Wananga landing Wananga landing

Bicultural competence and confidence

25 August 2023

Biculturalism is woven into study at UC Education. By the end of the programme, you'll have the cultural competence and confidence to live and work in bicultural Aotearoa | New Zealand and as well as a multicultural world.

He awa whiria, haehae moana braided rivers

Bicultural competency is not simply a goal at UC Education — it’s why we are a leading educational institution. We weave together western science and te ao Māori approaches to teaching, to create an enhanced approach to learning. Combining these two practices is integral into your success as a leader, teacher, and educationalist.

"We recognise the need for cultural competence applies to all people, not just tangata whenua. An approach often adopted is He Awa Whiria [Haehae Moana]. This refers to braided rivers, where western science and matauranga Māori together, are more effective than either on its own." — Angus McFarlane, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ahorangi Rangahau Maori | Professor of Māori Research.


Tuhono ki te ao globally connected

Understanding and incorporating cultural identity is essential to your learning success. At UC you will have the opportunity to place your understanding of biculturalism and diversity into the context of our global interconnected community.

In recent years, akonga students have had the opportunity to do professional practice placements in Rarotonga. Sport Coaching students have interned in Australia, Japan, and Germany. Early Childhood students have taken cultural awareness trips to Samoa, and Primary students have taken similar trips to Japan. Students within Early Childhood and Primary teaching programmes have also done a five-month teaching placement in China. You will also be able to connect with teacher recruitment agencies that offer employment overseas.

Kay Lee Jones
Kay-Lee Jones

Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Porou 
Doctor of Education graduate and Kaiwhakaako Matua | Senior Lecturer in Te Kura Whakangungu Kaiako | School of Teacher Education

A lot is being done around biculturalism, particularly within the School of Teacher Education. It’s hugely important for our teacher trainees to develop a bicultural understanding because they’ll be the ones out there working alongside our next generation. The College teaches te reo Māori, and tikanga Māori (Māori language, protocols, values, and culture) and encourages teacher trainees to grow a heart for te ao Māori (the Māori world).

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