware. Because when that happens, um like even if they didn't hongi when we go to a marae, they've got to at least touch, with their faces. I've been to a lot of um Samoan tangi and I mean they need to go there and learn about what it is to give. You know, whether they've got nothing or not, you always end, you go there with something, you end up coming back with something more. And and that's the same with Maori. You know, if there's anything left after hui, it gets divvied out to everybody. So that it doesn't go to waste. So it sounds like Pakeha have got things to learn. Oh hell yeah. Oh yeah, to be, well to be kind I suppose. Kind and um and not to embarrass people being kind. You know, in being kind I don't want to embarrass the people that they're being kind to. Because sometimes that happens. Like if they um if they know a whanau hasn't got, say, bread and butter, they'll take the bread and the butter to the family and go down the road and say um, 'Oh yes, we had to take some bread and butter to that family.' You know, and that's that's being kind and yet being cruel. And I know there's a saying, 'You've got to be cruel to be kind,' but that doesn't hit on that area. And I just feel that um, you know, these are the things we need to learn: just be kind to one another and and everything just fits into place. And I suppose it'll never be, 'cause we've always gotta have that um, because we're human, ah we're human, we've always got to have that person at the back poking and putting somebody down. That'll always happen. But at least on the whole in front of people they can be kind. But underneath they can be what they want.... 83 as a descendant of those who may have crossed the seas to be in and of another land. I find that even though I better understand how to earth curriculum and culture in the context of this land of mine, I still cannot define culture or determine, finally, the educational worth of the cultural components of curriculum. What I can do is identify relationships between them and between you and I. What is more, I can move forward with some confidence simply because we talk, we listen, we are in conversation. I move freely because I am more aware of my obligations and responsibilities. I am simply one part of the changing educational horizon, that fluxing continuum between theory and practice. I am distinct from, yet dependent upon, the understandings and practices of others. I seek out and await engagement with others as they too review and enact understandings of culture in curriculum. I have approached Rose's ladder, tested my weight upon it. I climb on, then wait, look around and look at myself, affirm my hope and address my ignorance. And I begin to understand the necessary incomprehensibility of it all: And a sky stayed blue. And that cloud formation had changed shape - Oh, but only if you're looking for that sorta thing (Duff, 1990, p. 192). 84 Nanny: Afterwordsthoughts So what is to be the scope of Nanny's talk-now-scribed? Is she to speak of and to nation; of and to the world? Is she to become 'NANNY' - representative of 'Other'; no longer Nanny? As with the representation of any narrative there are dilemmas: what is spoken, heard, written is not necessarily authentically re-communicated. And the voice-now-text becomes text-as-read, becomes reading-now-resource. We who teach culture mediate and engineer as we read. I, the reader, of my place; you, the reader of your place. Culture then becomes a discourse that permits distance between text and life. But ultimately these matters are very real. They are not discourse, they are everyday experiences. This has the makings of the 'anti-thesis'. Understandings of culture are, Nanny says, about people, their present-every-day understandings and ways: N It was just an everyday life thing. It wasn't 'culture' because we were all aware of it; that we didn't um we didn't comb anywhere near the table, we didn't comb anybody's hair near the table. And we um, you know, and the women, and the girls, they knew if the boys were lying down on the field there was no way (if we weren't playing sports this is), that we'd jump over the men to get over to lie by our mates. I mean that was just a known thing. A But that was with Maori and Pakeha. N Mmm, A Everybody knew that N yes A and everybody followed that N Everybody everybody just did A kaupapa? N Ae. 85 How this voice-now-text is interpreted into classroom practices declares something about the reader's perception of the purpose of education within place and people. This is a declaration of the lifeways of those who review curriculum-in-and-of-place. Read 'people', read 'place' where you read 'culture'. And read on, make meaning. The text of understandings of culture never could, nor should, be read as a comprehensive definition by words of people. Comprehension lies in the eye of the beholder; as does the responsibility to respect the narrator. 86 THE SECOND INTERCESSION May we-who-research be respectful of the many ways of knowing & understanding Voiced understandings of culture resonate with the moment, people and place past; the moment, people and place present. Meaningful particularities. And as I speak, understand that it is the sharing of memory; my ways of remembering. Yet still, it is A Memory which I now tell you. Contact with the present is required if it is to exist. Past implies Present. Present implies Past. So I place this memory, vibrating with life past, before you in the present. My memories, my ways of remembering, are retained moments awaiting release. As they fly, Memory enters the present to face either destruction in a trap of non-recognition, or illumination in a shaft of light afforded by due regard. Understandings of culture localise theories, curriculum, memories within life communities; the locale and embodiment of experiences of culture. To ask people to describe their understandings of culture is not a practice of collecting static icons, hanging like museum pieces, separated from context. Nor is it the interruption of the constant flow of history. Yes, understanding is random and expansive in its formation and release, but its meaning is situated in the current interactions and particularities of people, time and place. This contextualisation redefines meaning. Thinking back is part of the dynamic of understanding, one in which the belief exists that experience can and should have a positive impact upon the social world, 8Z and therefore, can and should reflect both the social world from which it arises and its current context. At one level then, the description of understanding is historical, at another, political, at another, intensely personal, and yet another, it is pedagogical in its involvement in research in general and education in particular. Fusion between these levels occurs. And ultimately, this research practice offers an alternative to those research practices which ignore me and therefore tell me I am nobody. Yet I persist with the belief that the perspectives, many ways of knowing, desires and dreams of groups and individuals should inform the enterprise of curriculum research. This is a commitment, assumed or otherwise, to attempt to study the world with and through the perspective of the interacting individual. Both the public and the private understandings tell us about the experience of living and learning. They offer perspectives of common pasts; perspectives that run ahead of experience, guiding future action; perspectives that tell us about individuality and collectivity. Yet understandings also flow from experience, joining the process of change, finding expression in many forms. Moving before and moving with; these narratives pass through what has happened to hint at what is to come; for one and many. I persist too because of the potential profundity of the sharing of understandings of culture. The shadow of essence passing near. Narratives arising from understandings of culture and conveyed through generations can encapsulate perceptions of essential identity. So I seek to honor the idea and practice of much learning being communicated through the spoken aloud understandings. There will be times when the voice reveals and entrusts treasures, times when my own ways of knowing leave me unaware of what has been conveyed. From you and me, to you and me, the sharing of understanding becomes a rite of passage for speaker 88 and listener. And the depth of the unspoken is shown only briefly, as if in broken light. As we listen we catch glimpses of images of life, knowledge. But we are being watched. We must show that we have indeed heard what has already been said. 89 Towards understanding: Stories told without words55 If the purpose of language is to communicate then I may not need your language in order for you and I to understand. Some conversations happen without words. Sometimes speech seems to fall away completely. It is then that we enter the storytelling that began long ago. 5 5 Bruner (1996) suggests that the use of story provides us with the chance to look afresh at what before we took for granted. It affords perspective on past, present and future life ways (p. 139). Although it may be possible to communicate similar information in a less prosaic manner, the shaping of the text can encourage an engagement of the emotion as well as cognition (see Calhoun, 1996). With this intent then to engage the reader fully in the exploration of what it means to teach culture, I tell a story of voices. 90 James When I met with James, a student at Intermediate School, I was reminded that the presence of cultural and linguistic diversity should not result in languages being perceived as separate, self-contained systems (Metge, 1993. p. 50). Rather, there should be a less divisive emphasis that focuses upon the unifying force of the human capacity for language, along with a consideration for non-verbal forms of communication and its relation to verbal forms; and the ways in which language is a key symbol and symbol carrier of culture. In addition, James rejected the need for individual knowledge of language because "we are all together" in the knowing. As we shall see, he highlights the way in which culture binds through the construction of a social mind; children can, as Banks (1996) points out, distinguish between their personal and group identities (p. 14). The shared responsibility for knowing epitomises Malcolm's (1995) idea of variety in forms of thinking, something Wittgenstein had identified as the joining together of "expressions of life" (p. 5). Thus, translation is not always necessary when there is a sense of solidarity and trust. Furthermore, 'language' embraces words and understandings, and not just script. In moving towards the language one may glean understanding of culture through nga tikanga as well as te reo (see Tihe Mauri Oral 1993, p. 14). If Bruner (1996) is right then the understanding of a concept such as 'culture' will consist in grasping general structures of knowledge, broader principles, that can render its particulars more self-evident. This is exactly what happened when James listened to te reo: A Some of the story and some of your group's performance was done in Maori, I don't know if you understood every word that was being spoken. You're shaking your head. B No 91 A I didn't either. Was that important to translate every word? B I don't think it was because you got the basic story line there, so no I don't think it was that important to know what every single word meant, because it would be a bit hard to learn but if you've got the basic story line . A Then how did it feel for you when karakia was being said or the waiata or the karanga? Start with the karakia, how did you feel in those times? B When she was calling? A When people were praying in Maori. B Yeah, um, it was quite, it sounds good, it sounds good, and um, its a nice language, you know, I just liked being able to sort of think what it meant, but um not really knowing that it's our group that's doing this and saying those, and someone in our group is actually doing that part. A It's a way then of the group being together. B Yeah, someone in our group was actually saying that, so they know what it is, and um, and they could always share it around, they know it and they're part of the group, so we sort of basically all know it, I think because we are all together. I did find James's wisdom nigh on epiphanal. James made me more confident of my own experiences and Calder's (1993) analysis of "extralinguistic" realities in language (p. 97). And James made me hopeful. I liked the idea that there were students coming through who were the ones not-of-the-Enlightenment, as Rorty calls them (1991, p. 21). These are the ones for whom truth is something to be pursued because it will be good for oneself, one's community, and not as something pursued for its own sake. This is the making sense of life through solidarity rather than solitary objectivity. This is one of Fine's (1994) "rupturing narratives" (p. 78), one that allows us to hear, albeit unconsciously, the voices of informants who speak out in and that speaking create a change towards equitable relations. This is also the very stuff of stories. 92 The story that follows, "The Singing Voices", is an allegorical account of linguistic and extralinguistic elements of cultural understanding. Extracts from an interview with parents were sourced as a contrasting perspective upon language and culture. Their voices, however, are not those of 'bad people'. Indeed, they share with James the common desire for a sense of meaningful collectivity. By definition then the symbolic nature of the story requires that you the reader also seek to make meaning of something other than the words upon the page. There is nothing in story which is not in ourselves. The best of stories is only scenario, to be completed by the listener's, reader's, own experience. The story does give us feeling: it draws out feelings we already have. And we are never alone in our story time. There is a reciprocity in the talk of the story entering our lives. Communication takes place. We, in our telling , listening, reading, we in our different ways, "sort of basically know... because we are all together." 93 The Singing Voices For The Teacher Of Culture Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That many ways of knowing are to be incorporated into learning. Soundings: Community voice focus Knowledge may be communally located and may be communicated extralinguistically. Towards a resolution: Rationale of form of textual representation This intercession evokes a sense of the many ways of knowing through the story telling. The reader engages with the text and creates meaning by linking allegory with experience. Tim's friend told him a story. 'Once there was a time/ she said, 'when the world was known to be without beginning and without end. The mountain had always remained, the river had always flowed. These were the wondrous origins of our time which was yet to come." Tim sat closer so he could see her better and in that way hear more. "We used to sing to the elders, the rocks, the sky, the creatures of the earth, and to the stars. Our songs were like light breaking upon the depths of the unspoken. And there would be a song that welcomed ours. Voices danced as we recognised ourselves within each other," she said. "It is still possible to hear their songs in these times. They never go away, but we do stop listening for them. I used to push through the harakeke to sit by the creek," she said, "to sit on the big flat rock there, down by the water and wait. I'd listen for the songs. Sometimes I'd sit there day long and night long. Then all of a sudden, at first faintly, then as if they'd never been hushed, the songs would come, moving through the air as if they were dancing." 94 "But how did they know you? How did they know you'd been waiting there?" Tim's friend smiled gently, "Oh, you had to bring something special to share with them. Something that you knew as a treasure. Your first of anything. The driftwood you loved to touch; so smooth the face within it. And if the sharing was right the songs would come and give to you." "What would they give you?" asked Tim. "What could a song give you?" His friend smiled even more gently. "That depends," she whispered, "upon what you need to hear them sing." Tim's cousin, Carla, couldn't stop herself, "My mum says you don't make sense. Everyone knows you need like a choir to make songs. They don't come out of nowhere. That's hocus pocus." "There were songs in our world before our ears were there to hear them. And they'll continue long after our time as well." "Mum says it'd be better to teach the song.56 Tell us the tune and the words. Then 5 6 Reality' 1: Parents (Beth and Andrew) B ... As far as the Cultural Festival was concerned, I don't really know how much the children really understood of that. They enjoyed doing it. Yeah, loved it. You know, it was great fun. But A But I mean if you asked them now, could they actually interpret what the dance, or whatever, meant. I wonder if they could? B Well they didn't realise, 'cause I said something about it being a Maori legend and they said, "Oh, was it?" And I said, "Well, yeah." Well, that's what I presumed it was. A That's what the programme read. B ... So, obviously how, you know, I mean I, without putting teachers on the spot, I don't know how much had been explained to them of what, um, what this all meant. I asked, you know, "The two girls that spoke in Maori, did they write their own words?" You know. "Oh no, no, they were just given them and they read them out." I said, "Oh so they obviously read Maori then." "Well, yeah, I s'pose they must, yeah." And that was sort of that. But they didn't really understand why they did that. A They didn't actually know what they said. B They didn't know what they said. They didn't know why they were doing it really. They had just been picked to do this part....Well it, yeah, well I mean maybe that's just our children. Maybe... Because the children did love doing what they were doing. But it's like it never, there was no significance to it. And so therefore, "Well I'm a mosquito," or "I'm a such and such." But that didn't seem to mean, "Well this was very. Well this was you know an important part of (whichever part of the the legend it was). But it was like they didn't know that. All they'd done was learn the dance (they were to do it, you know, do in there) and that was it. And there 95 we could learn it and sing along.57 That'd be heaps better!" she said and took off before the chance for the final word was lost.58 Tim dreamt about songs. In his dreams he heard them in the mountains, mighty and serene. In his dreams he heard them sparkle, notes glimmer like the water running over and between the rocks. He listened but he couldn't hear what they were saying.59 Next day Tim went down to the stream, through the harakeke, down to the flat rock. No one was around. Apart from the wind and the water, he was alone. Out of was no going through the motions of: "This is a Maori legend and what we're doing is this, this and this." 5 7 ,Reality' 2: Parent "I went to this Maori, well it was the, we went to house before the funeral, and of course all the elders spoke and all the people were speaking and they spoke in Maori. And the father of the daughter that died asked if this one would speak in English because we were, there were so many of us there, Pakehas there, that he wanted us to understand what was being said and he appreciated us coming. Well, the girl that I went with, who was a Maori girl said, "That's a great honor for that to happen." And I said, "Oh well I never understood a word though." I know that I don't come from here, but, you know, no-one else understood it either until that point. And it was sad because obviously what they were saying was very important but yet none of us understood it. So it was lovely that a little bit of it was said in English for us to understand. And I think, you know, it, I think the sensitivity on both sides that, yes the Pakehas have to understand it, the Maoris should be allowed to speak in their language, but then the Maoris need to understand that the only way that you're going to teach Pakehas to understand is to sort of bring in a little bit of English somewhere along the line so that they can, um, not feel like they are completely segregated, um, from the whole issue." 5 8 Reality: an artifact that does not exist until it is made to do so, agreed to do so. Truth: a matter of what is good for us to believe, at least until a better idea is suggested (see Rorty, 1991, p. 22). Foucault (1995) points out that contradictions between discourses need not be seen as disjointed, separate and therefore entirely oppositional forces (pp. 149-156). Nor should they be seen as requiring reduction to some harmonising, shared tenet. Rather, it is possible to map each discourse and its relationship with another. The mapping makes a temporary and limited appearance of relationship possible. 'Temporary' because meaning making in thought and text remain contingent bodies of expression. 'Limited' because any attempt to discover a common theme between the discourses may be only fictional creations of unity that do little to reduce genuine friction between discourses. For the teacher of culture this means that a resolution of contradictory discourses on culture need not be the educational goal. Rather, one should develop the student's ability to think about thinking (see Bruner, 1996); to reveal where the alternatives join, where they are dichotomous, define the locus in which the disparity takes place. That is the union of moment. The conciliation may not necessarily lie beyond the scope of the educational project, but the suppression of contradiction may countervail any possibility of comprehending the true need (or not) for conciliation of discourses. 5 9 bhabha (1994) describes a way of knowing that is 'outside the sentence', i.e. meaning may be conveyed without predicative syntax (p. 180). This is not to mean the demise of writing, but rather to place it alongside the surprises of meaning making. See also R. Barthes (1975). 96 his pocket he took the taonga he had carved for his mother. His hand trailed in the stream and the water ran through the koru patterning, made the bone shine white and liquid, brought new colour to the paua. He held it there and watched as the currents played with the string tie he'd plaited . "I share this with you before I trust it to my mother's care," he hush-said into the air.60 Tim sat on the rock and waited. At times he rested his hand. At times he held it plunged beneath the surface, watched the waters run and rise, twist, turn and fall. Same river, same spot, but always different water. Then as dusk began and light was fading he heard his aunty's whistle. 'Come home,' it said, 'Come home now.' During the night, Tim woke. He found his room awash in moonlight. He sat up and listened. Everywhere was quiet; not even the rhythm of snoring tonight. Tim padpadpadded softly to the window. He could hear something distant, beyond the big old rata. He reached for his coat and pitterpitterpittered outside, down to the river, down to the flat rock. He felt his pulse beating between his ears. There by the river, brilliant in sound, dancing tones like the flicker of moonlight across the river's face; there he 6 0 The ways in which we know, understand and imagine the world posit challenges for canonicity. Rushdie (1992) reminds the educator that the imagination is an essential response to the world (p. 122). Through imagining, he suggests, we are able to break down the dull and conventional, in order that the world, or our part of it, may be reconstructed in empowering ways. A by-product of this reimagined world would be new definitions of canonicity. The authority of the Masters of the Canon would, in the least, be augmented by an acknowledgment of the power-play involved in securing the old canon; and at most, would change the canon to reflect greater diversity in authorship and styles of authoring. As the world changes through imaginations of reality, so too do our sources of authority. The legend, the spoken words of our elders are part of this countercanon that awaits entrance. But, descriptive? Or, transformative? (see Spivak, 1993, p. 273). It rests with the teacher and deconstructive pedagogical strategies to ensure that any confusion between literary intentions is rendered meaningful and productive. Our ways of comprehending place-in-the-world make us as we make them (see Freire & Macedo, 1995, p. 398). A useful approach, would be to view the existence of polemic regarding canonical authority as evidence of multiplicity in subjectivity (see Flax, 1993, p. 98), a way of existence that suggests a need for multiple stories, multiple voices and texts in a variety of styles, a need to appreciate that complexity and to ensure the ability of a new canon that locates and critiques ways of being within our newly imagined world. 97 heard the first voice and then the next. The rising running notes, pushing forward to flight on the wind, all ideas of beginning and end now suspended. First one, then one more and more; the singing filled the night. Tim reached into his pocket for the taonga, touched it to the river, held it to the moonlight, dried it in the wind. Clocktime did pass. Maybe minutes, maybe hours. Tim shivered a little and rubbed his eyes. The quiet had returned; just the bubble of water, the shush-shush of the wind rubbing past the harakeke. He wondered if he had been dreaming and moaned a little as he stood and stretched. He should padpad home before... Then from far away, almost at the mountains it seemed, he heard, 'Va'asili!' 'Va'asili!' The voices knew his name. They were singing his name. 98 James After not-words afterthoughts It is difficult in a scholarly world to write of beliefs and imagination without submitting to science-speak: the -ology, the -ism of it all. My words, symbolic of my passion, are thereby rendered anonymous components of a catch-all-wannabe-thing. What had been clear right now also has a capacity to confuse, and be confusing. The intellectual endeavour to understand the relationship between culture and education will require times of storytelling, the kinds of stories that have three parts: location, narratives and interpretation (see Grumet, 1990). My academic skills and training are my toolkit, yet the story is told, in all parts, by me and the responsibility to ensure balance in that telling remains with me; my passion and intellect combine. I need not see my beliefs as an obstacle to meaning. They are what makes meaning possible. And how shall I name myself? Or be named? 