Iti Kahurangi – The Rangitāne o Wairarapa Curriculum
Iti Kahurangi is the Rangitāne o Wairarapa Education Curriculum for Years 7-8 students.
Science knowledge is a product of human culture, and belongs to all cultures. A Nation of Curious Minds supports students to engage with science by linking science / pūtaiao to Māori language, culture and identity through students’ local tikanga, whakapapa and stories.
When the Ministry of Education partnered with Rangitane o Wairarapa to develop a curriculum framework to create these links, they both took up the opportunity enthusiastically.
Rangitāne invited three Masterton Schools - Lakeview, Masterton Intermediate and Opaki - to work together to develop a cross-curriculum programme based on the New Zealand Curriculum, embedded in local culture. The project team enjoyed sessions spent working together. Each was able to contribute using a strengths-based approach which made the overall experience effective, fun and fulfilling.
The end product of the project is Iti Kahurangi, the Rangitāne o Wairarapa Education Curriculum for Years 7-8. While it is aimed at one age group it has already proven to be easy to modify it to fit other age groups.
Iti Kahurangi is a comprehensive resource that makes introducing Rangitāne o Wairarapa culture easy and accessible. There are core topics with introductory examples such as karakia, waiata and history that anyone can access and utilise for their own learning. Some sections are specifically designed to assist school teachers to deliver a programme that is full of local content, can be a stand-alone lesson, a term unit or as a part of a cross curricula activity. Action plans, ideas for inquiries, lesson plans, an education experience outside the classroom trip example and a new Pukaha Mount Bruce programme are all provided.
There are four parts of Iti Kahurangi. These are
Tikanga - important aspects of culture such as atua, tikanga, pepeha
Kaiarahi - people, leaders across the generations
Papakainga - learning about our places
Tina - the doing, action part
You can use the whole of Iti Kahurangi as a single unit or use parts across the curriculum or for a special purpose. The Pukaha Mount Bruce programme, for example, is a combination research project and field trip. It asks students to examine the area to decide if it would be sustainable place to live:
“You are a chosen one. Together with your companions you are to go to Pukaka on a journey of exploration. You must find out what the mountain is like today and then report back your findings to the elders.
One of the main things to consider is that even if the mountain can support your people, will it be able to do so for a long time or will you quickly run out of resources?”
A central driver for Rangitāne o Wairarapa is that descendants of Rangitāne learn about and then experience personal growth through connecting with their identity, language and culture.
One of the main platforms from which to achieve this is through schools who are also charged with ensuring that children receive education about their own and local Māori culture.