Tikanga whakaako, also known as Māori pedagogy, is a term used to describe teaching and learning that is appropriate for Māori children within an education context. The concept of ako is deeply embedded in tikanga whakaako. Ako acknowledges teaching and learning as reciprocal processes whereby teachers are learners and learners are teachers.
Tikanga whakaako also recognises that the learner, educator and whānau cannot be separated. Embracing the concept of tikanga whakaako enables educators to build caring and purposeful learning relationships where everyone feels that their contribution is valued and their potential is recognised. Critical to Māori pedagogy (tikanga whakaako) is the notion of which or whose knowledge (mātauranga) is privileged.
Tikanga whakaako is a marker for:
- relationships and interactions between teachers and children
- effective teaching practice
- Te Tiriti-based practice and bicultural curriculum
- inclusive practices
- learning environments
- transitions into and within services, and to school.