100 THE THIRD INTERCESSION May we-who-research hear sounds of self in other, solidarity in difference When I look around me, I find that the separation, the sense of being a lone creator and preserver of my world, is indeed an illusion. The distinction between Self and Other is blurred. While I as researcher might believe that I interview the Other, I am not so far away after all. Things are not as tidy as notions of Self and Other would seem to suggest. The discourse of self-other in research has to some extent sought to avoid the pitfalls of homogeneous caricatures of groups of people. Difference has enabled qualitative research to locate and distinguish between self and other. However, perversions of Othering can perpetuate a consciousness of domination (see Fine, 1994, p. 76). The voice of the subjugated individual is not to be heard as Other. Fine (1994) reminds us that the investigation of Other is an artificial process, fraught with platitudes. The early twentieth century goal of writing of Other for the purpose of creating 'knowledge' has been superseded by what Fine describes as "an even more terrifying aim" - that of "helping" Them. In the process, the Other's voice is muffled by the intent and control of the researcher over the research process: imported structures explain away local practices; Other is interpreted apart from community, relationships and scenes of exploitation. No, the one speaking as Other is actually the primary informant on Othering (Fine, 1994). The binary opposition of Self and Other differs from the affiliations described in 1 0 1 conversations about culture. In talking with community members it seems there is no simple binary opposition, no static identity. The affirmation of individual understanding and experience renders fluid, not fixed, constructions of culture. To ignore the hyphen between Self and Other is to presume a complete separation one from the other, and, for the one who seeks to understand culture, a complete separation of raw experience from scholarly analysis. As Spivak (1987) suggests, this separation, however understandable politically, brings fundamental notions of identity and knowledge into question: The position that only the subaltern can know the subaltern, only women can know women and so on, cannot be held as a theoretical presupposition... for it predicates the possibility of knowledge on identity. Whatever the political necessity for holding the position, and whatever the advisability of attempting to identify with other as subject in order to know her, knowledge is made possible and sustained by irreducible difference, not identity. What is known is always in excess of knowledge. Knowledge is never adequate to its object. The theoretical model of the ideal knower in the embattled position.... is that of the person identical with her predicament. This is actually the figure of the impossibility and non-necessity of knowledge (p. 254). I can and cannot truly speak of who I am and what I know. But only I have the right to make the claim to know T. And you, because you are the different one alongside whom I find identity, you can know me too, understand, and help me know and understand. Although my narrative may be one seeking emancipation and enlightenment, it is also a narrative of integration, not separation. You are different and also similar, for you too have gender, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic status, politics. 102 But still, we are not the same. The interplay of distinct voices is normal. We prefer that to monologue. And so, when our understandings are recorded I remember that my self resides in society. I occupy place and space in a world of others' places and spaces. Our voices echo of Self-Other. Yet we resist the oppositional Othering. Self-Other. Not: Self, Other. We collaborate, knowingly or otherwise; distinctive; in relationship. 103 Conversations Of the Related For the teacher of culture Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That difference need not be interpreted as oppositional or static, but rather in a vibrant suspension in which participants are able to create solidarity alongside each other. Soundings: Community voice focus That self identity, supported by ideas of culture, is both essentialist and selected; that in being different from each other there remain commonalities which allow relationship and respect. Towards a resolution: Rationale for form of textual representation An ethnographic reporting style (see Cruickshank, 1995) which encourages a sense of uninterrupted story telling. A dialectical relationship between narrator and scribe and between continuity and difference in narrative content is modeled Tafili related adj. connected, esp. by blood or marriage. I have to admit that I do love Tafili. I love her motherliness, her wisdom, her abruptness with me when I struggle to remember Samoan words - the language which we should share, but don't. Not yet anyway. Tafili has dignity and pride. And humility. She makes me laugh, relax, learn and cry. She's helping me to better understand what it means to belong: to be of here while there, of self and other, of you and me. • Scribing the narrative Reflections on representing conversations with Tafili I was grateful that Tafili, an itinerant teacher of Samoan language and culture at a contributing primary school near Intermediate School, agreed to meet with me. As outline in the text following Tafili's narration, she and I already had a well established relationship. All the same, I felt Tafili's generosity in sharing her time 104 and wisdom with me. It has been observed that a dialectic relationship is one in which ideas are in suspension with each other, vibrating in that necessary tension, rather than being repelling oppositionals.61 In an attempt to highlight a dialectical relationship of the former kind, between universalistic and contextualised perspectives of culture, portions of the text arising from two recorded conversations with Tafili have been edited into regular and italicised text. The regular text makes explicit the ideas, sometimes rules, which are used in understanding culture. These are events and interpretations made of events which indicate expansive and comprehensive understandings of culture. The italicised text is where Tafili reveals ways in which broad understandings of culture are affected by the complexities and subtleties of daily life. Usually this dialectic in understandings of culture is shown between the regular font text and one italicised section. Occasionally more than one italicised section is provided, for example where Tafili uses examples of both Palagi and Samoan practices to explain Respect. In their combination Tafili reveals understandings of culture which overlap, interconnect and remain distinct from other understandings. It is possible in the voice of one to see and not see self and in the not-see moments, to find oneself still suspended in a relationship that affirms difference and essential identity. The fact that my analysis says di alectical relationships does not mean there will be only two aspects to consider. There are many layers, many relationships involved in the making of meaning. I may start with di-, but end up somewhere else, perhaps beyond words themselves. The need to be flexible in my analysis reveals the ways in which wording narrative is a difficult, sometimes contrived, sometimes limiting, activity. I have intentionally retained the sense of vibrating dialect. Otherwise a Thank-you Rita Irwin. 105 monotonal singularity of understanding would have remained. And that isn't the way of life. Or education. Tafili's texts help us to see that both the universal and the earthed understandings of culture will be present in the relationship between culture and curriculum; that she and I may be human beings before God, yet 'tight' (as Tafili says) in our own cultural ways before each other. It would be too easy to interpret Tafili's stories of home and village life as tales deserving reverence simply because they are outside the realm of experience of the reader. It should be remembered that these are accounts of the mundane, not the miraculous. With that in mind I have chosen to include some of Tafili's village stories because firstly to exclude them on the grounds of not wishing to miraculate is to silence them; secondly to include them is to validate knowledge that is not regarded as authoritative by the canon; and thirdly because they indicate principles of meaning-making that may be of use in solving teaching dilemmas associated with diversity. This means that what would otherwise be an exotic event of the Other must be read in context and therefore as normal practice. The distance between the self and other may not be as great when we meet on borders of the mundane. Part way through one of our conversations Tafili stopped short and asked me to correct her English if it was at all faulty. I took this as permission to ensure that any errors arising from English being her second language should be edited out. Her concern was that a lack of English skills would cause embarrassment, or undermine what she was trying to communicate. Consequently, I have sought to edit her text respectfully in order that meaning might be effectively conveyed. I have not included my own questions in the body of the text. The questions seemed to have three effects: one, they were irrelevant interruptions to a sustained 106 narrative and were therefore ignored; two, they interrupted the narrative and prevented a sustained narrative; and three they redirected the conversation when I felt it was straying off topic. In all cases the questions reveal more about me than Tafili's perspectives on culture. I am to some extent embarrassed by my intrusions and grateful for Tafili's patience and yet I see too that this merely illustrates the difference between interview and genuine conversation. My own purpose in conversing with Tafili did, at times, stifle the telling of story. A summary of the events and themes described, along with the nature of the collaboration between Tafili and myself is provided at the end of her narrative text. 107 "Culture is the way I live, the way I walk, and the way I speak" - Tafili Describing the culture: Conversations with Tafili Culture Culture started at the very beginning of the world when God created, you know, the heaven and separated everything. Ah it's there because we can offer sacrifices to God. That's when God showed how we can offer sacrifices to him, to offer our blessings to our God in Heaven. That it is part of our culture to always give thanks to Him and all those who lead us to know more about the world in which we live: our parents who are so good to us and other people, like teachers, like doctors. In my surroundings as a Samoan woman, culture to me is the way I live, the way I walk, and the way I speak. For example, there's a Samoan proverb for looking at a Samoan person. They know the Samoan by the way he stands, the way he talks and the way he walks. You don't have to learn just Samoan, to speak Samoan. But you ought to know how to act about it. And there are lots and lots of things at the back of it. If I'm just an everyday child, I may know how to write my name, I may know how to read, but I don't know how to address people with respect. The meaning of the first part of the proverb is: when you talk, know how to talk. You don't talk like a hush person, you ought to be polite all the time, to express your feelings to somebody. Remember: "They know the pig, by the way he speaks" because, you know, he's always hush and says horrible things to other people. The Samoan must respect each other, especially adults, even to the little ones. You talk to the medium sized and you level the words with the medium sized and the way 108 you are. But when you talk to adults there is a level for the adults. Even the little ones. They know you are a good Mum, they know you're a good Dad, if you speak to them in their language. It's important. It's important. You ought to know how to address people in the way they are. You ought to learn your language, not only your language, but to know how to express your feelings, to express them correctly, to the right people in the right time and to act exactly the same on the time. If the matai calls you ought to have words. They respect you for that. And they know. You are learning them. Oh I was scared to do it. But my Dad said, "You ought to have a big heart." That's what he always said, "A big heart. " To say it. To be brave enough to say it. Because you know we are all scared, but, "Go! and do it." Sometimes Dad forced us but we end up winning it because it's the cowardliness inside, you know, that says you can't do it. It's your negative side that says, "Oh I don't like to do it! Someone else can," No. "You. If I say you, you go. You go. It's your turn to do it now." And once you stand in front of the people and do it, you will never be ashamed." That is the motto for us. You'll never be ashamed and you'll never forget it and you'll never ever want to go back to your old shell and stay there. You'll go and listen, you'll want to do it more and more and more. You don't stand on your own. You stand for lots of people. Lots of people; for each family and for where you come from. That's what you are. And the way you look at the people. Many of us look at the people in the way we hate somebody. Look at somebody in respect. "Gee, you're so beautiful, I love it." "The way they walk." They know you by the way you walk because you ought to level your walk to the people, even inside a house. If you come inside a house and all the people are sitting down, that's why they bend their back down because you ought to level yourself. Your respect is shown by the way you walk in front of the people. That's why even with Palagi, I always bend down in front of them, because 109 it's my culture. And they laugh, they say, "Why are you bending your back?" and I say, "That's my culture." To show my respect, to either one, to all hierarchy people I come across, especially the ministers, the matai, teachers, the doctors, policemen, whoever is higher than me, I must bend; go in there and humble myself. Samoans are doing culture differently from other people because nobody bends the back when they do. They walk in front of people. Do it all the time. All the time. And that's how, you know, the culture is to me: the way I live. The way I'm living and my, my surrounding as a Samoan. I learn it to, you know, to my boys when they are little, but they're not doing it anymore. They just, that's why I'm very angry when they walk in front of the people. They nearly stand on somebody, you know, without bending. But they realise this. "Don't you see? You were walking in front of the people without tuloa. You must say tuloa -."Excuse me". "Not to say "Excuse me" in English, but to know the word they use. Tuloa means to humble themselves in front of anybody. But they go past. It's really. Faith I don't have to be, you know, to be angry to my neighbours. Sometimes some people are angry to you. Well you don't have to pay back what they say. I think that's why really many, many people from anthropology are looking at Samoan society today. It is because the culture of the Samoan people is going together with the religion, the religion of today. Especially, they follow the Bible. Whatever they learn from the Bible, their culture will be based on it. Samoan people always address the ministers as their main sort of people that they rely on. They ask for help, they ask for anything they don't understand. But lots of young ministers today they don't realise the culture. They need to go to, you know, to the College and learn not only the Bible but together with the culture to go with it. Many ministers, nowadays they came here. They said, "I'm not interested in the culture." And I said, "Oh, but how can you live in the village with all the matais n o around you if you don't know the culture? That's the way you address to the younger, to the older people because you're younger than, than all the matais there. The way you respected them. And that's the way they respected you because you are king to them. You are the maleatoa to them the maleatoa pastor, ministers in the church they're the ones who bring the Gospel to Samoa." Similarities between cultures There are lots of ways in which we are the same. There are lots, like, um, dancing; you know, when it comes to entertainment. That's the same, as other cultures like the Maori one and most of the Pacific ones. And plus the Samoan culture has similar sorts of words because 'A-E-I-O-U' is easy to recognise with others. When I went to the Chinese restaurant and work with the Chinese people there, I realise they are similar with the Samoan. The only thing I realise is the way they, they really say their words because it's a little bit different. I don't know whether, you know, they have their alphabet, but I would like to see it myself, learn it myself. But when they come to me and talk to me they're sort of, ah, very tight people. But I won't force them to, you know, to be Kiwi, but I realise they exactly the same as, as me. The way they say it and explain it to me and I say, "Gee, you do the same exactly like us." That's what I explain to them in the English. And they, they say they understand. They sort of, ah, very positive things like Samoan people. They sort of hold onto it; like keeping their food. They have their special, um, special flavour. They like it, like the people in Samoa, they, they have flavours they like. Community And there was a saying I always remember Mum and Dad always saying: "If you alofa to your family they will do it back to you." But there is no barrier between you and other people. You ought to love not just your brother and sisters, your uncles and your aunties, your immediate family, but your other people. That's what you know the Golden Law's about. And I said, "What is the Golden Law?" when I was m little. And they said, "Ohhh you've seen it all the time but you don't know it?" And I said, "Yeah I know, but what is it?" "Love your neighbours as yourself." "Oh," I say," I didn't know that. " Now I realise when I have a family, and I'm growing older. Samoan people believe you ought to, you know, to help each other. That's the thing I was told when I came here: to mind your own business, "Don't talk to others." Samoan people are not like that. No way. If there is a family fight next door someone of this house will go and help. My father will go and say there, you know, "There's no good fighting. We are people of Samoa. We are supposed to live with humility, to help each other." When I am teaching the Samoan children I'm not telling them to live a certain way because they have got parents. You know if their parents don't teach them the Samoan culture then it's not my place to do it to that because they are all Samoan and they ought to know it. You know really it's from the family you know from the parents. So we are different? The Palagi and Samoan are different people, but I realise that we both respect others. Samoan people respect their adults. One thing is that no matter what, in Samoa we never ever eat at the table. When a matua or older people come here to this home, like my father, I always serve his dinner to him with a tray. He likes to sit down on the floor as he used to be in Samoa. Because he never used to use a table. In Samoa we always have a mat to bring, a mat that's woven, lots and lots of mats, and leave them inside for big occasions. When big occasions come the people just put the leaf of banana at the top or the leaf of the breadfruit tree, there's the taro, there's three bananas or four bananas, you know at the top of it, a piece of chicken, a piece of pork, just like a tray. I'm sure the Palagi respect each other, you know, even to the little child, from the adults to the child. In our culture at mealtimes there's it's a sort of a time for older 112 people to eat first, before the children. Yet the Palagi, when it comes to the family occasion, they treat everyone the same. They don't say, "You're little. You go over there and play with the little one other there." They always respect. But the family of the Palagi they eat all together, you know. The Samoan family: adults eat first and the children will serve. But the Palagi family always respect the little ones, "Oh come on, have your food first." I think the only thing that makes people different is the colour. That's the only thing. God doesn't, you know, love only one nation. He love any colour. He loves anybody - red, blue, whatever, yellow, brown, black, white. He loves any sort of person. But no-one is different in the sight of God, inside of another person. To me, I don't mind anyone coming inside my classroom. I would teach them or I'd be with them. I will love them all. I like different faces. I think it's really marvellous. So we should work together and treat each other the same. All of us are different. When people go to their family surroundings they can take their friends with them, and be in their own way, you know. But when it comes to being, you know, educated in the classroom, we must be altogether. We are teaching in the Palagi system because we are not you know doing the Samoan culture. We are just having a Samoan, you know, language and culture. I think we're using the Palagi system at the moment to teach the children. Not the Samoan, not the Maori. Unless they come to the Maori classroom, they won't do it. The persistent culture Pacific Island people are very persistent with their culture. They always hold onto it. That's something they're proud of. There are books that show from the beginning the Samoan people have their culture. The Samoan people, they write it down themselves. Not all in Samoa are the same. Some of them are you know are living like you know 1 1 3 they wanted to be by themselves. They don't feel you know the family surrounding them. I realise that there's another world of children, of Samoan children nowadays. Especially they are New Zealand born. They are sort of ah having their own world. It means that I don't think they will they really. They will live as a Palagi, they will live as a Palagi. The Palagi need to have a culture to themselves, you know. They need to have a culture themselves. Like the Scottish people? They have a culture, they have entertainment, you know, they use. Touch people. I've seen it, you know. I've seen lots. I think the Palagi do have a culture of themselves. From the beginning, the way they live and the way they brought you know up. And the way they live in a family. It's you know, it's important, you know to them. I'm sure they must have a culture, you know, they must have a culture because there are ways to dress and when we go to special occasions there are proper ways to talk, like saying, "Your Highness." That's the culture. That's the way you express the culture to people. And when you go to culture you really dress up beautifully like going to a ball. That's the culture. And it would be good to write a book about the Palagi culture; to be able to leave it you know as something that all their people will look at it and find out, "Oh yeah, that's how we live." They must have. I would like to have a Palagi culture book. I would like to look at a book for example, for addressing people, high ranking people, Palagi people; the words of the you know English culture. They must be down in the book for anybody to go and look at it. I'm sure they must have a culture themselves because they brought themselves up and they come to New Zealand. The trouble is that they adapted here and they forgot about it. If they come from Irish, put Irish and you know Scottish together, or whatever country they come like ah Anglo, Anglo-Saxon, or things, from the olden times; that's the culture they used to learn, you know that they used to you know. You know they try 114 to mix with other cultures and put it together like they have in some movies on the TV We've seen lots of Samoan, you know, lots of Island people like Tarzan the Monkey Man and the Palagi just come and try to put together you know these cultures, And that's how they did it. I'm sure the Palagi people have a beginning. Culture in (the right) place There was a Maori girl at a school meeting one night and she said, "I would like to teach the Maori language in school." But you know although I love the Maori language I said to her, "I don't think it's fair for the Maori language to be taught in school. That is not the place for it." But that's my own point of view. I said, "You have your marae, and that's the place for any people who want to learn the Maori, to learn and then pass from there, with a high level of understanding. What is learnt at school is not to the same level. At school you learn pronunciation. At the marae, on the pa, that's where you are supposed to learn all things about the Maori and being Maori. Going to the marae you learn how to sleep, you learn how to do the hangi there, you learn how to welcome people there, you learn how to dress like a Maori there and be a Maori there. And that's your school, that's where I go to learn about every Maori thing. At school you learn just a little bit of culture. Culture there is just a language. And entertainment. That's all. It's just a language and entertainment. But when it comes to your true culture you don't do it there. The soul's not there." So that's what I was thinking at the meeting that night and everybody agreed whole heartedly. One of the men there said, " I am a Maori man. I am a Maori kaumatua and I know what a Maori is. I think that's exactly the answer for all our worries, us Maori people. We are supposed to have a person learning the Maori ways to go there to the marae and that's where you get everything, not just one thing, everything." There were lots of children come to my culture classes at school, but you know the acting principal just stopped them and said, "Well are they coming just for fun?" And I said, "I 115 will see if anyone's naughty there and I'll send them back if they are coming just to have fun and not learning, but only distracting us from our culture." I only take one day for the culture and everything - language and different things like weaving, not much, you know, a little bit of it. And I can speak Samoan to them but there are some half Samoans there, English parents and part English. But I don't like to force the two culture children to do it if they don't like it. No. Educating culture Education is very important to Samoan people. Samoan people they are so proud of their children. Oh they are so sad if they fail. Because it's more like a competition to them. They compete. In Samoa we compete against other people. Even though you go to school for yourself, when you come in top of the class, they say, "See? I told you. See? I told you, you can do it. You can do it. You work hard and you will come, you know, to the top of it." And the next minute they can, "You can beat all, you may." And I said, " I'm not going to school to beat all the other children. I'm going to learn there." I said, "To know it, to know something." My Dad is really proud of all of us because not only do we know the culture very well, we speak about it, we know what's the tapu, what's tapu between adults, young people and the little people. People think I'm a very clever person, but I don't know anything. You know I write down things. Once I listen to the person I try to catch and I always wanted to catch the new words and leave it there next time I'll use it. And people think, "Oh she's, she's so clever." No I copy it from somebody. And that's how you learn. Our degree is no good. Our doctorates are no good. When it comes to reality, it's nothing. The only work that Jesus tells us to do is tell and to show to other people his love. 116 "You must have your culture. If you don't have your culture I don't think you're living. You were born with that." - Tafili Relating to/with Tafili: Conversation notes First talk I first met Tafili through her time in preservice teacher education. I was lecturing her. An extraordinary thing really; me the young one, instructing Tafili, a mother, community elder, someone who already had several years teaching experience in Samoa and was now retraining for teacher registration in Aotearoa New Zealand. Yet she put aside protocols and hierarchies in order that the learning might progress. She accepted me as teacher... although I always felt, in the things she talked of and the way she was with us all, that actually I was the learner. Revisionary talk When they are being lived out, ideas of culture do not seem all that complex to the one who lives and in this way Tafili's narrative runs counter to recent critiques of cultural identity discourses. Hoffman's (1996) critical review of notions of culture and self in multicultural education contends that multiculturalism is permeated with Western-centrism, adopting American materialism and the theme of individual uniqueness. Both cultural perspectives, Hoffman suggests, serve the purpose of fitting minority group members for Anglo-American society. McLaren (1995) adds the postmodern perspective that ideas of fixed identity should have no place in emancipatory discourses on identity formation. They offer an important reminder to remain critical of social practices, to not assume good-for-all will be the 117 outcome of equity focused discourse and practices. And yet, they are also distinguishable from Tafili's understandings of cultural identity. For Tafili, identity as something one 'has', a form of property which one chooses to 'own' or not, is acceptable. At the same time she believes that one's genealogy is always present, dormant until rekindled. But one must decide (as she did in her approach to schooling) as an individual. What Tafili shows is the way in which a sense of belonging to group enables one to also function as an individual. Her lifeways embody what Judith Butler (1995) has described as a "double movement" in identity formation (p. 129). Taking a political slant, Butler (1995) suggests that the affirmation of "particular identities" (p. 129), while still viewing them as sites of contestation, is a necessary buffer against prospective silencing or erasure of minority identity. However, Tafili's understandings of culture endorse principles of essential identity and universality; elements which are absent from Butler's analysis. Hoffman (1996) and McLaren (1995) are more rigid in their use of a binary form of logic: one is either multiple in cultures, or not; individual or not. Tafili understands living in a way that one can be multiple, individual, possessing, or not. All positions are possible because she views from a position within, a position of long term alofa and faith, not as an observer asking how does one regard identity at this moment. Tafili critiques self identity in faith, believing that at some stage in one's life, through some events, words, dreams perhaps, one is moved to explore identity; many times perhaps, over a lifetime. To be an observer is not enough. We are to provide conditions which ensure that the Moving One is safe: conditions emersed in alofa and wisdom. Tafili's perspective of culture combines daily community life with cosmological values. 