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The Unintended Outcomes of Institutionalising Ethnicity: The Case of Maori Education in New Zealand

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Education systems in liberal-democratic countries with ethnically diverse populations face a common problem: How to increase participation and achievement by minority groups yet maintain the role of schools as integrating institutions for the national polity. In this presentation I draw on three decades of my research into biculturalism in New Zealand. Focusing on Maori education in particular I compare the intentions of the early biculturalists with the present situation to ask: What is the current state of the separate Maori education system created by the biculturalists? Has separate Maori education revived the Maori language? What about the achievement of Maori children? What is the situation of Maori children in mainstream education? And finally: What are the consequences of institutionalising ethnicity in education for New Zealand’s liberal-democratic society?

This talk is part of the Visiting Scholar Seminars series.

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