New di­rec­tor eyes study op­tions

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Fur­ther study op­tions and the in­tro­duc­tion of a sec­ondary teacher ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme are just some of the de­vel­op­ments the new di­rec­tor of Whanga¯rei’s ed­u­ca­tion cam­pus would like to see.

Pro­fes­sor Stephen May is the new di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Auck­land’s Te Tai Tok­erau cam­pus in Whanga¯rei, re­plac­ing Pro­fes­sor Cindy Kiro who is now the Pro Vice-Chan­cel­lor Ma¯ori at the univer­sity.

The Whanga¯rei cam­pus has ex­isted for 25 years and of­fers a Bach­e­lor of Ed­u­ca­tion in both an English medium and Ma¯ori medium, with many Far North stu­dents go­ing through the course.

May said he would like to see some devel­op­ment and has al­ready in­tro­duced post­grad­u­ate course op­tions out of the cam­pus next year, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on Ma¯orimedium ed­u­ca­tion, and is look­ing at re-en­gag­ing in sec­ondary teacher ed­u­ca­tion in 2020.

“We haven’t of­fered it in a num­ber of years, but we are go­ing to re-of­fer post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes based out of Tai Tok­erau,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of growth in bilin­gual and im­mer­sion units across Tai Tok­erau and a real sort of com­mu­nity driven de­mand for it. So we’re of­fer­ing a range of cour­ses that fo­cus on that.”

May, who re­ceived the McKen­zie Award at the re­cent New Zealand Re­search in Ed­u­ca­tion Con­fer­ence for his con­tri­bu­tion to ed­u­ca­tional re­search, orig­i­nally trained as a high school teacher and has been in­volved in teacher ed­u­ca­tion for nearly 30 years.

He is a pro­fes­sor in Te Puna Wananga, UoA’s school of Ma¯ori and indige­nous ed­u­ca­tion, and his work is fo­cused on is­sues to do with di­ver­sity, and Ma¯ori medium ed­u­ca­tion.

“How did a Pa¯keha¯ boy from Otau­tahi Christchurch get into that? When I first started teach­ing, the head of Ma¯ori stud­ies — a guy called John Manuel from Ngati Porou — took me un­der his wing as a first time teacher.

“I ended up get­ting in­volved in the Ma¯ori stu­dent teacher group and I got in­ter­ested from that time. My honours de­gree was in so­cial lin­guis­tics so I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in lan­guage.”

May said it was also im­por­tant that more peo­ple were aware that the UoA had a cam­pus in Whanga¯rei.

“That’s why I think the po­ten­tial dis­cus­sion in what we might do around the cam­pus and its rede­vel­op­ment is pretty crit­i­cal. We know po­lit­i­cally that North­land, Tai Tok­erau, has been a re­gion that’s been over­looked,” he said.

PIC­TURE / JOHN STONE

Pro­fes­sor Stephen May is the new di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Auck­land’s Te Tai Tok­erau cam­pus in Whanga¯ rei.

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