118 Recurring talk The observer might find compromises in Tafili's cultural practices. Yet for Tafili, the principles of identity (that one is born, that one has inclinations because of heritage, because of upbringing, that one seeks to be content, in harmony with others) remain constant. How one chooses to live may change, but, as we see in the Tafili's themes of 'culture-as-lived', 'culture-as-language', lineage, maintaining traditions, the importance of religion and education, the appreciation of other cultures, understandings of culture involve principles of constancy that continue to exist alongside change. A recurring idea in Tafili's discussion of culture is that of culture being lived out in daily lifestyle practices. She aligns cultural mores with cultural values of respect and humility. The Samoan language, Tafili's first language, coupled with appropriate behaviours and a commitment to supporting the community are vital components in showing these values. Indeed, the language is seen to be the culture. Lineage, your birthright, is a key factor in determining one's membership to the Samoan community. Although Palagi are welcomed warmly, there are ties established through one's birth that can never be otherwise achieved. These ties work both ways: the community has responsibilities towards its own, the 'children' have responsibilities towards its community. And expectations. Tafili continues her family's reputation as generous, kind hosts to all people. Her confidence and knowledge of Samoan culture runs alongside her interest and support for the cultures of those different from herself. When describing culture Tafili always has a pure form of culture in mind. Not in the sense of it being untainted by other cultures (although she does express concern that there are people, especially young people, living in untraditional ways now), 119 but that staying true to the original forms of culture is a fundamental element of being whole as a person. Unless one has one's culture and lives it, one is not really alive. For this reason it becomes very important that people have the opportunity to learn what it is to be fully wi thin their culture. W i t h this in mind at a school meeting one evening, Tafili spoke out against Maor i language being taught i n the school. Her rationale was that the marae, a Maor i context, was the place for learning fully and holistically about being Maor i . In school the culture is trivialised and reduced to pronunciation exercises and entertainment. She received support from those present. Church life, the Bible and faith feature strongly in Tafili's life. Not long ago Tafil i decided to regularly attend the Seventh Day Adventist Church rather than the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church which her husband and sons attend. This was a difficult decision as it meant giving priority to a stance of faith rather than adhering to principles of family. Issues of loyalty and respect had to be worked through. Although Tafili has l ived in N e w Zealand for several years now, Samoa is still a vital element i n her life. Money is often sent there to support members of the family and her village; she returns for key gatherings, such as her father's death. Life i n her village features frequently in her stories, often phrased i n the present tense and causing an intermingling of Samoan and English languages. There she learnt the elements of her culture; her teachers being her father and family, her church, her community. Hierarchical community systems were respected and reinforced through language and practices. Considerable effort was given to learning the correct ways to address and reply to people at different places in the hierarchy. One's ability to respect these ways, coupled w i t h one's performance i n society, especially education, are sources of great pride. Even though Tafili notes a decline in adherence to the Samoan traditions i n 120 Aotearoa N e w Zealand, especially in young Samoans, the family and church in Aotearoa N e w Zealand continue their key roles as purveyors of Samoan culture. A n educational back-stop is Samoan culture and language being taught in state schools. Tafil i supports one school's Samoan programme as a visit ing teacher each week, but recognises it for what it is: learning about elements of Samoan culture, but not really l iving it. Difference between cultures is understood to be manageable and non-oppositional. Issues of cultural literacy are present when Tafil i talks about cultures other than her own, particularly the Palagi: that it wou ld be very helpful if a book describing cultural practices and appropriate language, was available for those wishing to learn about Palagi culture. Furthermore, an appreciation of distinct cultural practices runs alongside the belief that people do fundamentally share the same feelings. Tafil i appreciates ways in which people of particular cultures may be "tight" i n holding onto their distinct ways, such as traditional food preparations. While this could be an example of difference, for Tafili , the effort to retain a distinct identity is interpreted as a similar cultural practice to that of Samoan culture. Because of a shared core value, the existence of distinct practices that endorse that value is interpreted as a l ink between cultures rather than as difference that isolates. In Tafili's eyes, life culture is never rendered invisible by normality. Indeed, the more normal life becomes, the truer is its orientation and expression of culture. Normali ty infers visible and conscious l iv ing, walk ing and talking of culture. Normali ty is the true context for culture. Furthermore, in context the event and practice makes sense. The fact that Tafili's father chooses to sit on the floor when eating makes sense when placed in context. A n d we are grateful for the explanation of that context. Tafili's stories show that exoticising makes nonsense of the sensible; contextual features are shared in order that verisimilitude might be at the core of 121 knowledge arising from the interpretation of events. Purity of form also links with claims to heritage, that is, one's lineage. In Tafili's descriptions of culture it is apparent that there are different expectations of those who are 'fully' Samoan, compared with 'half Samoan' people. Although compassionate towards all, some parents should know, should do, more in the way of teaching their children the culture, especially the language. She does not hold the same expectations for 'two culture children' and for this reason she is particularly flexible with them in her Samoan culture lessons that she takes at a school. This flexibility is needed when given what seem to be the dialectical relationships between expectations and experience that are embedded within Tafili's narrative. It may be however, that what seem to be a tension between the two actually indicate criteria of judgment that differ from my own. And at this stage in my own development I can only speculate as to what I might not understand. There may be a consistency which I do not understand. Furthermore, the tendency is to see exceptions as being in opposition to an original premise. It may be more helpful to look for relatedness between the described events or patterns.62 This is, after all, Tafili's own practice when working across cultures and ideas of difference. Living the talk A central proverb features in Tafili's description of culture. This is used as the basis for stories that illustrate the principles contained within the proverb. These stories draw from her local and Samoan contexts and assist in highlighting distinguishing features in Samoan culture. The idea that one should be known by the way in 6 2 Stanley Aronowitz (1995) makes a similar point within the arena of political identity issues (pp. 111-127). He suggests that the solidarity rather than fragmentation of identity is necessary if political debates are to be effectively addressed. The pointlessness of infinite regress into binary oppositions should, according to Aronowitz, be surpassed by a citizenship constituted by cultural difference yet also "identical" in the shared sense of opposing erasure under patriarchies of power. 122 which culture is lived, walked and talked should be a source of distinction, delineating you from me. And in a way it does operate like that. Yet it is also in Tafili's way that understandings of culture are treasures, confidently understood and incorporated into lifeways. Culture is life and therefore should be celebrated. And shared. To share one's life with another is to share how one lives life. That is a source of unity across and within all difference. That is culture. That is life. She says. Fa'afetai lava 'Tafili'. Fa'afetai lava. 123 "The way I walk, the way I live and the way I speak' That's me. Me. ME. Isn't it. No Who said that? 124 THE FOURTH INTERCESSION May we-who-research listen for whispers of the local in Hero; that one incomplete voice joins with many When I meet with people and ask them to describe their understandings of culture I am engaging in a form of public inquiry enveloping that which is private. Murmurs of the essential; polite encounters with troubles and pleasures past. My questions and willingness to listen miraculate the mundane.63 As if by a miracle, one finds that by talking about understandings, one speaks as an agent of a culture, gender or some such quasi-cause. The individual is universalised. The individual becomes a hero. Indeed, there is much that we can learn from this perspective and this voice. Hero speaks to us of overlapping territories and intertwined histories common to women and men, young and old, past and present, urban and rural. We listen as Hero speaks from the perspective of the whole of human history. But Hero is also a fabrication in the midst of being made. Donning the garb of a universal agent, the self is gradually lost to the miracle of operating as a quasi-cause. Hero enters the Universe and in the process loses Place-on-Earth. That which is ultimately private, Self, is subsumed by the makings of that which is public. The one-who-investigates understandings of culture has a role in the grounding of Hero; a responsibility to ensure that both the universals and the personal are 6 3 Miraculation is discussed in Deluze, G. & Guattari, F. (1977). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M . Seem & H. Lane, Trans.). New York: Viking. Cited in Spivak, G. (1994). In a word. Interview (with Ellen Rooney). In N. Schor & E. Weed (Eds.), The essential difference (p. 158). Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. 125 present. This means being earthed, and therefore mortal; the partiality of understanding being made apparent; the one-who-investigates making declarations of allegiance. For, it is impossible to avoid taking sides in research. Even the attempt to avoid positioning oneself, feigning objectivity, the absence of an author, is in itself a stance. The decision to acknowledge context (whether one's own or that of another speaker) is the decision to expose the history of what might otherwise seem ahistorical. Rather than allowing the creation of the universal hero, Gayatri Spivak speaks of declaring one's limits as researcher, teachers, reader, interpreter, so that one might be able to be brazen in the face of miraculation.64 By acknowledging the personal inclinations of the one-who-researches, and limitations (perhaps developmental, perhaps contextual) for the-one-who-speaks, the mythical universal hero is undermined. We have instead a dialogue between understandings; conversations that reveal the ongoing work of the word culture. Without Hero and miracles, investigations into understandings of culture are redefined: no longer universal, but local; no longer an individual pursuit, but a collective enterprise. Others will, in time, do some other work to extend the knowledge emerging. No picture, no research project, can be complete; something will always be missing, distorted, simply because people are able, limited, to speak from a particular perspective. This does not denigrate the validity of the investigation. Rather, it is acknowledgment that others contribute to the collective creation of knowledge. 6 4 Spivak, 1994, p. 175. 126 The Working of The Word For the teacher of culture Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That the development of understandings of culture be viewed as a long term process to which a researcher and teacher might contribute a part. Soundings: Community voices focus That understandings of culture are always partial and developmental, yet able to inform other understandings. Towards a resolution: Rationale of form of representation This intercession illustrates the way in which the understanding of culture is a dialogue that it is as yet incomplete and presumes faith that comprehension will one day occur. Mary and Hannah I am beginning to think that this word culture simply brings into view the things which we want to make public. At least I would hope it would do so. There has to be some sense of volition on the part of the narrator. I shouldn't ever be afforded the opportunity to gaze upon that which is intended to remain private. That is part of my ethic as one-who-teaches. It also encompasses a particular regard for knowledge: that it is a treasure, that it is gifted from you to me, me to you, that before the gifting there will be probing, hints, clues, that determine just how ready one is to receive and care for that knowledge. So when I ask Mary and Hannah, two students at Intermediate School, about times when they have felt connected with culture, it is not surprising that they associate culture with school activities, the public arena that we three share. After all, each interview did take place at lunch time and we sat in the Sick Bay between the Office and the Staffroom. But I wonder just what lessons were learnt from the events they 12Z each described. Previously I agreed with Madelaine Grumet's (1987, p. 325) observation that accounts of educational experience are rarely situated in schools, so why did both Hannah and Mary connect culture with school? And why was so much of their talk of culture actually talk about difference? Now I begin to wonder about the ways in which culture in the school curriculum is a form of representation which plays a constitutive and formative role, not merely reflexive or expressive.65 Through Mary and Hannah I think of culture as having a double reference that addresses both the particulars of school life and the general of self negotiating place and meaning in the largeness of life. And although I would welcome entrance to the private understandings I recognise that some may not have been constituted for articulation, some are just not to be shared, and some I may not be ready to care for. So in the meantime we meet publicly, Mary and I, Hannah and I. I can see now that through the process of asking people to think about or describe their understandings of culture, research becomes an appeal to the deconstruction of identity by identities.66 I may be forcing a public face upon private identity and with it a sense of finiteness in what is still the realm of developing and partial understandings. The very act of thinking of oneself as an example of the historical, political, social narratives under review, represents one in such a way as to be defined and deidentified; to state and claim an identity within a text that comes from somewhere else. A mask is created. Biographies of understanding become multi-layered within public and private. The stories we hear, whether from the life 6 5 Although I was initially prompted by Stuart Hall's work (1992) to consider constructive elements in the work of 'culture,' Jerome Bruner (1996) has also been helpful in considering the ways in which culture shapes mind. Taking a less conceptual approach to culture, he suggests that culture provides us with a "toolkit" with which we might construct understanding of the world, ourselves and our capacities. The cultural view of the world, then, requires a situatedness where the context of culture can be related to the context of the learner. 6 6 Spivak, 1994, p. 157. 128 of 'nobody' or 'somebody', may be but the sounds of the public lifestory. So what, then, shall we hear in meeting as we do, talking as we do, where we do? That the generalities of language do diminish the events and relations which comprise understandings of culture is accepted. Yet, we talk on because although our language may limit us, nevertheless our exchange makes a contribution towards the mediation of a space between individual and institution, specific and general, intent and change. These words of theirs inform the words of others about the public experience of the relationship between culture and curriculum. And in the space created we find not only events but also principles. There are values that underlie the interpretations of culture, values that speak of understandings of right relationships; values that speak of eternity yet remain expressions of emerging understandings of what matters in life. As Hannah and Mary talk about difference they describe what they take to be right and good; they reveal their movement towards understanding themselves and other selves; and in this way their talk combines with our talk. As we each speak, we link thought, contexts, and texts of public and private, heroic and fallible. In the public form of our narration we may be able to feign completeness. Yet Hannah and Mary show us a variety of uses of the word 'culture'; they show us understandings that are both unequivocal and ambiguous; the form and content of their talk combine to reveal cultural understandings for what they are: developmental and therefore partial: our current statement of our current sense of life and values therein.67 And so our talk 6 7 Martha Nussbaum (1990) explores the relationship between form and content in moral philosophy. In affirming a connection between philosophy and literature, she argues that the form of a text conveys a view of life that is relevant to philosophy because it affords a view of what human life is like and binds emotion to intellect. Similarly I am suggesting that in the textualisation of Mary's and Hannah's narratives we are able to glean a sense of understandings of culture in what is said and how it is said. I have intentionally accentuated the significance of form and content by augmenting the transcript excerpts with other forms of dialogue between reader and writer. In this way I make apparent and render instructive the internal contradiction that would otherwise exist between Mary and Hannah's certainty about what culture is and their ambiguous applications of their definitions. The style of text therefore combines with the content to guide the imagination of the reader, setting before them a view 129 continues. We speak, we listen as ones for whom cultural identity and understanding is emerging. We relate wholeheartedly, yet understand and articulate that relation partially. Which is as it should be, should it not? of life and invoking a standard for understanding culture. 130 Mary [When I associate culture with difference I reveal meaning making processes of my own culture] [We bond because 'culture' means we are different. What if the differences were not so clear?] Mary, I just think it's really neat that you said that you'd come and meet with me and that we could talk about ideas of culture and times when you've felt connected with culture. 6 8 Well I'm involved with performing arts here at school and that's a connection with Maori culture, which I'm really interested in... I think Culture = that was really interesting being with other people, different cultures. Culture = school happenings difference 6 8 At times I used Flanagan's (1954) critical incident interview technique as a prompt for beginning discussions regarding culture with various members of the school community. Unlike previous studies using this interview technique I did not provide the participants with an explanation of the key term, in this case, 'culture'(see, for example McCormick (1994) with regards to 'healing'). The usefulness of the critical incident technique minus definitions was that it immediately incorporated an encounter with the ambiguities of 'culture' and how that ambiguity might be resolved. This is exactly the task faced by classroom teachers - how to make meaning or intelligibility possible with regards to culture in education. At the same time, the encounter with ambiguity revealed variations in the participants' thinking thereby making them credible, no worse than others, nor repositories of trenchant morality. This provided an entrance to understanding the makings of understandings of culture, but also moved the discussion beyond the thematic focus of the critical incident interview technique. I was not so much concerned with what facilitated or hindered a particular cultural activity, but the processes of ideas and beliefs that are associated with the activity. The responses began a conversation of sorts. While we did retain some elements of interview (e.g., power holder in relation to participant, agenda setting, location, recording of discussion) we did converse also. The participants could narrate, their stories could be without reasonable completeness or discernible outcome. In this way the interviews were not restricted to the critical incident paradigm. I adopted the flexibility afforded by hermeneutical inquiry (Davis, 1994), basing my research practice upon the assumptions that practical and effective knowledge is interpretive and/or procedural; is connected to natural units of experience and meaning making and is embedded in the particulars of these situations (Doyle, 1990). Research, therefore, should resonate with "ecological verisimilitude" (Doyle, 1990, p. 14) and the indeterminacy that resides with making meaning within the particulars of experience. 131 [But see what my language has done? "What things come to mind?" My use of the language rather than the language itself is what diminishes the record] And when you think about being connected with culture you thought of that time on the marae, so what were the things that came to mind that made you think 'Well, this is a cultural experience'? Well first of all food, the food was um, just singing, welcomed being welcomed onto the marae, also dancing that was another part just, doing a mural and we got together and we did performances together with some Teachers College people there as well. Culture = song & dance & food (at least that's what Mary's been led to say) (and believe?) [When I read: "A culture that discovers what is alien to itself simultaneously manifests what is in itself" (McGrane, 1989, p. 1) I thought it was all bad news. But if the discovery is accompanied by empathy then in the Other, in you, there is a self. I recognise you as another self.] So when you think about being connected with culture, does it have to be something big like an outing like to a marae or are there other experiences that you can think of where you've felt connected with culture? At school really, just with other cultures in the classroom, Asians, I help them out in class. I feel yeah that's another part where I am connected with culture, I think, just a different culture. Culture the last evolutionary trick (Bruner 1996: 184). Do we (do you) know we are feeding off you so we can adapt to circumstance? And that we intend to survive? 