Students of Māori Performing Arts learn about traditional ways of learning.
The students of 9 Māori Performing Arts have spent the last few lessons experiencing learning in a very different way. Inspired by the research of Dr. Karyn Paringatai (Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies and winner of Prime Minister’s Supreme Award at the 2014 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards), the students have been learning about traditional ways of learning and pedagogies for Māori. A central part of this was "learning in the dark". In order to try out this form of learning, students donned eye-masks and blocked out all light. As a result the students had to rely on their taringa to learn. With nothing but their hearing the boys quickly learnt that they had to pay close attention and learn how to tune out unwanted background noise. But once adjusted, they were quick to take up the challenge of learning multiple styles of rhythms and beats. While it felt odd at first, many of the boys remarked that it was a really good way to learn because they were not distracted by things they could see around them. It helped them to focus. They discovered they learned the rhythms more quickly than without their masks and found it easier to retain the information. Within the space of one lesson they had their first haka down! They also noted that it was a good task for team skills as if one person spoke out of turn the whole task would go sideways! The class will continue to explore these Māori pedagogies of learning as we learn about te ao Māori and its performing arts. Ka rawe e tama mā, kia kaha tonu!
For anyone that would like to read further about Dr. Paringatai and her research follow the link below. - https://www.otago.ac.nz/hekitenga/2014/otago087323.html