I recently came across this simple and moving video. It explores the concept and practice of Place-Based Education, which links people to place through learning about their present environment – it’s history of settlement, environmental change and how people can connect to the environment, and through this understand themselves.
In New Zealand we’re fortunate to have a resilient indigenous population, tāngata whenua, who have consistently linked their knowledge of self and identity to place and geography. Often this is known as ones tūrangawaewae. I really like this short clip of the late Wi Kuki Kaa exploring the concept of turangawaewae in contemporary Aotearoa. For me, as a Pākehā thinking about turangawaewae, the late Waikato leader Te Puea Herangi and the marae, Tūrangawaewae in Ngaruawahia spring to mind.
I am a 3rd generation Pākehā, and continue to learn about my family migration to Aotearoa from England, Ireland and France. I’m connected to this place in my own unique way – the challenge is understanding how to anchor myself through addressing our colonial history and present reality. The work of Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux have helped to shift my thinking about these deeply personal, social and cultural issues.
Our session on Culture and Identity will also look at similar issues: place, knowledge of self, and collective learning :) Should be GREAT!