132 [Can difference ever represent stability in relationships? There is still this presumption of separation from the alien. Such oppositionality leads to an objectification of the natural world in order to have a sense of control and the myth of normality. So says Hill Collins (1990, pp. 69,194).] So, if you were to look at yourself and think, 'Well an Asian person looking at me,' do you think they could see you as being of another culture than themselves? - I haven't put that very well. As a different culture from them? Yes, Yes Yes, probably. Well, what are the things about you that make up your culture then? Well I'm a Pakeha. What else? I speak English, I might dress differently to them, I have different coloured skin compared to them. I play different sport, sports to them. I think just being who I am just what I, what's different compared to them. There is quite a few reasons. Culture = either/or dichotomous thinking 133 [Working within a binary discourse blocks the opportunity for change because the reference is always back to the opposite. Think of being different in degree but not in kind] You know when people talk about culture and [And now] they have different cultures meeting, how do you think things should be? = something Yeah, I think that all cultures should combine o t h e r t h a n a site of fixed together I think so we can learn about each , , dichotomies other. I suppose it's alright if one kind of culture wants to meet together and communicate and that. But I think it would be nice if there was someone from each culture cause we could all get together. That would be good, that would be good. [You/ me, Maori/Pakeha, male/female, subject/ object, fact/ opinion, each gains meaning in relation to the counterpart] How come you don't feel out on the outside? I feel one of them really when I get into it just singing, different things in Maori, just being with Maori and just stuff like that. I think it's good. And yet you're not becoming one of them? No I'm not going I don't think I will, but it'll always be good to always participate with them I think, it's the good part of it. I just think, I don't think I have to change my culture I'm with. It's just, I think it's good that we should be able to be with different cultures and yeah. Culture = empathy through contrast or similarity 134 (Source) The Maori girls (What happened) Nothing (Outcome) I knew I didn't fit in Have you had a time when you've felt disconnected, not connected, with culture? Well yeah. Round the school, we've got there's Maori girls in my class which I really like and I think they join you in a lot but I think that I'd probably sometimes I wish I was a Maori because I'd want to be with them where I feel that's when I sort of feel disconnected. But they treat you fairly but yeah, I think everyone sort of tends to go with their culture I think at this school, but Culture = desire (Source) Self (What happened) I hung out with some girls (Outcome) I knew I didn't fit So because you're not Maori, there comes a point where you can't fit in? Yeah I think sometimes there is when I can't fit in like that. But most of the time I can, people take me for who I am which is good. Culture = disconnection i n 135 (Sources) Me, me-as-I-wish (What happened) I wished I was Maori (What happened) Nothing (What happened) Nothing (What was said then?) Nothing! (What did they do to you?) Nothing (Then, what's up?) I don't fit in. (That happens) [ bhabha (1994, p. 1) would say this as the encounter with difference is also the 'terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood'. How come it doesn't sound so uncomfortable and angst-filled when you write like that? Academic work can only go so far. After that I need experience] It is. But how is it that people let you know that you can't fit it? Well they don't really say, Oh you can't hang round with us or that, but I think they just sort Culture = of tell you well they don't say anything really Nothing said they just sort of make you feel awkward I plenty think, not in a mean way but you just know yourself that you're not right in that sort of group but yeah it's just sort of a feeling, I think, that you just don't belong. But most of the time they're pretty good. learned Does it happen with other sorts of groups like sports groups or music groups or Pakeha groups where you don't feel connected? Culture = goes Well sometimes it does I think. In sport if a bit deeper you're not very good people can put you down than sports for that and not want you to be in their group, team pickups Same as music groups the same. Yeah, though, probably. In a Pakeha group someone might [Doesn't it?] not like you. That's probably about all. 136 [So, for some people 'culture' is almost a hobby. For others it is blood on the line] [Who is to say which is more meaningful?] [I wouldn't dare] When you're just wandering around the streets in this city, do you come across experiences of culture then? Culture = a definite category that No, not really. If you just go to a shopping mall can be really you just see different cultures round not observed a whole lot together, you might now and then but not really, people just go their own way I 'Culture' = in think, and out of So there's the day-by-day sort of way of living reality and then there's the cultural. Am I saying that right? Yeah probably so. There's the days where people can be cultural and there's not days and there's days they're not. [This 'culture' differs from the beginning ideas. One was to be connected to (like an appliance to a wall socket?); & this one is to be thought and felt. One speaks of thingness; the other, of attributes, values] [My language at work again] And if you were to say to people, "When I say the word 'culture' I'd like you to think about these things and feel these things in relation to 'culture'," what would you like people to think and feel? Being together. It's when you can communicate together it's also when you can have ideas, different ways of doing things. 'The map is not the territory and the name is not the thing named.' 6 9 CULTURE iswasmightbe iswasshallbe iswasis is because I say so Alfred Korzybski's rule, cited in Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature (p. 30). New York: Dutton. 137 Hannah ...you don't Hannah, I wondered if um you could tell me ...you don't want to be a b o u t a d m e Q r t i m e g w R e n y o u V e c o n n e c t e d want to be diff, um you diff, um you , , with culture? What comes to mind then? , , don t want to don t want to be the same Um, when um we go to Performing Arts we do be the same as everybody dijjerent t h i n g s U k e M a o r i d m c e $ a n d s t u f f as everybody else in the else in the „ with the pois and with ah stick things (I can't ,, , world. You ' ° world. You want to be remember what they're called) and um oh at want to be different. school we had this day and we had to dress up different, as Indians or nomads and we had to dress up in all these different clothing and it had to be the traditional clothing sort of thing. And that's really all. Mmm. So are those 'Indian things' and those 'Maori things', are they things that are part of your normal, everyday life? No. Okay, so they're something different than normal? Yup. 138 Have there been times when you've felt disconnected from culture? Um, no not really because um everything I do is really a cultural. Because, um , in New Zealand we have different ways than all of the other countries and their um cultural things and so what I do here is mostly, well, cultural. And um, yeah. So it would be a really strange thing to try and say, 'Well, I'm disconnected' because .... Would there be anything in your everyday life that you would see as being 'something .... you can't cultural'? ever be Um. disconnected. That's a tough question, isn't it? No. Yeah, Mmm. Um, no I don't really think so. because Why why do you think that is? That there's everything um bits in other people's lives that are you do is a cultural, but bits in yours that you wouldn't different Well, we probably are living a cultural life but cultural. Like because in different countries they're seen as umin being a different culture. different Oh, so if you were being studied by the Indians countries you Yeah it would be like us studying the Indians do different and we've got different , we do different things things than from the Indians. like we do So they could see you as being something here. We eat cultural. different Yeah and I see them as something being foods and we cultural too. listen to But while you are looking at yourself , you different wouldn't see yourself as being 'cultural.' Why? music and do Because we're used to it and mostly everybody all sorts of um does the normal thing that I do. And but other things other people in different countries do different and we speak things. a different Okay, so that idea of it being something language different is an important part of this culture which is, thing? yeah. Yeah because you don't want to be diff um you don't want to be the same as everybody else in the world. You want to be different. 139 Okay, so you learnt lots of things that showed that New Zealand is different than these other places. Did you learn things about ways in which we're the same? Um well most countries have transport, which is mostly the same. Like, we have cars and um lots of other countries have cars. And we have bikes and um. We have um. There's not really that much that isn't different about different countries but 'Kay. What do you mean by that? Do you think you understand what culture is? Um yeah. Our class, we had to write up a list of different cultures and what different countries have different cultures. Like they have different foods, different languages, different clothes and different beliefs, like religions and stuff...And when you look at a Third World country, like the Philippines or somewhere, you're really happy that you live somewhere like New Zealand, where it's not that bad and mostly everybody has homes. So studying these other countries helped you to feel good about where you live. Yeah because like in Africa and that, you see on the news about in Somalia and Pm really thankful that I live in New Zealand 'cause then we wouldn't be, like, if we lived somewhere like Africa we'd be all poor and we wouldn't have homes and everything. Uhuh. Mmm. Well, um, in most countries nearly everything's different 'cause they live a different lifestyle than us. And um over there they 'd say that um there's nothing that isn't different over here than what it is over there, because we all live a different lifestyle and we all do different things than other people around the world in every country. 140 ..YOU DON'T WANT TO BE DIFF, UM YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. YOU WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. ..YOU DON'T WANT TO BE DIFF, UM YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. YOU WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. Hannah, I trust your goodness and hopes, so what do I learn with you: that difference may actually be an affirmation of my place and ways in the world; not out of arrogance, but thankfulness (you weren't really being superior were you? Shall we just say 'aware-of-your-evironment-but-yet-to-understand-how-each-context-and-people-have-their-own-criteria-for-worth-necessities-beauty). I have baulked over the idea of being predictable, but maybe difference-in-culture works to assure me that predictability is a way of saying, "This is me, this is how I am, where I am. These are the ways I show and feel that I belong." That's not so bad now is it?70 Maybe too you would agree with differences in practices yet still find similarities in values motivate those particularities of one culture or another. That's the 'difference': a culture or the culture now in your words; 'culture' in my world.71 ..YOU DON'T WANT TO BE DIFF, UM YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. YOU WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. ...YOU DON'T WANT TO BE DIFF, UM YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. YOU WANT TO BE DIFFERENT. 7^ Thank you Allan. 7 1 Joan Metge (1990) provides a useful discussion that highlights the effect of the definite and indefinite article upon the scope of the word 'culture'. 141 Mary and Hannah, I could so easily place your understandings upon a pinnacle ("words from the mouths of ...."), aspire to them. Instead I see them for what they are: as yet incomplete, as we all are, and should be; as meaningful in solo as in chorus; as revealing in form as in content. And always: a prompt for further conversations. 142 And if I was to work my lines now, what would they reveal? "To draw a carp... it is not enough to know what the animal looks like, to understand its anatomy and physiology. It is also necessary to consider the reed which the carp brushes up against each morning, the oblong stone behind which it conceals itself, and the rippling of water when it comes to the surface. These elements should in no way be constituted as the carp's environment. They belong to the carp itself. In other words, the brush should sketch a life, since a life is constituted by the traces left behind and imprints silently borne."72 7 2 Park, G. (1995). Nga Uruora [The groves of life]: Ecology and history in a New Zealand landscape (p. 16). Auckland, New Zealand: Victoria University Press. 143 THE FIFTH INTERCESSION May we-who-research hear the voices of change and constancy, hear what we may already know One hearing of voice. It is a privilege to listen. It is then an honor to reveal to others what has been shared. These are narratives rising from within and without; voices from some where, some thing; not coming from nothing. They offer lessons for those of the present, treasures for the making of the future. When my voice as researcher joins with the voices of those sharing understandings, I am not alone. I join and make community. A second hearing. Your telling of understanding is an original work. The voice is the medium for unique discourse; a moment of relationship that has never occurred before and will quickly pass. For me to ask people to think upon understandings of culture is to enter into the innovative and the unique. Two hearings of the same voice: linkages and originality; each hearing describing a variable relation to the shared understanding of culture. This is the making and remaking of meaning. The work of the painter Renee Magritte celebrates the stimulation of this meaning-making. In describing his painting The Human Condition (1933), I hear him challenging me, the researcher, to juxtapose the impossible pursuit of complete understanding against attention to expectations and assumptions: 144 The Human Condition was the solution to the problem of the window. I placed in front of a window, seen from inside a room, a painting representing exactly that part of the landscape which was hidden from view by the painting. Therefore, the tree represented in the painting hidden from view is the real tree situated behind it, outside the room. It existed, for the spectator, as it were, simultaneously in his mind, as both inside the room in the painting, and outside in the real landscape. Which is how we see the world: we see it as being outside ourselves even though it is only a mental representation of it that we experience inside ourselves.73 When Magritte invites us to look at and out the window, he does not try to find new solutions to old problems. Instead he sets new problems which rehearse solutions and understandings already known, but possibly lost from the view.74 To ask a person to think about understandings of culture is to revisit a view already seen. And inferred in that research paradigm is the belief that just such a visit is a worthwhile activity. The altogether unreal arrangement of memorised images reaffirms what we want to believe, that this stuff is real, that these ideas do have substance. And they do. Sort of 7 5 Recalled understandings of culture contain the substance of symbolism: conveying an embodiment of private meaning and public hope; a dialectic between constancy and change. They reveal attitudes and values which contend to influence the conceptualisation of curriculum. And, perhaps somewhat ironically, the substance of these ideas is confirmed by what their existence provokes. In the very rehearsal of our remembrances we present an alternative perspective of the scope of research in 7 3 Sarah Whitfield (1992). Magritte (p. 62). London: The South Bank Centre. 7 4 Sarane Alexandrian (1970). Surrealist Art (p. 123). London: Thanes and Hudson. 7 5 In a review of paintings by Ross Ritchie, Keith Stewart (1995) discusses the "sort of" dimension of portrayal and narrative, in this case in paintings. I have applied his ideas here in relation to educational research. 145 education. For, the belief of worth in the recollection and collection of understandings of culture is also the belief that we already know much of what is to be discovered. 146 Between Text and Life: Teacher talk For the teacher of culture Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That understandings of culture incorporate elements of change and constancy. Soundings: Community voice focus That understandings of culture incorporate practices which may change and principles which remain constant. These principles are not confined to specific cultures but shared, known, and lived universally. Towards a resolution: Rationale of form of representation This intercession illustrates ways in which the text of curriculum theory might present understandings of culture in styles that evoke the interplay of constancy and change. Robert Robert and I have known each other for twenty five years. This was important in shaping the nature of our conversations and our text. We had many common acquaintances, a familiarity with places, events, we shared the loss of friends no longer living, memories of professional highs and lows. In talking with Robert I felt closer to having a conversation than recording an interview. We met many times, in different contexts (home, 'phone, lessons, 'free' periods, cuppateatime in the staff room, school grounds duty, assisting with his classes). On five occasions the conversations were recorded. And as we met and talked there was an air of candour and trust that comes with knowing each other over many years. In that time he has been my Intermediate School Art teacher, club and representative Softball coach, mentor, referee for job applications, and well, kind of professional yardstick, as he has continued in his role as 'motivator' (his word for the work he does in schools), Art educator. He has never been someone I wanted to imitate, but he has inspired 147 me; never frightened me, but has confused me; never rejected me but has made me look to stand on my own. In a way. Even when he's engineered it so that I must be on my own in order to learn, I haven't been Alone. He is a gatherer of people, all kinds of people, and you don't always get to see them. He remembers those who gather and what they did and said long after their own memories have reduced everything to That Voice and That Laugh. I call him 'Robert' because he said I should, but he is still mostly 'Mr. Walker' to me and even though we converse as friends I find myself regarding him as in my intermediate school days. That's not his doing. It's not some inferiority thing. It's mostly based on feelings of respect towards a unique and sometimes difficult educator who has made a positive difference to my personal and professional life. But there, I am inferring that it is possible to separate the professional from the personal realms of our lives. If there is one thing that is apparent from knowing Robert it is that there is no duality in his life, no way of demarking one part from another. So we find that the narrative of his experiences with cultural dimensions of the curriculum is full of classrooms, school grounds, now, Year One as a teacher, Teacher's Training College, his own primary and secondary school teachers, Sof tba l l , hockey, model yacht sailing, his children, wife, children he has taught, Sof tbal l fundraising, Christchurch, Japan, Nelson, health, the beach, sprinting, visualisation; anecdotes that span years and places and people yet somehow do provide an account of his cultural experiences as an educator. It doesn't pay to expect that talking with Robert about culture will clarify the analysis of social structures. But it is reasonable to anticipate that he will show how he uses what Sapir has called the "scaffolding of culture" to talk about his life.76 In recent years Robert's scaffolding has been built around bicultural perspectives of 7 6 Edward Sapir (1994), in Cruickshank (1995, p. 1) 148 education. Through his work as an Art Educator he is enacting his version of he kaupapa mo Aotearoa (an educational philosophy for Aotearoa New Zealand). Yet he will repeatedly state that his work with students and community, although containing Maori symbols and honoring tikanga Maori, is not about 'Maori' and 'Pakeha'. Rather his work is about living and living Here. Arnold Manaaki Wilson described Robert's work as enabling students to understand "the spiritual gain from knowing who they are through the process of learning about their elders, learning about tangata whenua, the people of the land and also the fact that they are a product of today, looking at themselves and the people around them as part of that uniqueness they can call themselves true New Zealanders, they can know through history, they know through the stories pertaining to their region that they belong, they are part of the land the history of this spiritual land of ours."77 Robert's retelling of his experiences affords the opportunity to see his accounts as contributing to explanations of these cultural processes in curriculum rather than as merely illustrative ethnographic studies. I am never sure, though, whether or not Robert is perpetuating an heroic literary tradition of self-confidence when solving demanding teaching dilemmas. I suspect that my occasional confusion is due to the way in which Robert's accounts shift within different paradigms of value, worth, time and accountability in teaching practices. The criteria for practical and effective teaching do not remain constant and are reflected in the memories he retells. In the end it becomes difficult to determine whether Robert's accounts are telling me something about the past or are his attempts to comprehend the understandings of culture in the present. I think the distinction is a fine one and may not need resolving. It simply confirms the role of narratives in education research: through the narrative account it becomes possible to glean something of the processes involved in resolving issues that are A. Manaaki Wilson correspondence, undated. 149 encountered by teachers, often everyday, but usually at a time and in a way that precludes thorough analysis of both the event and the interpretation made of the event. The following extracts from recorded interviews with Robert provide us with opportunity to undertake just such analysis with a view to generating a framework about what teachers know, how they act and what judgments they make when negotiating the relationship between culture and curriculum. EXHIBITION Hours: Tue.-Fri. 9.30-4.30pm Sat, Sun 11- 4.30pm Admission free Pakeaka: Confrontation Robert Walker 151 WORKS IN EXHIBITION: Introductory Notes Pieces selected for the exhibition, Robert Walker: Pakeaka: Confrontation, include narrative, story telling, conversation transcript, correspondence, reflective notes, metaphor, analogy; in short, this is a textual assemblage of Robert's words. The pieces arise from a series of interview-conversations-at-home-by-the-TV-at-school-by-the-guillotine in which Robert described his understandings of culture and how they relate to his work as an Art educator. There has been some editing in order to display and to honor the exhibition's intention that the pieces should "incite" (one of the words Robert uses to describe his teaching philosophy). The pieces remain original to Robert and his voice, yet there has been a certain dissonance generated by the processes involved in displaying that voice. These new tones are an integral component of the rationale within this exhibition. "Pakeaka" gives voice to different ways that textual representation is valued; ways which show that the writing of culture is not psychological in character but literary. In shifting the gaze from culture as experienced "out there" to descriptions of it "back here", we face the problem of building a text that renders credible constructions of cultural description.78 Whether we are successful in negotiating that problem will, ultimately, rest with you the reader-viewer. And 'success'? What 7 8 1 found C. Geertz's (1983) discussion of dilemmas faced in the writing up of culture, from the anthropological perspective, particularly helpful in this regard. He notes a distinct lack of self confidence in contemporary writers of culture. The need to be cognisant of multiple postmodern identities has, he suggests, undermined the ability to write with confidence. This is different from arrogance, a difference which is highlighted when the writer is, as he does, regarded within their historical, political and ideological context. The 'writing' of culture through various forms of curricula may well benefit from the contextualisation of learner, teacher and curriculum. 152 would be 'success'? Nothing short of a state of learning based upon multiplicity and defensible morality, a state of learning that energises movement towards community within human diversity. The elements of this exhibition are fragments of a whole, selected so that they might illustrate one another and prove their raison d'etre in a free-floating state without the assimilationist and mediational tendency of explanation. In the how of the mounting of this exhibition and the what of the rhetoric accompanying the display, we the viewers are invited to participate in the construction of awareness of culture in places of learning; this place, the one of our current text being our point from which to begin.79 The 'artist' will be unknown to most observers, allowing little influence of ideas of anticipated importance or fame. The only relationship the observer should have is to the piece as it impacts upon their own understandings of their own context in the world. In this way the message of the piece is a direct confrontation with the spectator. It is intended that this approach will transmit the strength and very human qualities inherent in this exhibition. The selected pieces also reveal something of the attitudes and values of the exhibitor herself. She is present in the narrative of this exhibition, its construction and its content. In many ways the exhibition is one lacking systematic activity. It places value on the importance of the fragment, leaving it to the observer to complete the scene through harmonising space and experience. 7 9 The ways in which culture is put on display in classrooms, museums, art exhibitions will affect the generation of meaning associated with the objects and images. This point is usefully discussed by Bennett (1988) and Bell (1995), with regards to critical understandings of the interactions between museum displays and people. 153 We, the artist, the exhibitor, the ones of print-once-pulse invite you to now walk, listen, hear, read our fragments. Some you can see, some you will not. These are understandings. As you walk-listen-hear-read, the understandings become yours. A conversation continues. 154 the unspoken that is known That's the difficulty I think you have: using words to describe what the hell's going on. Those young people yesterday, they couldn't put in words what they had in their understanding of culture. U m , they found it extraordinarily difficult to express in words. But you could sense in the words they did use that there was an incredible understanding. 155 Someone said to me that culture happens across lines and that Lines what happens is that we create a sort of border zone in which people can meet. Mmm. I've probably even been crossing those lines a long time ago. I responded in that I didn't feel that the lines were an adequate description for I couldn't see understanding culture the line I [laughs]. Same here! I couldn't see the line. And that's why I say I've been crossing it for a long time. 156 I understand me, you, land.... and Cultural understanding is about understanding yourself and then understanding the people around you and so if there are people around you who are different, how can you help. And you know that's why I said to you right back when you said you were doing things on culture, I made some sort of comment that culture is the whole ability to live and take into consideration all the things that happen around you - the environment-and all the things and that even applies then in historical things: what has affected Maori people in New Zealand from the beginning? The environment, their contact with other people, their isolation, and all the things. And that's the same thing with a group at school: what has affected these kids now You know, because in our school there are various cultures. There's the culture of the playground. There are cultures which are quite different in every classroom from the next classroom. There's the culture of assembly, another quite different thing [laughs]. 157 I understand me, you, land.... and live through And even teachers have found it difficult when I've taken my kids and said, "Hey you know you've done this particular mural and so we are going to now take it to that place, and because Maori people recognise this piece of work, because its from their stories, we will ask our kaumatua from school to assist us. We will need to now learn some waiata. All I want you to do is just think about, you know, what's respectful, I'm not going to tell you about all the things that are going to happen to us, (and I haven't taught them about powhiri), "What in your upbringing will stand you in good stead today?" And these kids will go and they will follow the mural in, or carry the mural in, they will follow the kaumatua from our school, show respect. These kids realise and that's what they talk about with culture: that they live through. 