Biculturalism in Education: Haere Whakamua, Hoki Whakamuri/Going Forward, Thinking Back
While references to the Treaty of Waitangi and/or biculturalism are an accepted part of the New Zealand education policy landscape, there is often a lack of consensus around the meaning, and therefore the practice implications, of the term ‘biculturalism’. This difficulty can be explained by viewing biculturalism as a discourse that has continued to change since its emergence in the 1980s. In policy texts older understandings of the term are overlaid with more recent understandings and this can contribute to uncertainty about what the term means to teachers in 2016. This is particularly challenging for teachers and school leaders as they attempt to negotiate the requirements of the Practising Teacher Criteria. Therefore, there is a need to continue engaging in discussion about the meaning of biculturalism in education in the present, looking forward, but informed by the past.
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