Monday, May 02, 2011

Studying language and culture in New Zealand's schools

Tags: reischl, teaching and learning, young

Kathryn Young and Cathy Reischl are leading a group of 15 undergraduate students to Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ) as part of the University of Michigan Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduate Students program. While there, students will learn to perceive the role of language and culture in schooling in their own and others’ lives. They'll gain insights about their own experiences at the University of Michigan to compare and contrast with the lives of Māori (indigenous people), Pakehā (people of European origin) and other immigrants in schools in Aotearoa New Zealand.  They will learn about the tangata whenua, (the status of Māori people of ANZ), and about culturally relevant pedagogies and language practices being enacted in schools in the South Pacific nation. Particular attention will be paid to the active role that users of the language of power (English, in both the U.S. and Aotearoa New Zealand settings) must take in co-constructing equitable language and cultural pedagogies in schools.

The group left on April 30, 2011, and will return on May 30. During the trip, members of the group will be writing a blog, capturing their thoughts and experiences. Kathryn Young is also writing her own blog about the experiences of the group.

Kathryn Young is staff coordinator of the Secondary Undergraduate Teacher Education program.

Cathy Reischl is a clinical associate professor at the School of Education.

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