158 So if we return to the spider's web metaphor of people and environment being interconnected through education, if I look at the line in a web, I can see it, but I can actually look through the line too. Yeah: It's translucent. I use the spider's web because it also shows a frailty within it and from that frailty I actually see strength. But and so it can be easily broken. And you remove one strand and you've immediately got a difficulty with the spider's web. The other thing too is that if you touch one strand, all the others move. That's right. Yeah. So how is frailty in learning and teaching strength as well? Because at that stage you gain understanding from those experiences. Ah, and sometimes th-, you know, while they may be difficult experiences, ah you still gain from that. And it's and it's like that word that Arnold used for his for his week-long workshop at Rehua80, you know, 'Pakeaka', ah, 'Confrontation'. Now, for some people in that situation they felt frail, confronted with these things that required stepping into unfamiliar cultural and learning situations. But then they advanced from from their from their place. Ah Yeah there, another thing we can play with the spider's web is that the space in between the strands is actually part of Yeah, yeah the web Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So what I actually can see is not necessarily all that's going on. That's right. Rehua Marae, Springfield Road, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. 159 Table Talk Around Here And There, Now, Then And Forever When I heard that other Art teachers around were being criticised for doing the same sort of work I thought, "Why are they getting criticised? Why am I not?" And I thought, "Well there could be one reason, that, you know, people find me a hard man, um, who don't know me." And so I took some of the photographs to a number of the elders and said, "I'll leave them with you and I'll come back." And I went back to one lot of the elders, pair of them, whose grandchild was at school. When the two elders came home, ah we had a cup of tea. And the lady starts in first and goes immediately to a photograph and, "I'm not happy with this." And here's a child sitting on a table. And I said, you know, "No, nor am I, but you know, that's the reality of what will happen. And some of the worst aggressors, in that particular thing in school are Maori children. So can we assume that everybody knows what we're talking about?" So she went away for a while. And then the old fella, he sat there and he says, "Well, thank-you for all this. Ah, my father wouldn't have been happy and my grandfather would've been very unhappy." My goodness here we go. "Um, but you've left it with us for two or three weeks and I've had time to come to terms with it. Thank-you for what you are doing. You are in a school situation and if the few people like you weren't doing this, our culture wouldn't make progress. 160 People wouldn't understand our culture, ah, our children wouldn't feel empowered themselves, wouldn't feel, you know, s a f e within the school. But you make our kids feel safe within the school. Carving probably wasn't originally in some groups, for females, but I see here photographs of female carvers. Great. You are not carving a traditional whare that's meant to be an ancestor and you're not carving a particular ancestor within that whare. So that's okay. But more importantly you're not carving what I regard as, um, the children of Tanemahuta, the trees. This stuff you're carving now is a Pakeha plastic stuff made of the dust of the trees. It now has no living soul and in fact," and he started to laugh, "by using that stuff you are following some of the tikanga of preserving the forest, the native forests!" 161 Um, I find the line is too tidy as Lines But so it's not, a generalisation about understandings of culture. so it's not only the line on the web, it's the line of words. The line of words The line of words in a book. There are a lot of times that we take the word too literally and don't read between the lines and the space around the lines. You know, 'What is this person really saying?' or 'What are you going to take out of what this person is telling us?' You know, 'What can you interpret from those things?' 162 So What Do You Know? ...This was so powerful that it frightened me. You see, what happened in my earlier years as a teacher everybody took lessons about the Eskimos81, and they certainly did it with infants, 5 and 6 year olds, about Eskimos, until if you ask children at 11 and 12 where Eskimos live, they tell you about it, "Well they lived in egg shells," because egg shells were used to make the igloo, for years and years and years through their school and they'd forgotten that they were made of ice and so those, we were talking about Eskimos and yet the kids were taking out of it that Eskimos lived in egg shells, you know, boiled eg& and that's the same sort of thing with these things-Maori. 8 1 Unfortunately the term 'Eskimos' has prevailed in Aotearoa New Zealand, a legacy of the Social Studies curriculum , which was revised in 1996. Robert's language may reflect the referent used at earlier stages in his career. 163 And what would you do? Resistance The old lady at the marae was saying, "We love hearing your girls sing," and when we got back to school, we had a trophy that was given to us by a Ngai Tahu carver, and it was going to be presented as a trophy along with the silver cups at the final assembly. These kids said, "When that's done can we stand up and sing the waiata, to support the person and show our total acknowledgment, um, at the final assembly?" And I said, "Oh that's brilliant stuff, yeah I'll take it back with me." I took it back to the staff and the response was, "No, these children are not good enough at singing." And yet here the old ladies were rapt with their singing. And what did the children do? As everybody left the assembly they gathered in the middle and sang in a circle. And what did you do? Resistance Sefeika is a Samoan with, you know, beautiful long hair which is always plaited. So this particular year he was Form Two, and Form One children were teasing him and calling him a girl. But also the mistake was being made by relieving teachers saying, "Hey, that girl at the back," when they wanted a response. So he responded one day in the playground by these people teasing him, by hitting them. And then when he was in trouble he came. He was at Art and he said, "They're coming for me." I said, "What have you done?" and he said "Oh I just got sick and tired of my manliness being questioned and so I've hit somebody. I didn't hit them in the face where I could hurt them, I hit them in the stomach. " Of course he ended up with counseling for his aggression and nothing was done for anyone who was, all the rest who were, you know, questioning his, not only his manliness, but his whole cultural being. So this person who thinks about culture and thinks about lines Lines [pause] I can't see the lines, see. But can you see that you're different from someone else of another culture? [pause] Oh I'm different from a person from another culture, but we could have very similar experiences now. Um and I probably put some of those experiences now into words, that they were journeys and some of those journeys are not complete. Um, and there's barriers on those journeys sometimes. And now I've had to come back and think, 'Well, how do I approach that from another angle now?' And sometimes, 'No, I don't want to approach that at this particular time. ' Ah, T haven't got enough understanding yet to carry on that particular path.' I think why I have this problem with the lines idea, is that we often don't see these things as being 'cultural'. They are just us living a day. The line idea makes lines. For some groups that's a necessary step in raising awareness of the way in which oppression exists, but I think somewhere along the line (Ha!) we've failed to look at who is drawing the lines, for whom they are drawn and therefore the effect of the line idea. It's not always helpful. 165 Is it me or is it you? R I've gone even further and taken one of the strategies that I use and seen it as the Maori strategy 'using other students to teach others.' They love to share their hints, to encourage each other, to pass on skills. They love sharing experiences. And that's a very Maori (and some people might say it's even the Polynesian thing). And that's the thing that develops with the bone carving: your first bone carving piece that you make, you give away. And so you can prove to yourself that you can make it again, that you've learnt from - the experience. And that's that same thing: you're giving away your knowledge so that you learn again and that you're sure of that knowledge that you've built up. A So Robert, how do you know that it was a Maori principle that you picked up in the teaching of others as opposed to something that you just thought of yourself? R Yeah, originally I just thought of it myself. But then as I got older and started working with Maori it became very obvious that it was. And certainly working with the Maori artists that I worked with, on a marae, the wonderful occasions were when there were people visiting and the visitors, you know, were handed a chisel or a paint brush and told to carry on and start working, and these people, some of them, ah with complete fear once it was handed into their hands and yet they carried on and carved. And that's when I started to see: "Oh I've done that anyway." Um but it certainly ah, I don't know why I've done it. But, you know, just a thing that I did. A So it's not necessarily something neatly and tidily placed in 'This is the Maori way'? R No, but it is a Maori way of doing things but it doesn't fit in a Maori basket. It probably doesn't, it probably does. In fact, most cultures probably have it. But 166 some cultures have lost it somewhere along the line maybe. A And then what happens is that when we become aware of this um principle being present in another culture, that we share it R Yup. A as opposed to possessing it R Yeah, yeah A individually. R Yeah. A So we move into kind of a um a shared way of teaching, that is of this land R Yes. And that's part of this whole growing concept of, and that's that whole thing of the waka, you know we're not we're not talking about a waka. We're talking about each person picking up a paddle to keep moving forward. And that's what happened with this sort of attitude: that each of the paddlers has now taught you know ten others. Um, and then those ten have taught ten others. And so that's where you know I keep saying there's a great waka on the move and it just won't slow down now, because that's what's happening. See I think I have no difficulty with saying, "There is a time for ah a Maori justice system, to see if they can't help their own person improve in their system." How can that be? That to me would be drawing lines. No, it's just them taking responsibility for their own. See the difficulty is that when they do that it'll be put on TV and that's when the line will be drawn. So until then it's like Rose Parker's idea of the ladder: Aotearoa New Zealand with Maori on one side, Pakeha on the other, steps of dialogue in between. There's a relationship that allows identity and we mightn't see this as 'culture' or as something separate from others. No, I don't, I don't think we do. And I think probably a lot of people don't realise that we've probably made, we've made a, probably, a lot of progress in understanding culture. Ah even though we can be completely anti- on certain other things that are happening around us. I mean. Who is 'we'? Kiwis. Both Maori and Yeah Pakeha. 168 I Don't See A The argument is used often that, "I don't need to do this bicultural stuff because I haven't got any Maoris in my class." R Yeah, but I don't see it as 'Maori'. I see that this is our country, this is our culture and I'm sure now that the kids see that now: that this is their culture. It's all inclusive, today. We are part of this. So a great great grandparent's stories, that they've passed on, are valuable. And the kids can see the relevance of some of these stories today. So they then just say, "Well this is part of our culture, this is part of New Zealand." The Maori children of course have a particular affinity to it because it really is from 3000 years or more of their being here, and being the tangata whenua. But the rest of us, we're, it's our country now; it's where we grew up and were born and where we'll be buried. And some of our people have come in various waka, and I talk to the Asian children that they've come on a waka, they've come on a Boeing 747 and that's a modern waka. They've made their land, this is their place now. And that was the message that Dame Whina had (and that was probably that was why sometimes in many Maori circles she wasn't understood or not liked) because she was saying the same message, that people today have arrived as well. And that we are two people, but we are one country. We are Maori and Tauiwi, if you like, and that means that this is still our country, one country. 169 E X H I B I T I O N R E V I E W Christchurch Robert Walker Pakeaka: Confrontation AIRINI My first impression of this exhibition was a kind of gut tumbling intimacy. I remember feeling as if I could visualise the artist actually at work with his human canvases, almost be that artist, and yet also partake in the step-back perspective of the viewer. An impossible tension that somehow existed because of the ways in which these works are both illusion and allusion: never intending to create images that substitute for reality, but doing so all the same; creating symbols for the reality that is being interpreted. Works that work for illusion and allusion, advancing and retreating from reality; that impossible trysting place between private meaning and public hope. This is where moral understandings, life observations and determinations are expressed in particularities of people, time and place; the universe and the earth at once. I should then be on a journey of purple haze pleasure and delight, soft aspirations whispered gently so as not to disturb, but whispered all the same. It didn't work like that though. These pieces have life, they avoid being closed down into two-dimensional representations. I am struck by what they are not: in no way bereft of the spatial, communal, personal experiences we associate with reality. Transcribed realities, now fiction, but they pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse. And in so doing they collect you and I, and somehow bond us. There is a suggestion that we can and do live by principles that bind in ways that are welcomed even admired to the point of engendering pride; like the weaving of a cloak of feathers - intricate strands that take elements of flight and bind for function and significance; symbols of freedom that are enriched by understandings of responsibility and obligation. I see then, perhaps hope to wear then, astonishing beauty invested with identity, time and the lingering aura of connections between peoples and environment. This leaves me though with the question of what, exactly, is this exhibition about? How are we to respond to the artist's chosen subjects? It seems clear that we should not take these works at face value - the legacy of critical perspectives ensures that in every piece, no matter how domestic, we can glean something of the world and the ways of its social orders. In one sense these pieces are just that, pieces. And what is more they are situated in the background. They lack political edge, the loudly public voice, they occur in the everyday, and could easily be overlooked. Except. Except that in displaying them in this way the background flats become features in 170 themselves, making us look and relook at the dramas being enacted at the edges of public perspective. The objects and ways in which we seek to understand and live life materialise where we were already looking. But they are not quite that clever, partly because they're not 'clever' pieces (although prepared for display they are still raw), and partly because these are images that have been (re)constituted within the artist's studio. These pieces are no longer about the domestic realm, but about the artist's workplace and practices. That means we are partaking in an entirely different place and order of experience. This second view then dispels the effect of direct experience. We are, after all, viewing a show of the mechanics of illusion; for the artist: paint on canvas; for the writer: ink on paper. Not that this is a criticism of the artist, rather I respectfully salute the ways in which the pieces in this exhibition take on a life of their own, one that stimulates imagination, remains in memory; conjures a response of thought and feeling that paint and ink alone could never achieve. I as viewer find myself 171 intimately and gladly entwined within a mantle of history and technical skill. I feel and think myself tumbling towards being related. 172 It's funny but I'd forgotten 'til now that I have a pulse. "And the beat goes on 173 THE SIXTH INTERCESSION May we-who-research remember how it is that we are within the searching Researcher. Interpreter. Hermeneut. It sounds nice. Inoffensive. Well-meaning. Please think back on your experiences. And tell me. Give to me. Leave to me. Researchers of culture and curriculum do research that will benefit them in some way - directly, or otherwise. For this reason, the research project is a political and personal one, involving the distribution and use of power, the intertwining of imagination and intention located in place. Its purpose and outcomes will always warrant interrogation. In the beginning we, these researchers of culture and curriculum, wanted to know you and give you voice. Like latter-day explorers our work was to discover and 174 explicate: overlooking that small step from discovery to conquest. Then we learnt too of our own narrative within the exploration. Now we learn how it is that we explore: the pursuit of knowledge continues, only this time we must listen to our own voice alongside the plural voices of those Othered. We are not the only constructors and agents of knowledge. And as we listen we must hear: concerns about the 'capture' of the past by outsiders; the all too frequent focus on the exotic and the socially pathological; the 'dissection' of beliefs and practises from some supposedly neutral stance. We who are part of this land, have responsibilities accruing to the people of this land. We undertake the research of culture and curriculum with self and people. With. People. In the beginning our endeavours were dominated by the Eurocentric world view of research. We saw no wrong in the research agenda, processes and outcomes being solely controlled by the researcher. Nor was it inappropriate for the research to primarily benefit us. Alongside our assumptions were the power structures which privileged particular people to have control over decision making processes, often denigrating alternative processes for knowledge gathering and information processing. Now we who are part of this land, seek to honor responsibilities accruing to the people of this land. We undertake to research culture and curriculum with the people. With. The people. In our land of Aotearoa New Zealand, two peoples created the nation with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Maori. Pakeha. The Treaty constituted an agreement for power sharing in the decision making processes of the country. 175 Under the Treaty, the pursuit of justice became a task in which all peoples of the land must be engaged. Research into the relationship between culture and curriculum exists within this agenda of empowerment, equity, justice. And so we find now that our research questions raise other questions, ones that do reveal the researcher's own narrative contributing to the conceptualisation of culture. Be assured that when we collate and analyse recollections, we still interpret. We still are Ricoeur's hermeneuts82, Gitlin's deconstructive reconstructors83, Denzin's interpreters of meaning84, Altheide and Johnson's good-ethnographers-in-the-midst-of-rediscovery.85 But know too that our research occurs within a context concerned with the definition, legitimation and ownership of knowledge. When we ask people to describe their understandings of culture we must also ask ourselves: who initiated this research and why; who set the goals; whom will it benefit; who is going to do the work and how will it be organised; who is going to have access to the research findings, its format and distribution modes; to whom is the researcher accountable?86 Our own locus of control and self-understanding also exists within a locus of accountability; living and breathing of and in our land. My life, my breath. Of the people. Of the land. Researchers of culture and curriculum do research that will benefit them in some way. To participate in the interpretation of understandings of culture is to account for that benefit and the social reality which we understand individually and in which we also function collectively. By deduction we can move from individual to society, with each reading of our 'text' taking place within presuppositions and exigencies of community: we as researchers as members of community. We honor 8 2 Ricoeur (1974). 8 3 Gitlin (1994: ix). 8 4 Denzin (1989: 32). 8 5 Altheide & Johnson (1994, p. 493). 8 6 Bishop (1994) lists and further describes the implications of each of these questions. 176 the responsibilities of being within community with a readiness to make explicit how we share personally in the project produce. And so we do more than describe. We convey something of self and community through understandings and interpretations of culture-in-place. The very context of community determines the validity, or otherwise, of both the personal explanation and the curricular interpretation of understandings of culture. The research project concerned with culture and curriculum aligns the researcher with community. We, the researchers, are within the community within the research and within the research within the community. We, the researchers, take the research beyond the mere interpretation of things. We seek an understanding of self alongside another. Not surprisingly then, the interpreter and representer of understandings of culture arrives at an ontological and philosophical quest: that of living and testifying to the interpretation of interpretations.87 8 7 See . J. Derrida (1978, p. 278), P. Ricoeur (1974, p. 12). 177 I Thought This Was About Theory And Teachers For the teacher of culture Words of concern: Research and curriculum focus That the voice of the representer of understandings of culture be recognised as part of the narrative of interpreting and representing understandings of culture. Soundings: Community voice focus That the call to honor community and context is to be heard alongside the narrative of the representer of culture. Towards a resolution: Rationale of form of representation To develop a balance between honesty, testimony, emotion and cognition, a fictional correspondence models the negotiation of self narratives with community and academic discourse. My friend and My DearOne Date: 13 February 1997 14:31: 57 From: <a.@unixg.ubc.ca> To: My friend Subject: What can you hear in what I write? Please? My friend, Here I am again. Tapping to you, when I should be tapping my research writeup. Something erudite, reasonably calm, structured, leading to a 'point'; that's what I should be writing, but instead I am hooked on conversations. Vagueries, some ramblings, too, too personal, devoid of 'point', scrambled in profundities. Do you how many times I have rewritten this research? At first I was going to report the findings of a case study into understandings of culture held by a school 178 community. Reasonably cut and dry reporting stuff. Then I went all autobiographical and looked at mememememe and the necessary incomprehensibility of culture in curriculum as-experienced-by a Pakeha person in Aotearoa New Zealand. And now.... ramblings. Well, not quite. I have some thoughts, some attempts to write the right way. But I need an outside view. Can you tell me what I am doing? What do you hear in what I write? I have a theme - one that I no longer really study, because as C. Wright Mills said: You do not really have to study a topic you are working on; for... once you are into it, it is everywhere. I'm interested in how people understand culture and what that means for curriculum. I would like to develop an understanding of curriculum that embraces the profound complexity of human life; of the endeavour to understand who we are and how it is that we wish to represent ourselves to the young of our communities. Which is why I am now drawn to conversations - whether through text or in person. These are, as my roommate Bill Smith said, "Conversations for being related."88 The trick-trip-up for me though is what do I do with the conversation I have with myself? My memories, my reactions, my own 'development in understanding'? I am drawn to this conversation. After all, it has been going on for a while. Rarely spoken, but recorded in memory; memories as a person born and raised in a land that for many years I knew as New Zealand, but now know as Aotearoa New Zealand; of trying to understand myself in past lands and present; and then of late, becoming the recorder-cum-filter for others' memories of land and presence. So, my friend, I write to you because I need help to understand this mememe conversation: My sincere thanks to you Bill. 179 what it means and where it's heading. Don't worry though, you're not expected to be a Soothsayer. Just tell me, please, what you hear in what I write. That's all. Although I have many thoughts with regards to people's understandings of culture, here's my attempt to describe strands of continuity, constancy, that have been present in the conversations I have had with people in a school community. In her autobiography Janet Frame writes that "The passing of time does not flow like a ribbon in the hand while the dancer remains momentarily still. Memory becomes scenes only until the past is not even yesterday, it is a series of retained moments released at random"(1994, p. 331). I think what she says is right in observing the effect of text upon life. But so far as life itself goes, I am beginning to think that there is a ribbon-like part to it all; something continuous, some constancy in all this talk (and writing) of change. What I can't decide though is whether this is me figuring out what I want to figure out (what I need), or am I pondering upon something which is True? In the end, in the pragmatic end, I could just join with Richard Rorty and say: The truth of it all, of a core or not, is immaterial alongside the decision to believe something because it is right for me, us, and to maintain that belief until something better comes along. Which, although very sensible and reassuring in times of flux, still seems just a little light for my sense of it all. There is this thing of constancy in the midst of living. I'm beginning to think the interplay between the two has something to do with my role in teaching through and about culture. So, here 'tis, my friend: one journal extract that is mymymymy gut plus once through me doin' the scholarly strut. All part of this conversation. Can you see ribbons? 