Faculty academics launch a new era for New Zealand’s top education journal

21 February 2013

This week saw the launch of the first special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies. For New Zealand’s most highly regarded academic journal in education, now almost in its 50th year of publication, the special issue entitled He aha te kaupapa? Critical conversations in Kaupapa Māori represents a new and exciting era.

Faculty of Education academics in Te Puna Wānanga, Dr Te Kawehau Hoskins and Professor Alison Jones, secured the Journal’s inaugural guest editor role through a highly contested proposal process. “We were honoured to have this opportunity to put together an important body of work,” said Te Kawehau at the launch held earlier this week. “Kaupapa Māori, as a cultural and political paradigm has become widely used in New Zealand and has a strong practice dimension in politics, architecture, law, health, and the social services, but as a concept has not been widely theorised or written about. We wanted to carve out a common space for researchers and practitioners to legitimately mobilise and critique Kaupapa Māori concepts and practices.”

In addition to articles from many top Māori scholars, including Russell Bishop, Georgina Stewart, Peter Keegan, Garrick Cooper and Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, the Journal includes insightful interviews with Graham Hingangaroa Smith and Mason Durie as well as pieces by both Te Kawehau and Alison.

Graham Smith and others coined the phrase Kaupapa Māori as a political and cultural philosophy in education over 20 years ago and, like Alison and Te Kawehau, he believes it is time to start thinking differently about Kaupapa Māori in the face of new contexts. In an insightful interview he talks about the dangers of domestication, while Mason Durie presents his thoughts on the social, historical and political movements he has experienced as Kaupapa Māori has developed as a set of ideas in various social sectors since its inception.

At the launch Professor Royal spoke of the difference between Kaupapa Māori as a political transformation strategy, and Mātauranga Māori as a body of knowledge, and urged scholars to “dip their toes” into more critical discussion about the epistemology and methodology behind the term Kaupapa Māori as it is used today.

“This special edition asks some challenging questions and presents a collection of perceptive and political thought which we hope will challenge thinking in a positive and productive way,” says Te Kawehau. “Kaupapa Māori is a very dominant idea and phrase which comes into meaning through its use, so this special issue attempts to explore some of this territory.”

Associate Professor Carol Mutch, Chair of the Editorial Board of New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, also attended the launch and congratulated Te Kawehau and Alison for bringing together such a positive and critical contribution to the advancement of scholarship in Kaupapa Māori. “Two years ago we introduced the idea of an annual contestable special issue to bring together a body of scholarship on a particular topic.” said Carol. “The theme of our first special issue was significant and I thank Te Kawehau and Alison for bringing Kaupapa Māori to the fore and pushing the boundaries of the journal in a way that has not been done previously.”

Back: Dr Peter Keegan, Prof. Charles Royal, Assoc. Prof. Graeme Aitken (Dean of Education, University of Auckland); Front: Dr Vicki Carpenter (Co-editor of NZJES), Assoc. Prof. Carol Mutch (Chair of NZJES Editorial Board), Prof. Alison Jones (Special edition guest editor), Dr Georgina Stewart, Dr Te Kawehau Hoskins (Special edition guest editor); Not present: Dr Iris Duhn, (Co-editor of NZJES).


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