180 13 February 1997 To place She says we are connected by descent. By my birth I can claim to belong. By my life I find I do not. Unless I choose otherwise. But the genes, she says, are merely dormant. Te Ruru (1995) drew a whakapapa that took us all back to a common ancestor, the one of Original Beginning. Sometimes, although it should be done carefully, says Metge (1995), the term 'whanau' is used in an extended way to embrace ideas of unity, commonality, kinship and the ensuing responsibilities (p. 309). It has many meanings, one of which is "to be born" (Williams, 1985, p. 487). I, we, then enter into life and an understanding of whanau. From this originality we are all linked in some metaphysical way. But I hesitate, again. The temptation is to be apologetic. I won't. I can see this link and live with it. It is of how I know, how I understand being. In the past few months I have spoken with many people about their understandings of 'being', all under the guise of research into culture in education. There have been some pragmatics, there have also been some principles. Joan Metge (1995) calls them Great Thoughts (whakaaro nui), others might call them Values (pp. 79-105). These are the core understandings that come forward when people talk about culture. They are the values which a community would wish to govern relations with each other and outsiders; fundamentals. They seem to be unchanging referents for guiding day-to-day experiences. The principles are constant, the practices may however need adjustment. In coming to understand the presence of Great Thoughts within daily practices, we are able to be live comfortably with dialectics: to reinforce culturally distinct ways, yet maintain a sense of unity in principle that extends 181 beyond the particular group. Let me try to list these values that came through in my conversations. The names, at first, and then an exploration of the ways in which the community shifts between different understandings of Great Thoughts associated with culture. But as I list I do this from a non-deficit perspective. In scribing values I testify to my inclination to revere, to presume wisdom before all else. I do not immediately presume notions of values in culture as being deficient. Nor do I wish to critique these notions into meaninglessness. The debasement achieved by critique makes me view critical thinking as more chimera-like, than reasonable. Fire breathing monster with a lion's head, grotesque product of the imagination. Its intent to align ideas with a world of misery, victimisation, discontinuity and despair offends me and undermines my sense of dignity in all people, my hearing of hope in their voices, my witnessing of positive effect in their schools. This does not mean that I deny the existence of oppression, 'evil', inequities in the world. Far from it. I question though the attitude of swilling amongst the muck again and again. I go to the counter in the store, I am there first. A white woman comes alongside me, she is there second. The attendant watches, looks at me, looks at her, serves her first. Because, of, my, colour. No, don't try to excuse it (it was age? she didn't realise you were first?). It, was, colour. And there in little ways I feel the huge rage. And I rage. I do. And then I move on.89 Critical thinking seems to ask me to keep living that rage again and again and again. But I've moved on. I have to. That's survival. If I didn't then I no longer have my life as my own. These forces of wrong against which we rage would grip my life and strangle it. I survive because I move on. Wiser, worldly wiser. I want to live, I want my life. So I go into the world looking for ways to have and rejoice the life that I live. It is a gift, not an impediment. Thank you Jennifer Wanjiku Khamasi for reminding me of this principle. 182 What is needed is an interpretation of critical thinking that has an intent to go forward in a non-deficit, non-monstrous manner. Where is the reverence for what we teach, what we think, in how we live? It isn't human to live without love or hope. I mean, I am less human if I should try to do so or be led to do so. To ask me to live and relive the muck is to participate in processes of self-depreciation (Freire, 1989, p. 49). This is the way of the oppressed, the very way which we seek to overcome. It derives from internalising the opinion of the oppressors, their hold over the oppressed. It is a form of violence and its reformative effect upon the education of our young ones is, well, trivial. And that is why I resist. I need a way of understanding which has that "cosmological concern for healing" of which Sharilyn Calliou writes (1996, p. 235). I need a way of understanding which reveres people, wholly, in our days, wholly, between Earth and Sky. And then a way of education that honors right intent. I am tired of the talk of my divisions and limits. I long for discernment rather than critique. Let me hear of lasting foundations, and let me partake in the rebuilding of the foundations.90 Values, Great Thoughts. Let me hear of these. I met with a community and these people, their Great Thoughts, were shared with me on the basis of trust. Sure we were sitting in classrooms at lunch time, in kitchens, lounges, cuppatea handy, laughter, some tears, some embraces, food, phone calls, interruptions ("Where's my pack of cards, Mum?" "I'm going to Basketball now." "Can I go and play next door?" "Here are today's notices...."). But that's what I mean, this talk, within a real day, was of things that sustain. These are the ideas of the imagination, the pictures held of life as we wish it to be and therefore the lens through which we regard the life that is. And we look because we 9 0 Thank you Miche l Foucault. M y thoughts from your words wi th in The archaeology of knowledge.(1995, p. 5). v 183 wish for contentment. I honor that trust, not blindly or naively, but I do remember that although I may be away from the people now, they are not dead, their stories (and my stories of them) have not been surrendered to freedom. And even if they had I would still hear them through another and once again I would be the trusted one. [Why do I cry] [How do I write tears when the ink must be dry in order for you to read 185 Great Thoughts (Whakaaro nui)91 Greetings to those of the four winds, to those of this land and lands beyond We seek peace, We meet to create community When people, our cultures, meet at our school When cultures meet in this school I would like it if everybody shared things, talked to each other, cooperated well to make friends with each other, with everybody treated equally. Friendliness Peace Sharing of cultures People accepting other cultures Happiness No racism Everyone to be friends Sharing 9 1 This extract of a poem (cited in full in Appendix B) was written by a class of Form 2 students from Intermediate School. The 11 and 12 year olds participated in various cooperative and individual activities and discussions to trigger their thinking and confidence to record their ideas relating to the development of a cultural equity policy at the school. As a starting point we considered how we would like things to be when people of different cultures met at school. Prior to this session we had explored ideas associated with the general construct of 'culture'. This second lesson took the more specific and local equity policy focus. The students (approximately 30) were asked to record their ideas in sentences, phrases or words. These were then handed in in order of completion to me, the lesson facilitator. When every child had responded I read what was now a collective poem, back to the class. I think I would be fair in saying that they were surprised (...and, was it pride? Something warm anyway) by the depth of thinking and feeling that came through. I contributed to the poem also. The first seven lines, which are repeated in the conclusion, were written by me, as was the editing into the form the poem now takes. I also inserted phrases such as "We could, we should...", "When people, our cultures, meet..." to assist with continuity, but hopefully not detract meaning from the student's own words. The poem is included here as a mantel under which we will explore the Great Thoughts shared in the community conversations. I acknowledge the spirit of these our young ones and their willingness to hope. I think of the ways in which teacher, learner and researcher can be one. 186 For everyone to have equal rights Would suit me. When people, our cultures, meet at this school we should give each other respect; to know it's safe when you found that person And I would want for them to be a group no racism to be all one culture not to blot anyone out because they're black, white, yellow or fat or skinny short or tall 'cause we're all humans I think We should, we could... Get along as one Share stories and things which happened to you. Greetings, welcomes from your culture. Share ways of your culture. Be yourself and Happy When cultures meet I think they should judge them for who they are and not what they are. If people are racist they should at least be able to respect one another. We could, we should, see and be so that everyone would act like they're from the same culture but not to forget they aren't. Greetings to those of the Four Winds to those of this land and lands beyond. 188 G r a n d S u m m a r y o f G r e a t T h o u g h t s Values play an important role in binding people together. They are the very fibre wi th which a group's unique pattern w i l l be woven. But the fibre remains common between groups. The words used to describe a single value w i l l vary. While one may speak of kindness, others w i l l speak of community; one, of diplomacy, another, of respect. In all cases the effect of enacting the value described w i l l provide a check upon the compatibility of meaning. Four core values (knowledge of the past, respect, community, right ways) which were frequently present i n the conversations wi th school community members are described below. While many more d i d arise in our talk, the listed values seemed to have an overarching role that provided a framework for others (e.g., working together, care for each other). Examples of variations of meaning accrued to each value are provided along wi th a summary of the value, and possible implications for culture in education. K n o w l e d g e o f t h e p a s t Value is placed on the sense and knowledge of connection wi th the past. This may be genealogical and therefore specific to particular ancestors of particular family groups, or it may be more general, locating people in a broad historical perspective. In the former, kinship through descent is the criteria by which the past is valued. In the latter, 'kinship' through a sense of continuing, inheriting a place in the present, through direct and indirect connections is valued. • You know, whenever I register my kids anywhere I actually put: Maori/ Pakeha. One, because you know in terms Maori we honor our tupuna. Well part of my tupuna are Pakeha. If I say that they're not my tupuna then I'm not whole. So I acknowledge both sides because that is me. I am both Pakeha and I'm both Maori and whether I am proud of that it's a fact, regardless of anything else and I think that's the only way that I can see the balance is that. 9 2 Cari, a parent at Intermediate School. 189 It may be enough to know that a river was used a century ago as a route for ferrying produce to and from a settlement; or that one's ancestors led the horses that pulled the ferry. In this case the knowledge of connection is freely sought and freely given. It is an act of volition and the asking of questions is usually regarded as a compliment. Genealogical knowledge held within whakapapa is constrained, with aroha, through tapu: the importance of whakapapa as establishing oneself not as individuals but as living representatives of those who have died, means that elders will refrain from teaching young ones too much until it is apparent that they are ready to honor and be careful with the knowledge. Knowing too much too soon can result in blunders which will be regarded as serious errors (Metge, 1995, p. 91). • There are people that think, that take culture as 'Maoris', then there are other people that take culture to mean 'The First Four Ships'. To me, their focus is like this [he holds up his thumb and first finger]. Whereas culture is thatfhe throws his arms wide] What brought me here is culture! What made New Zealand the way it is? Why is Christchurch where it is? That's all been part of our culture. That's all part of what's made us where we are today; which is, to me, culture. 9 3 Simon, a parent at Intermediate School. 190 Whether it is whakapapa or history that engenders a sense of longevity, both will effect a tying together between past, present and future and will assist in making links between people and place. Education teaches about values through instruction in social studies, history, geography and other 'locating' disciplines, or through a negative effect of promoting one cultural perspective before all others (e.g., Cari: But having said that [there is a need for balance in recognising Maori and Pakeha tupuna] I probably accept more of my Pakeha sense than my Maori self because it's been the Pakeha way which has been reinforced so many times right throughout my life). The linking of self with heritage in the educational context will require an openness to revisionary historical perspectives that seek to counter inaccurate and iniquitous representations of culture. • I think that's where a lot of people's, I shouldn't say 'Hang ups', but perceptions are that things-Maori are not really worthwhile because it's only their particular background & the emphasis on, in Canterbury, the Four Ships and everything that goes with it & even though Maoris have lived here for maybe a thousand years & have moved through they haven't settled & farmed the land & set up an established group which the European have done. So they regard that as what we should have done & make ourselves more available. But that's not our nature...So all this historical background has brought about misunderstanding about Maoris, the language....And [when Pakeha travel overseas & are asked about things Maori] many of them realise oh these people want to know about something that they've not ignored but have just seen there as something that is part of a landscape & to leave it there. I mean people & our culture. ...Um because it is actually for many of them a foreign language. 9 4 David, visiting teacher at Intermediate School. 191 Respect • The valuing of respect can reinforce a sense of relationship and commitment of group members to each other while also reminding them of their responsibilities to both those inside and outside a group. o • Some groups will place high importance upon respect for particular members of their group. Elders will often be held in special regard as treasures, precious guardians of knowledge. Respect in this sense is linked with honor and duty and operates as a verb; an ongoing regard for another with deference and esteem. There will be rituals, symbolic gestures (such as honorifics) and daily practices that establish a bond between members of the group and those held in special regard. It is often taken as a sign of maturity and commitment that one can willingly and satisfactorily undertake duties associated with this sense of respect. • J: And we we like we thought that we should've been more quieter but we were trying to tell the boys and they were like saying "Shhh!", and it was actually their voices that we could hear. K: Schools were giving us respect but like in that we probably we weren't giving them respect. J: They gave it to us but we didn't respect. Well we listened to them sort of but we were making like well heaps of noise. 9 5 • J: [Our teacher] goes, "Respect the olders," and like we were real childish like going up to people and giving them hongis, we were like real childish, we didn't want to do it. So...[our teacher] got Aunty to teach us to shake hands at first, in a powhiri, um we got to learn to, you know, do hongis with other people without being all shaken up. Jane and Kylie, students at Intermediate School. 192 • As a way of avoiding offense, consternation (that could lead to feelings of alienation) or inaccurate assessments, 'respect' operates to maintain communication between people. The purpose is primarily functional and entirely voluntary. It is based upon a sense of goodwill, often with a desire to avoid tensions and to achieve, instead, contentment and harmony. • 'Respect' may have several meanings in any one context. It may carry the sense of honoring, it may also suggest avoiding interrupting, interfering with; that is, to treat with consideration. Where the honoring of the teacher coincides with the teacher in some way respecting the student, there is often a sense of mutuality and community across ages and roles within the educational institution. • A : In terms of working in with cultures, are there any other attitudes, or values, that you think are important in helping cultures communicate? M: I think probably respect, the fact that you actually respect other people's opinions about things, that then you can make your judgment up of it. 9 6 • A: I think [the teacher] is really interactive. D: Yeah, but he's got the, you know, he stays apart when he needs to be, and like, yeah. A: Yeah, so there's this odd sort of sense of discipline that is still there in structure and guidance. D: It's just respect, I think, that you get. A: From him. D: From the students, and from him. I mean, it's mutual. 9 7 Mike, a parent at Intermediate School. Dawn a former student of 'teacher'. 193 • While operating in one sense to indicate a desire to avoid causing offense, respect may also work to identify limits of mutuality between people and groups. Respect in this sense is regarded as a general trait held in common by all peoples. Where the particular practices of respect do not match those of another set of practices, respect lingers as attitude yet ends as practice, and difference begins. • If a child in my class said that they didn't want to go and greet the room I'd say, "That's fine. I understand what you're saying." And I'd talk to them about it. But I will always make them take their shoes off because I feel that is two different things. I see that taking our shoes off is respecting their culture. I see greeting their room as being part of their culture. 9 8 • S: [In the practices for the Cultural Festival] we've all mixed in. We're friends with each other - it doesn't really matter who you are or what you do or whatever, as long as we're friends in all this. And everyone just gets along really well now. A: Does that mean that everybody's become like one big... Gp: Happy Family S: Just a big family. 9 9 Community Although a group may come together within a cultural theme and while together they may not challenge the essential social order and boundaries represented by the understandings of culture, the fact of community may work to overtake the fact of culture. Community in this way represents solidity of structure, something larger than individuals, something more tangible than a concept, something that is dependent on but not confined by understandings of culture. Imogen, a teacher at Intermediate School. Sophie, Jane, Kristina and Lynn, students at Intermediate School. 194 A: Really? You're all the same Y e t in that coming together community can never sort of person now? be more than an approximation of congruence K: No, we're still different r r 6 people but we've come with another person, not that total equivalence together & would be entirely desirable (see Steiner, 1989, p. S: Yeah... T , , . ,., 175). A key task for educators is to know how to J: Yeah it s just like J K: We don't change our detect and avoid negative outcomes historically personality when we're around U n k e d w i t R g t r o n g c o m m u n i t i e s ( s e e Noddings, different people... 1996). A: But you're not just one group However, discourses of difference (which of Maoris & one group of Pakehas? privilege 'other' over commonality, sharpening S: Yeah, we just mix appreciation of individuality) should not prevent K :We're one group whose r e g a r d for a c o m pl e m entary theme of the mixed. People. T t „ , , . , , ., , common psychology of humankind.100 There is a J: We don t just shake with the f J Pakehas & hongi with the need for expanded and complex notions of Maori, we just do it with any c o m m u n i t V / o n e s w h i c h acknowledge the ways in sort of people which community can be the site for J: on the day. understandings of culture that incorporate both individuality and communality (see McRae, 1995, p. 191).101 100 The theme of commonality frequently occurs in the myths and legends of various peoples around the world. As a way of knowing and communicating knowledge there is a case to be made for incorporating this theme in discourses of difference. 101 while Nel Noddings (1996) would challenge the possibility of linking such liberal perspectives with community (primarily due to the lack of a "centre" that would inspire communal allegiance), she does accept that where there is care in the community, then seemingly unlikely alliances may occur (see Noddings, 1996, pp. 260- 267). 195 • The school provides a locality and motivation • M : To me, I'm a part of [the , ... . for the establishment and maintenance of schoolj because my daughter s going there. And I feel I have community. Many layers of 'membership' will the right to have a say over e x i g t w U h i n b r Q a d a n d n a r r Q W definitions of 'the what happens there because I .,, . school'. In this sense 'community' creates a am ultimately responsible for J my daughter's upbringing & I fellowship of interests predicated upon notions of am being assisted by the common purpose. Genuine consultation will play school in that. a crucial role in maintaining that fellowship. • In community, affiliation provides a form of •A: How did you manage to .. . 'new hierarchy' in which the community is all work m together [m the J J Performing Arts group]? 'Cause greater than the individual member (Said, 1983; you're not all the same. Wevers, 1995). A principle of relatedness then G: There's no use in, 'cause it's , , . exists, in which ethical life starts with the Other, just gomg to make things worse or you'll muck up or you'll Of primary significance will be a sense of have a big fight or something r e Sp0nsibility for the Other. In this relatedness T & that sucks ... survive possible extinction because 'you' exist. ... It s not just like your 1 J performance. You've got to Educational needs then become an extension of think about everyone else .™ 2 c u l t u r a l s u r v i v a l / n o t a n alternative. 1 0 2 Gina, a student at Intermediate School. 196 •We need more understanding of different cultures, every culture that comes within our classroom or our school. We need more time to understand & really to listen to them...But we've got to get to the young generation & it's now a global community; accept that just because someone's from a different country or that their skin's a different colour, that we're the same; that they have different ways, sometimes better ways of doing things than what we do; getting to the young ones I think e a r l y . 1 0 3 • Community may be that imagined space in which nations and peoples share common interests and the ability to communicate cross-culturally. Viewed positively this is a call for unity and harmony, affirming deeply held beliefs of goodness in all people and a shared desire for peace. This may also be interpreted as protecting the heart of colonising forces; rendering invisible an assimilationist effect that will ensure the dominance of Western capitalist systems. Educators, in working with the young, must achieve a balance between inspiring hope and challenging ideologies which facilitate the continued dance of imperialism. Imogen, a teacher at Intermediate School. 1 9 7 Right ways • Culture will form patterns particular to a people and their historical, social and environmental context. These patterns organise social life, encompassing ways of thinking and ways of doing. They become imbued with a sense of Tightness and become important ways of expressing belonging to a set of values and way of living, but human behaviour may be inappropriate at times simply out of ignorance. Accordingly, some flexibility is shown towards maintaining 'right' practices. The assumption is that learning is a long term process if it is to be genuine. •The outward fulfillment of right ways is counterbalanced by an 'inner', spiritual commitment' to ways of being that the practices reinforce. There is a holistic dimension to living 'right', one that is felt and may not be communicable in written or spoken word. • Last week there was a reliever in the classroom and she came into the whare and she had her shoes on and some of the children pointed it out. Well um they weren't very diplomatic about it, that she should take her shoes off. I said [whispers],"It's alright." They said, "But you take your shoes off. The other teachers take." I said, "Well, um we'll just leave it today because she's only here for a day." And perhaps I should have spoken to the teacher, but I thought well she's there, she's learning as well.... So um it's all part of the gradual learning curve, tikanga. 1 0 4 • Yep, it's like you can do all the, you can learn the language, you can you know you can do all the Maori stuff today but that's really more about learning. It's like, it doesn't mean anything if you haven't got it inside y o u . 1 0 5 David, a visiting teacher at Intermediate School. Faith, a former Intermediate School student. 198 9- \ [Why was that so hard to write?] [It seems so uncluttered now, but in the writing I did struggle so. But not with the words.] 199 My friend, So, this is where I find myself now: somewhere between being within the retelling of understandings of culture and somewhere outside it; a roving agent prone to generalising greatness of thought. I understand culture as a process, and that curriculum is part of that process of the collection and collecting of ideas, themes and ideologies about how we wish to live. And now I understand that I am in the midst of that process; perhaps even the maker-of-process. These understandings invite the shaping of new ones. Are there any ideas now that might have been triggered as you listened and thought of your own particular memories from your own particular context? Are there any ways in which these perspectives on culture interconnect, overlap or are irreconcilable with your own? This should be simple. I want to do better in teaching and understanding people. Understanding, and not understanding of any particular culture, has been the real goal of my writing. And what the experience of talking with community members and working with intellectual materials has demonstrated to me is that cultural understanding is not an answer to the question of how life should be lived, only a condition for answering that question freely. It's just that 'the condition,' I've realised, includes me too. But how is that to be? Can I write myself into the place of scholarly prose? I'd love to talk with you sometime. I thought I might go down to the cafe this Friday. Will you be there? Feel like taking on, talking on the world again? See you there my friend. Thanks for working your way through this. A. 200 15 February, 1997106 My DearOne, I was flattered that you should seek me out. And then flattened by, yes, the volume and, mmmm, the density of your message(s) to me. Some messages were there in the tidy word on the screen. Some sang, slid, tumbled out from between the blessed scribbles we like to call 'text'. (I prefer the more familiar 'Tex') (It's hard for Tex to be holy). Yes, please I would like to meet with you at the cafe, but before then I wanted to ask you to think upon something, not much really because I believe you already know it. My DearOne, be true to yourself, trust the things that have been entrusted to you. And then, be brave. You know how much I love to kayak - moving water, eddying out at the top of a rapid and then turning, committing, body, mind and soul as one calm, active unit. I know someone who swears by muscling his way down rapids. He fights the currents, conquers them with his strength, he says. And he's very good at all that technical analysis talk. So much better than me. I just talk about feelings, watching, visions, self-confidence. For me it's a matter of working with the river. I feel it, feel myself within it, know and trust myself and then cunning creature that I am I use 1 ° 6 To avoid major interruptions to the flow of this section, I have referenced few sources in the text itself. While so many people have been 'sources', some have been particularly influential in the writing of this section. They do not own ideas, I know, but their voices have been present as I write. I feel constrained by a paradigm that demands anonymity. So for now, as a compromise I recognise the ideas they contributed and name those who were did not take part in recorded conversations. I gratefully acknowledge the guidance of Lynn Thomas (particularly in making the point that we cannot say what 'culture' is, but we can say, 'Culture' includes these elements and ideas'), Lynn Fels (particularly, the 'presence/ absence' dialectic), Helen Papuni (of what it is to be within, rather than outside); and the guidance of my Wise Others in understanding that "'culture' is nothing out of the ordinary, it's just being"; the holistic learning/ teaching philosophy; and the optionality of culture. Jane McRae's (1995) description of Patricia Grace's writing was helpful in its exploration of 'Complete Communication'. So too was Sue Kedgeley's (1989) interview with Patricia Grace in which Grace says that when trying to reform attitudes the angry outburst may be less effective than letting ideas "sneak up on people." 201 the forces around and within me to move forward. It's never a straight route, but it's 'forward' from some perspectives anyway. And I move within my safety zone, but outside my comfort zone. I must take you down the Hurunui one day. Would you like that? But my DearOne, you had me seeing ribbons and delight in all that you wrote until the Great-Grand-Talk-Write began. The ribbons fell limp, colours faded and I felt as though it was I who was weeping. My DearOne, be true to yourself. It was there that you began to slide into 'doing' culture. I'm wondering if there is somewhere on your research proposal that says you will produce a table of effects, guidelines, perhaps; a unique contribution to the 'How-to-teach-'em-culture' book. What you wrote there was concise and may be helpful (who can ever be sure of such things?), a useful model of how to approach and describe a very complex construct, values, within the doubly, triply complex realm of 'culture'. But why do culture as it has been constructed and done and made over and over already? All your effort could amount to reproducing a construction of a construct either for general non-consumption, or worse, as further fodder to keep academia distracted from the blood and bone of culture-as-living; not '-lived', but '-living'. My darling, if you write that Great-Grand way then you write this project of yours into a problem. That is, it becomes A PROBLEM, one to be solved by going from x to y so that answer 'z' will surely follow. This has its place, but it's not yours. I may sound cosmic, but you write from a different space than that of The Problem. You are too hopeful, too desirous of good, of potentiality in each of us. You don't accept making people into manageable, researchable problems. You can't dehumanise. You use these words 'curriculum' and 'culture' but they both mean 'people' to you. That's what you read. And write. 202 Frankly, I don't think you even bother being pessimistic. So write to develop understanding rather than define. Write to develop a language for the relationship between culture (people) and curriculum (people). Your thesis enters anywhere, but not at The beginning, simply at A beginning. And it has no end, or boundaries. Your work, although we both know it needs refining, is swathed in ribbons of care. And they emanate from Place. You are there within that Place, the people and people. You breathe through the project. That, my darling, is what you 'contribute': your evocation of right relationships, ones that honor people and place. More precisely, you develop a language for negotiating, yes, Great Thoughts with Right Ways; morality and particularity, yours and mine, curricularly encountered and embraced every day in every classroom, whether or not every teacher may realise it. All that happens is that you enter this encounter through conversations about this word 'culture'. I suspect that much the same would happen with many other words. So long as you were there. You challenge us to look at curriculum from somewhere between text and life, to partake in Derrida's new-but-not-quite-there ways of deconstruction, ways that promote academic responsibility: to search, explore and reject all assumptions while striving for awareness (Egea- Kuehne, 1995). Not to ignore the thinkers who came before you and I, but to derive thought from them, thought that we should anticipate evolving to something different. You are right to try and formulate a framework to assist teachers in their work with understandings of culture. This should be done and can arise from your work. It's just that I see it (hear it?) (read it?) as a language though and not a table. Democritus described language as "the image 203 of life". Create images of life, DearOne. Help people to see the variety and the continuity. Reveal both in your writing through metaphor, through quotation, analysis, story, comparison. And do it helpfully. Enjoy the lyricism, and help me too to learn. I want to feel safe, yet not entirely comfortable. So don't offer just a language of peace. It will lead to peace only if the talk is part of the very stuff of life. This can't be a respectable, pleasant language, it must be instinctual: thought and felt; a language that assists us to regard the world and our (my) (your) ways from the outside in and the inside out. Isn't that why you conversed with books and people? Which means looking again at all the 'culture books' and 'culture lessons' we have in our schools. Where culture is 'done', extracted from lifeways, it is rendered symbolic only. Sure it has meaning, but in relation to what? Extracted from life, culture is 'culture'. It is, as Sylvia Ashton-Warner would say, 'dead vocabulary'. Something 'Out There'. Something optional. And maybe I'm being harsh here, but for the people who live the optional life, that's exactly what they get - optional life. Bits. Which seems incredibly sad to me. And in terms of learning to live together, it's dangerous too. This must be a language for being related. It can't be about 'culture' (I'm being very careful with my punctuation here). It's about life. This isn't about You. It's me and you. Not about There, but there and here. Not Taha Maori, but He Kaupapa mo Aotearoa. And there's one more 'not.' Relatedness does not mean absorption one into the other. In forming these relationships it's like making compound sentences. In English the two ideas in the two sentences are combined, one inside the other ("He ran into the house and hid under the bed"). In other languages, like Maori, the sentences are placed alongside each other ("Ka oma ia ki te whare, ka huna i raro i te 204 moenga"). Absorbed or alongside? Syntactical signs perhaps? We move towards a language that challenges the thinking it generates, and the form in which it is conveyed. We don't teach people culture, we motivate them to an awareness of what they already know. And to do that you've got to be sneaky. We need a language that nurtures: with aroha and subtlety, with a long term, holistic outlook not bound by bells every forty minutes. 'Speak' of the particulars of life carefully integrated into the generalities of the everyday. Coax me to comprehension. I walk towards my own understandings because I walk towards myself. Be a knowing presence alongside me. And I will be so for you. Can you see that in the act of writing you create space between text and life? For me, it is there in the reading of your writing. It's different, risky, there's great feeling involved and it must be a place of transition only, not residence. Remember that for all the glories of the text, we reside most substantially where there is substance, people substance. My DearOne, you do do the academic moves, combining community based 'data' with scholarly analysis. It becomes unique because your presence is an inevitable characteristic of your writing. You lead the human by being human yourself. From there I as reader find meaning. From there I can see ways to be as a teacher of culture. And beware my darling. The work of the educator, whether as scholar, researcher, teacher, need not require the sacrifice of the naked soul. But it does require reading, talking and writing with the eye of the heart. Write your way, teach away, talk the way, and let the meaning run. But use all your skills. You will need them all if you are to be cunning enough to move forward and take us with you. 205 There now, \ my little Tex message is over. I mean in it love and out of genuine respect (I confess to tinges of envy too). If you worry about an audience and usefulness, then my DearOne, let me be your audience. You cause me to learn and feel. Can that be such a bad thing? Even for an audience of one? Let me know what time on Friday you'd like to meet. I'll keep the afternoon free. As always, A. 206 I was bored one afternoon and started up on word associations. I asked my friend what came to mind when she thought of a pencil and held one up. Delight, she said, and a little bit of anxiety. Anxiety? I said. Yes, she said. In case I get caught. And she explained: I see the pencil and think of when I was in London with my nanny. We'd sailed across because my father had work to do there. She was teaching me in the nursery and the pencil was one of those thick, soft ones. Black Beauties we called them then. I was meant to be copying letters of the alphabet, tracing round the ones my nanny had done. But I wasn't. I was drawing beetles. It was the first time that I ever felt in control of that pencil. It used to be that I should speak of struggles with lines and linemakers. Never sure of who was where, with what. Not so anymore. I don't battle it anymore. I should work with the flow. Being of many roles is part of being. It's only when the base is gone that one spins wildly. Flailing. 20Z I cross lines, have them cross me, rage against them. Make them. But it's different, see? I am now free to do this because I have a sense of responsibility, obligation. It's an orientation of hope and desire, to and through place. The construction of empty, endless lines is over. The lines I now know are blue and red: vein and artery. Only some are mine. When I read lines of text I hear lines of life. When I hear life, there is a hint of pulse in the paper. I thought the line between light and dark was an empty void. Not so. 208 COLLECT OF THIS DAY As one-who-teaches and one-who-researches I see and hear our understandings of meaning and what is valued being expressed in curriculum. The journey we have made towards these understandings is there when we talk about our understandings of culture. And we are all authors. Our intentions, motivations, emotions are inherent in educational practice and theory, and are embedded in our own histories and communities. That is our base. From there in particular we teach, we glean, understandings of elsewhere in general. To speak, to write; these are the revelations and limitations of our private and public biographies. What we value is expressed in curriculum. The journey we make towards these values is there when we describe understandings of culture. No, this is not a fairy tale, they tell me. And I tell you. This is the voice of the past making meaning in the present. Honor my words. Honor the place and the people in which my voice is heard. This may sound like myth, made up, never happened. Maybe made up, maybe not. Definitely make-believe. Make-to-believe. Make the effort to trust the listener; to believe that speaking will help our children to understand themselves and their world. Could it be that simple? PART THREE Where we have been and where we now 210 Chapter Five Speak Again Of The Relationship Between Culture And Curriculum We live. We are primarily concerned with life, and the living. Before my narrative, life existed. And it continues after. Yet in between, the examination of the relationship between culture and curriculum transforms Life from a mere biological phenomenon: culture as known and unknowable lifeways; curriculum as the interpretation and advancement of life; life as engagement with others and the world. As we try to understand the relationship between culture and curriculum we glimpse the workings of the primary ontological vocation: to strive after ever fuller humanness. We remember Life as voiced understandings and vision.' We have to hope. Culture and curriculum appeal to claims of comprehensiveness. I consider these appeals, both accepting and limiting them, as I now turn and return from the perspective of I, through understandings of culture, journeying along the corridors of the teachers of culture, back back to the wider gaze of theory and curriculum. The voices combine, moments of harmony, flashes of the cacophonous. United in sound. And it is compelling. Beat after beat upon beat. I turn and return to make recommendations concerning the conceptualisation of the relationship between culture and curriculum. But my recommendations cannot be complete answers in themselves. Instead, these are beginning points that 'enable' what follows from them (Said 1979). 211 O u r Resolution 1. Into the universe I do wonder about fundamental motivations in education. What is it that causes one to seek a better world? At times in trying to answer, I am returned, by the words and presence of others, to Romantic traditions. Beneath apparent diversity and confusion lies cohesion, wholeness. And like Emerson, I am to view Nature as somewhat benign. In a way remarkably similar to William James (1985) 'religious hypothesis', the conceptualisation of a relationship between culture and curriculum can be interpreted as an act of faith: that we are impelled to faith, that we are to do the universe the deepest service we can. We undertake this service because of a belief in a common source, in change, diversity, harmony, abundance. We are essentially human and therefore may decide upon any genuine option that cannot be defended on intellectual grounds. From this universal perspective, we are right and have the right to believe that the relationship between culture and curriculum is to be founded upon moral principles. The notion of culture as the descriptor of the ways we choose to live life; the notion of curriculum as the indicator of what we might choose to pass on about the living of life. These become questions of fundamental meaning when viewed through the universe; questions lived, and momentus. In conceptualising a relationship between culture and curriculum, we can act as if we are free to choose, as if we do accept the worth of principles of universe in educational discourse, as if the universe itself is benevolent and beneficial; and in so doing we find that these actions and words do make a difference in our moral life. In principle then, the relationship between culture and curriculum is expansive and comprehensive. 212 2. On t h e E a r t h Ironically, an appeal to comprehensiveness in understanding culture and curriculum is limited. And necessarily so. I love to gaze at the stars, to imagine the vastness of the universe, to seek harmony. But I do this from Earth. If I should look down, walk around, my feet are on Earth. If I should look up, turn around, my feet are still on Earth. Yes, there should be and there is a resonance of higher principles as we consider culture and curriculum. And yet understandings of the relationship between culture and curriculum should also help to remind us of the place from which we gaze out upon the universe. Real people living real lives in real places. However erudite, however uplifting, any conceptualisation of the relationship between culture and curriculum must also remain grounded to the complexities and subtleties of daily life. Education is concerned with the political, economic and cultural lives of real people. Talk of the movement, the organic intertwining of curriculum and ideals, the possibility of breaking through cycles of hegemony. But talk, too, of full employment, greater democratic participation, the radical reorganisation of social relations within education. Do tell me that the view of education as the outcome of power relations alone is inaccurate and simplistic. Show me the existence of contradictory ideological views about education and its purpose. Seek not only to hear, but to create; the creation of systems in which students might reclaim their intelligence and therefore the ability to transcend life limitations. Then think, of culture ensuring curriculum is understood as part of an economy. Not metaphorical, but real, hard, hungry economics. Of resources. Of knowledge. Of access. Tell me of experiences. And earth them. 213 These are the foundations of the lessons of we-who-teach: lessons that require courage to understand the work that the relationship between culture and curriculum plays as an agency of the state; courage to take anti-racism into the classroom, extended beyond its role as a forum of grievance, augmenting the contribution of cultural studies to curriculum; courage to revisit, revise, reject and re-source the ideas and materials which support our lessons. And to then tell of the experiences. Honest courage. Honorable, earthed intent. We seek a 'maturity of reason' (Kant, 1913) - that understanding which Markus (1993) describes as being "between the optimistic blindness of a dogmatic belief in the unlimited power of our understanding and the resigned or reconciled impotence of paralyzing skepticism" (p. 26). The particularising of discourse on culture and curriculum, through historical and social location on the one hand, and identification of the personal dimensions of voice, on the other, should enable a deepening of the political and transformative possibilities of education. We seek to mature as teachers of culture. Curriculum and culture are constructs located in place, time and people. While the narrative on culture and curriculum might be an original production, it is an innovation governed by rules, models, received through tradition. These are apparent in the descriptions of understandings of culture. The narrative might enter into a variable relation to these models, but it remains that this expression of imagination does come from somewhere. Therefore, in any understanding of the relationship between culture and curriculum it is necessary to remember that both the vision of culture in curriculum and the one who encounters that vision (whether as teacher, policy analyst, researcher, student, school community member) are located in place, time and people. 214 I wish to make it very clear that discourse on both curriculum and culture does not provide 'truth,' but representations. Deeply meaningful ones, certainly. Each person engaging in either, or both, curriculum and culture brings meaning to that engagement; re-presents an understanding of truth. Aspects of life on earth. And in this way any claim to veracity relies more upon that person and their time, place and people than upon this thing called 'the relationship between culture and curriculum.' There is no meaning in 'curriculum' and 'culture,' and no relationship between them, until you and I bring meaning to these concepts. The situatedness of understandings of curriculum and culture has implications for classroom practices. My practices. They are to come home. There is to be no distance between theory, research and practice; no hiding in the world in order to avoid the obligations and responsibilities of home. It is essential to ensure that in seeking to generate understandings of culture, the ways of knowing and representing should not perpetuate and express inequities. Secondly, if curriculum is to further cultural discourse, both it and its relationship to understandings of culture must be seen and treated as value laden and contextualised. I have been concerned to discuss and include particularities, 'locators', of place in the writing of this text. These particularities recognise the personal dimension of being an author. I bring a particular perspective to my task as writer. And as far as possible, I make that explicit. And I would hope that I would continue to do so as one-who-teaches-culture. The temptation is to treat such explicitness as a confession. Yet what I am suggesting is indeed an assertion; a statement that in this context, these are the specific aspects of concern. Not encoded, not generalised, not trivialised, but explicit. Talk on 'culture' should not be allowed to encourage over-intellectualisation of an issue which pivots upon specific, historical, relational 215 operations of power. It may be that in our educational concerns about culture we need to focus less on the word and more upon 'ways', lifeways. Perhaps culture-as-word has served its purpose for now and we need other ways of thinking and talking that will assist us in relating one with another. In my conversations, the word 'culture' would get in the way of what was being communicated at the time. It was as if culture-as-word was demanding a construction of its own, one that stood apart from the main dwellings of understanding; a schematic annex, in some ways. What is more this annex had particular designs of thinking, ones that echoed of the origins of the word as cultivator, civilisor, divider between self and other (see Markus, 1993). On one occasion I asked a class of students at Intermediate School to write down what came to mind when they thought about the word 'culture.' One student wrote: "It's about being cultureal." Now, whether the spelling was accidental or not, I will never know. But it is fortuitous. The remaking of the word 'culture' to cultureal invites a regard for the living-ness of things cultural; to not be distracted by the constructions of the word, but rather the interplays of life that are summarised by culture-as-word. This means a constant regard for the human dimension of 'culture,' in particular, and language in general. We do not need to choose between The Word and The People. They are present, or should be, in both. My world and a deeper understanding of the desires within it will come to you and me through language. Yet still, culture-as-word has no heart, soul or prestige without 'he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.'107 1 0 7 I am alluding here to, and quoting part of, a whakatauki well known in Aotearoa New Zealand and often cited in educational documents. Metge (1995) indicates that this saying is attributed by Muriwhenua experts to a rangatira woman affirming the value of continuity and growth (p. 313): Tungia te ururua, kia tupu whakaritorito to tupu o te harakeke. Burn the overgrowth, 216 Understandings of culture and the relationship between culture and curriculum remain life centred. These are relations that have a pulse, that evoke the smells, ways, textures of landscape, the memories and reverence for ancestors. 'Curriculum' and 'culture' are constructs until they come home to place and people and then the vocabulary of this relationship between culture and curriculum lives. And as I teach I can affirm and nurture that living-ness through the development of a language for the processes and purposes of culture in education. This is the language of conversations for being related. I am suggesting a language primarily of principles; a kaupapa of conversations for being related.108 Vocabulary follows naturally, but the tone is what the kaupapa generates. Speaking (in voice and print) and echoing what has been heard throughout this text, the kaupapa of conversations for being related encourages a global perspective of culture that so that the flax will develop new shoots. Get rid of old habits and ideas, so that new ones can develop. Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te koromako e ko? Rere ki uta. Rere ki tai. Ki mai koe ki au, 'He aha te mea nui o te Ao?' Maku e ki, 'He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.' If the centre shoot of the flax bush were plucked, where would the bell-bird sing? You fly inland. You fly shorewards. You ask me, 'What is most important in the world?' I would say, "Tis people, 'tis people, 'tis people.' - John Campbell (in Metge, 1995, p. 13). 1 0 8 I have hesitated to use the word 'kaupapa' for fear of seeming to trivialise te reo, treating it as a mere acquisition for cultural-political correctness. I realise though that I may be being overly cautious and denying elements that permeate my own lifeways. Te reo Maori is an integral part of my Aotearoa New Zealand English. These words carry the sentiment of understandings of life. I do not suggest that I understand 'kaupapa' as it is in te reo Maori, but I do have some understanding, founded upon a desire to respect and to be genuine, that is within te reo pakeha. I remember listening to Bishop Allan Pyatt speaking wonderfully in te reo as he mihi-ed to the congregation at the newly consecrated Phillipstown church. Part way through his whaikorero he moved from te reo Maori to English. He smiled a little and said, "I'll move across now [between the languages] because it is important that I remain honest to who I am." In a similar way I have chosen to include te reo Maori where I have believed myself to be writing honestly. I remain open to learning further. 217 honors particularities of the local context and may, therefore require intentional bias in educational practices and decisions; incorporates many ways of knowing culture and expressing that knowing; seeks non-oppositional ways of interpreting cultural difference; upholds the view that the teaching of culture is a collaborative holistic project where learning takes place in many ways with many teachers, without extracting understandings of culture from lifeways; changes in practices while remaining constant in principles that are shared across cultures; recognises that the voice and therefore the understandings of culture held by the teacher of culture are to be overt elements in the development of a language for being related; and has a respectful regard for the voices of community, voices that may amend and stand alongside other sources of knowledge. This, then, is a language of conversations for being related. Not 'the beginning of/ not 'foundational,' but a gathering of whakaaro, thinking, kaupapa, principles, tikanga, lifeways and wairua, spirit as known in journeying through this place-of-text. And always many things remain that are difficult to understand, things that I rely on others to amend or extend. 218 Chapter Six My Resolution Pray and sing of place and hope From my land I can look to the universe for inspiration; cause to act for change. I am enabled to celebrate, commemorate, trust human understandings of being human; believe. From my land I can look for the things of history, people, power, politics, geography, epistemology, ontology, cosmology which make the relationship between culture and curriculum particular to my land. Some are unique. Some, at one time, may have resided in other lands, with other peoples. Today they are inscriptions of the world and the universe upon the texts and textures of my land. In Place, I find beginnings of hope, reasons to act; a sense of accountability that takes the conceptualisation of culture and curriculum beyond a mere discursive activity. In Place I move towards engaging understandings of culture and curriculum into action. In Place there is both infinity and limitation. Together they make these understandings, this relationship between culture and curriculum gleam with passion. It's time to leave. Everyone is dispersing; to our work, to our homes. What now ? 'Maturity of reason' is an elusive, yet compelling task. I find I am caught by a paradox: How can I in writing text of others, write of anyone but myself; in writing 219 of myself, write of anyone but other? I'm not lost in the wordy worldliness of it all. I'm linked. And being researcher-teacher acknowledges that link. I consider ways in which I might enable a just understanding of the relationship between culture and curriculum. I look to the universe, the Earth, home, you and myself I acknowledge constancy in higher principles and return to the particularities of place. And in returning I see that I am both the subject and the subjected. Home and wandering. Somewhere here in the blessed void between text and life. Line Holder, detach. THE FARE-WELL 221 My Resolve Concluding lines in the sky above my home This then shall be the ending: this morning, this dawn, these meditations. The conversations continue. There is no moment of dawn. We are granted an awareness of its approach. And from the void we move into light. It is dawn; dawning on me. Time to end, to go out. At least, that's what the lines say. Used to. But me, now No I won't go out just yet. I think I will stay a while. Linger with waking souls. Here. Address myself more often. Here. Break-fast time. 222 G L O S S A R Y Te reo Hamoa, Samoan language alofa, love fa'afetai lava, thank-you very much maleatoa, king, queen; highest rank matai, chief 'matais', chiefs Palagi, non-Samoan Te reo Maori, Maori language Aotearoa, New Zealand; 'The Land of Never Ending Light' aroha, compassion, love, affection, pity a whi, hug Dame Whina, Twentieth century elder hangi, hangi (earth oven) hapu, subtribe harakeke, flax hongi, hongi (nose pressing greeting) hui, meet, meeting iwi, tribe kai, food karakia, prayers karanga, call, welcome kawanatanga, government kaumatua, elder kaupapa, Plan, proposal, theme kiwi, flightless bird indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand koha, gift koru, design in shape of fern-head manuhiri, visitors Maori, Maori marae, marae (open space in front of a meeting-house; combining this space with buildings to comprise a marae complex; site for communal gatherings) mihimihi, greeting noho, sit, dwell Pakeha, non-Maori paua, abalone powhiri, welcome Rata, Rata (native tree) reo, language, voice tamariki, children Tanemahuta, God, guardian of the forests tangata whenua, people of the land, local people tangi, cry, sound taonga, prized possessions, treasure tapu, precious, sacred, treasures tauiwi, foreigner te, the (singular) tikanga, custom, rule, reason tino rangatiratanga, chieftainship tu, stand tupuna, ancestor turangawaewae, one's place of standing, identity waiata, song wairua, spirit, the incorporeal aspect of the person waka, canoe, vessel wero, pierce, jab whaanau, family whanaungatanga, kinship in a wide sense; kin of both sexes related by marriage and adoption as well as descent whaikorero, speech or speechmaking whakaaro, thought, intention; understanding; plan whakaaro nui, Great Thoughts, values whakapapa, genealogy whakatauki, proverbs, proverbial sayings 223 whare, house, meeting house Te reo Pakeha, Pakeha English ESL, English speakers with a second language New Zealand, Te reo Pakeha name for Aotearoa 224 R E F E R E N C E S Alexandrian, S. 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Wellington: GP Books. Williams, R. (1981). Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society (8th ed.). London: Fontana. 239 APPENDIX A (School) Field Notes First contact The Principal "Intermediate School" Christchurch Aotearoa New Zealand 4 April 1996 Dear Mr. Winter, I am writing to enquire about the possibility of Intermediate School community becoming involved in an educational research project I have designed as part of my doctoral dissertation work. My thesis will explore what it means and what it can mean to teach culture in the curriculum. In particular I would like to investigate ways in which members of an education community, possibly the School community, understand the term "culture." Although I regard myself as a 'born and bred' Christchurch person who has attended and taught in Christchurch schools, Canterbury University and Christchurch College of Education, I am currently studying at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. The distance from 'Home' has, if anything, heightened my interest and concern for education in Aotearoa New Zealand. With this in mind I have become involved in research designed to assist teachers in their work with understandings of 'culture'. The purpose of the research project as a whole is to enhance the teaching of culture by examining ways in which the term 'culture' is used in various forms of discourse. By the 'teaching of culture' I mean both teaching about specific cultures, and teaching as a form of culture. The Intermediate School community would be a focal point for a series of interviews through which community sensibilities about the term "culture" might be shared. These would be interwoven with understandings present in intellectual and theoretical discourse, with a view to developing an organisational framework for the term 'culture'. It is hoped that the 240 development of such a framework may be of benefit to your school and its community because it would provide a general picture of the kinds and range of understandings people have when they think about 'culture'. In addition to contributing to the theory and practice of curriculum, contributions from Intermediate School would assist in the development of a set of recommendations regarding the conceptualisation of the term 'culture'. Such recommendations could act as a guide for teachers. A further benefit would be the collection of understandings of culture held by members of the Intermediate School community. This would be a resource specific to your community, possibly of use in school planning, consultation and policy development. Ideally, the interviews would involve members of groups identified by the New Zealand Curriculum Framework as being of "particular significance" to New Zealand education. The New Zealand Curriculum Framework identifies these groups as: students, teachers, principals, parents and caregivers, Maori, Pakeha, peoples of Asia and the South Pacific, "the world of work"(business sector). Involvement would be voluntary, anonymous and participants might be approached through various channels, perhaps a mutual contact, whanau, or letter. As a way of focusing and beginning the interview the participant would be asked to recall a time in their life when they have felt connected to culture. They will then be asked to identify factors that either helped or hindered this sense of connection. Interviews would be tape recorded, transcribed and given a code number to ensure confidentiality. At the end of the study the tapes would be erased. Participants, including the school itself, would retain the right to withdraw from the research project at any point. Where the participant is a member of the 'student' group, that person would need to be at least ten years of age and have consent from parents or caregivers to participate in this study. The total amount of time required of the participant would not exceed ninety minutes, with the interview taking place at a time and location that suited the participant. As you would expect, unless the school community wished otherwise, the location and name of the community and participants would remain undisclosed, with the desire for anonymity being respected. Furthermore, I would see it as fundamental to the research process that I negotiate with the school community on who will have access to the research findings and how the community would like to me to report the findings to them and others. It is very important to me that the school community should benefit, in ways it identifies, from its involvement in this research. I can provide further information regarding this project, and my own background, 241 and would welcome any questions you might have. At this stage, however, I wish to simply make an initial approach to begin discussions on the possibility of the interviews taking place within the Intermediate School community. I am genuinely excited by this project and the possibility of being involved with a school that is innovative and community'oriented. I have heard much praise and seen much that is exciting through visits to your school and discussions with one of your staff. I am motivated by the fact that in all the work that I have read regarding understandings of culture in education, no-one has actually asked people what they understand by the term "culture", nor have those understandings been accepted as equally valid alongside other forms of curriculum discourse. I see this project as embracing both aspects. It is also a personal response on my part to experiences in my home town of Christchurch, and further afield. Thank you for your time in reading through this letter. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Airini Caddick First talk It's entirely usual ,1 suppose, that life should move in cycles. For there I was outside the school I used to visit for softball practices when I was going to high school. This was the intermediate school Mum and Dad decided not to send me to. I hiked past here so many times on my way to or from raspberry picking - the mainstay summer job for Christchurch kids. And with that park just around the corner the whole family would drive by in the station wagon on Saturdays for the boys' soccer games. And now I watched boys and girls arriving for their school day - some in groups, some individually, many on bikes, most walking, some dropped off by parents. All are wearing the school uniform - grey shorts, shirt and blue sweat shirt for boys, green/blue/black tartan pinafore, white shirt and blue sweat shirt for girls. All shapes and sizes - it's that growth spurt to little squirt 10-14 year phase. I'm here for my first interview with the principal of Intermediate School. I'm a 242 little nervous, but excited also, hoping that I can concisely explain a project I find I can barely articulate. Key words: culture, understandings of, community, teachers, curriculum. And now a key moment. After all the book work, it's time to enter the school. Research Method Research material was assembled from two key sources: documented understandings of culture and interview-based understandings of culture. These were analysed to develop a conceptual framework of the relationship between culture and curriculum, and thereby comment upon how understandings of culture influence the teaching of culture. 1. Documented understandings of culture The following documents were sourced: (a) Intellectual discourse: Specifically, discourses relating to the construction of identity and difference, the location of culture, the nature and intent of curriculum, and the constructedness of education and discourse on education. (b) Key education policy and curriculum documents: policy documents of the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Education, along with relevant school charter and policy documents. 2. Community sensibilities A further source of knowledge regarding understandings of culture was conversations with members of an education community in Aotearoa New Zealand. Where appropriate the critical incident technique was used as the basis for promoting conversations about understandings of culture. In conjunction, an open discussion regarding understandings of culture was also used. Interviews were recorded and then transcribed before analysis for themes that would augment ideas arising from other source of information, the documented understandings of culture.109 The community element of the research methodology required initial and ongoing phases of negotiation (e.g., nature, timing and intended outcomes of contact with students, teachers and caregivers) in order to define, establish and maintain the research project in the community. See also Appendix A: 'Interpreting the interview material. 243 As I have stated elsewhere (see 'Mary and Hannah'), I found that while my intention had been that the critical incident technique (see Flanagan, 1954; Housego, 1987; McCormick, 1994) would be used as the basis for promoting conversations about understandings of culture, it was not always relevant or appropriate to the interview situation. Of the 42 people interviewed, the question: 'Can you think of a time in your life when you have felt connected with culture?' was asked of 10 interviewees. The technique assisted in starting discussions and discerning trends concerning understandings of culture, but required a specificity (particularly for the analysis of categories arising from discussion) that was beyond the scope of this conceptual nature of this study. This was not apparent until I began using the technique. Intermediate School Details Intermediate School caters for Form One and Two pupils. It is funded by and responsible to the Ministry of Education and the local community: • co-educational; • students age range: 10-14; • present roll averages 240 students, each student usually remaining for two years; • ethnic composition: 81% European (sic), 9% Maori, 7% Samoan, Chinese, Korean, 3% remaining. ESL group is increasing (Korea, Taiwan);110 • school built in 1976; • middle socio-economic profile encompassing trade, white collar, salary and wage earners; • approximately three quarters of families have more than one income, part time work is common and unemployment is probably below national average; • school programme "centres around language and mathematics, but offers enrichment in the areas of science, art, sport, technical and social activities" (Intermediate School Charter, p. 6); 1 1 0 The New Zealand Official Yearbook 1996 cites the 1991 census figures on the ethnic composition of New Zealand as being: • 74.5% N Z European • 4.6% Other European • 9.7% Maori • 3.8% Pacific Island Group • 1.1% Chinese • 0.8% Indian • 5.5% Other ethnic origin (mixed and single origin) The ethnic composition of Intermediate School's roll loosely reflects national demographic patterns, with a dominance of 'European' representation and the Maori population making up the next largest group of the population. Polynesian representation is below national figures and Asian groups exceed national figures. 244 • district generates some local employment in areas of retail, light industrial and service industries, with proximity to airport being an important factor. The Community Participants • Number of participants: 42 people interviewed in 30 recorded interviews (six participants were interviewed more than once; where appropriate, interviews involved more than one person, e.g., couple interviews with parents). •Status of participants Students at Intermediate School 13 Former Intermediate School students 6 Teachers at Intermediate School 5 Principal at Intermediate School 1 Caregivers/ Parents 10 Community members 7 • Locations of interviews: Intermediate School, participant's home, tertiary education facility. Over a 7 month period (April- November 1996) I undertook research with Intermediate School community. In that time I participated in a range of community activities including teaching culture focused lessons in every class in the school, relief teaching, assisting in a drama production, resourcing community funds and administration for Te Reo night classes to be held at the school, attending social functions for school and elsewhere in the community. I had hoped to interview representatives of each of the significant groups identified in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework. However, even with school-wide mail outs, individual letters to businesses and students suggested by teachers, those interviewed did not reflect either the ethnic composition of Intermediate School, or members of each significant group. Through responses to my mail, follow up telephone calls and verbal offers to participate I was able to meet with 42 community members. During the interviews some participants identified themselves as being of Maori, Samoan, Fijian, Pakeha, Irish, French or Scottish ethnicity, with several highlighting that their genealogy included many ethnicities and many tribal affiliations. 15 participants (14 female, 1 male) identified their gender during conversations with the researcher. 245 Research Issues Contextually responsive research model I sought to constitute research which was reflective of particular cultural contexts, yet broad in its implications. Bishop (1994) argues that to achieve such a goal would require some form of paradigmatic shift in Western (European) world views (p. 183). Therefore as researcher I adopted a paradigm that would generate and accommodate solutions, ideas and research practices that used existing community cultural preferences and practices. The following questions undergirded the philosophy of every part of the research project: • Who initiates the research and why? What are the goals of the research? Whom will it benefit? • Who is going to design the work? • Who is going to do the work? • What rewards will there be? Who gets the rewards? • Who is going to have access to the research findings? • To whom is the researcher accountable? • Who has control over the distribution of knowledge, including the modes of distribution? • How will the reports and documentation be presented to the people involved in the research? Wherever possible the responses to these questions have been and still continue to be negotiated through ongoing formal and informal discussions with community members. To this end a crucial component of the research will be the presentation of the ensuing reports and documentation to those involved in the research. Such an approach required flexibility in (a) practices honoring values. For example, the regard for knowledge and its dissemination varied. With some participants it was necessary to establish my 'community credentials' (i.e., a contribution to community life) before sufficient trust was present to enter into the interview situation. With others there was an immediate and frank sharing, my 'credentials' being based upon my connection with tertiary research and that I was working through Intermediate School. (b) the manner and arrangements of interviews. My intention from the outset 246 was to ensure that there was a sense of benefit for the participants as well as myself. That meant not only meeting where they felt comfortable, possibly meeting several times in different places for different purposes before recording an interview, but I also had to be prepared to talk with them about the things they saw as important when they thought about culture. An example would be the way in which the activities of the Performing Arts group (which was preparing a stage production for a Cultural Festival) .dominated interviews with students. The focus was a natural one; this was the 'cultural' activity which filled much of their spare time as well as school time. There was a great deal of excitement and interest in the production. So quite naturally our conversations about culture would revolve around experiences associated with that particular group and I chose not to intervene. (c) practices honoring people. Although my awareness of cultural practices needed expanding, I sought to honor protocols and participate in a broad range of community activities and practices. Some were specific to cultural groups, some centred on school activities. To this end I had to be aware of the need for koha, to bring kai, attend community gatherings, awhi community members if they were ill, or in need of physical assistance, moral support; all basic elements of being a community member, and ones which helped me to feel that I was giving as well as receiving. Through working with the school community I collected a range of data other than interviews and the document resources described above. This extended data pool included journal entries (personal and staff), photographs (personal and staff), video recordings, observations, student feedback (verbal and written), lesson materials, planning and evaluations (student and self). These further data were used in analysing the documented and interview-based understandings of culture. Role of the researcher In seeking to represent the narratives and analyses of understandings of culture I recognise that I am also narrator and author. By situating my own understandings and those of others in a variety of historical, religious, political, educational and social arenas, I offer testimony of my contribution while recognising that my own input influences the ideas arising from this research. From the outset I sought to be honest and relaxed with community members. I 247 never thought it possible to be objectively uninvolved, indeed I considered that unethical and absurd. There were times when I too w o u l d participate in a conversation, sharing my understandings of culture. In looking back on the transcripts I can see that i n some cases this clearly altered the direction (sometimes the vocabulary) of the conversation. I d i d seem to have an effect upon the perspectives being shared. But that effect began from the moment that I met each person. Trying to establish a rapport meant conveying something of my beliefs. H a d I sought a neutral position as researcher that too w o u l d have altered the content of the conversation. In the end I decided to work with a respectful research model seeking to incorporate as much genuine power sharing in the dialogue dynamic as possible, yet still struggling w i t h the tension between involvement w i t h and separation from the research 'site' and 'participants'. The researcher's role i n the interpretation and analysis of the interview materials is discussed below. I n t e r p r e t i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w m a t e r i a l After transcribing each interview I studied each statement for events, ideas, opinions that w o u l d encapsulate that person's understandings of culture. Fol lowing the lead of a range of interpretive research methods (see for e.g., Cruickshank, 1995; Khamasi, 1997; McCormick, 1995), my intention was to source information that w ould enable a series of illustrations reflecting this person's and this community's understandings of culture, how they influence ideas of education and how they relate to the documented understandings of culture. C o m m o n themes across participants, as wel l as less frequent themes were recorded. These themes varied i n clarity and format, some were detailed and i n narrative form, some appeared vague without a discernible outcome. Through comparison it was possible to sort the themes into categories. These categories were considered alongside themes arising from the documented understandings of culture. This resulted in a refinement of the categories and the emergence of key ideas to be incorporated as further documented understandings of culture. I n c o r p o r a t i o n o f c o m m u n i t y u n d e r s t a n d i n g s o f c u l t u r e In order to evoke, rather than merely report, different ways i n which community members understand culture a literary interpretative style was adopted. Both the form and content of the text are understood to be contributing to meaning making (see Nussbaum, 1990). Furthermore, although the words and experience of the conversations remained present wi th me as researcher, the style of interpretation 248 emphasized the fictionalising effect of research processes and the researcher's role in that process. The intention of the adopted style was eightfold: 1. to honestly acknowledge that I can only formulate a reality that is my own 2. to utilise research methods emphasizing thinking and feeling 3. to use forms of expression that evoke and show understandings of culture rather than record 4. to avoid processes of othering and exoticising of the community participants 5. to encourage and respect the autonomy of the reader to reach their own conclusions from the texts 6. to avoid assaulting the reader with combative, oppositional forms of writing 7. to involve the reader in a process of discovering understandings of culture 8. to model respectful, challenging principles of teaching culture. In this way the final documents became a further source of evidence supporting key findings from this project. 249 APPENDIX B Great Thoughts (Whakaaro nui) Greetings to those of the four winds, to those of this land and lands beyond We seek peace, We meet to create community When people, our cultures, meet at our school When cultures meet in this school I would like it if everybody shared things, talked to each other, cooperated well to make friends with each other, with everybody treated equally. If people feel welcome they don't feel so shy or out of it and it will be easier to make friends. I would like to have a powhiri or some type of a welcome which would make the person or people feel welcome to this place. I know when you get welcomed onto a marae it makes you feel welcome. Friendliness Peace Sharing of cultures People accepting other cultures Happiness No racism Everyone to be friends Sharing For everyone to have equal rights Would suit me. I would like it if everyone got on well and judged them by who they are inside not by how they look or if they're coloured. And everyone should be peaceful with other cultures. 250 When people, our cultures, meet at this school we should give each other respect; to know it's safe when you found that person I would want them to act the same, to act as if in the same culture For there to be no fights There to be no racism. To get along with each other. We should, we could, greet each other and understand each other's background and culture. And memories? Memories! Scared, relief, shamed, blind "I don't really care what would happen if we met other cultures at this school." "I'd probably want to get to know them!" And if they didn't like me I would be probably ignoring them I would like there to be no racism and just peace I would like it to be friendly and know one to be racist against other cultures. And not to do anything to offend anyone. When cultures come to school I'd like everybody to come and decide some of the cultures we like. Some we don't like. Have fun Not to fight Be peaceful Be helpful 251 I think people should support each other no matter which race they are from. People should also accept people for what they are. Everyone should get along with each other. People should also try to find out other people's ways. And I would want for them to be a group no racism to be all one culture not to blot anyone out because they're black, white, yellow or fat or skinny short or tall 'cause we're all humans I think When people, our cultures, meet People talk about things that they did in their country We should, we could 1. cooperate with cultures. 2. Be proud that there are new cultures in the school. 3. Help them out, don't hurt their feelings just because you want a laugh. Get along as one Share stories and things which happened to you. Greetings, welcomes from your culture. 252 Share ways of your culture. Be yourself and Happy When cultures meet I think they should judge them for who they are and not what they are. If people are racist they should at least be able to respect one another. Peaceful In the school people should be allowed in every room. They shouldn't be kicked out because they are another culture. When different cultures come to our school Don't think you have to be cool Extend a hand for a hands shake Protect them in an earthquake. Because they are new Think of something nice to do. We could, we should, see and be so that everyone would act like they're from the same culture but not to forget they aren't. Also share information about their culture so the others would know. Nobody should exclude others Just act like sisters and brothers. But not in the way that you fight all the time That wouldn't be nice but like crime. So be nice. 

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