Indigenous Wellbeing: Te rongo ā tinana, ā hinengaro, ā ngākau ā wairua : Enhancing Māori wellbeing in early childhood education

Wellbeing, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy” and is fundamental to an individual’s ability to function and live well (Cram, 2014; Durie, 1998). From a Māori perspective wellbeing or hauora, also incorporates, spiritual, physical, mental and emotional, and social aspects (Durie, 1998).

This article outlines the findings from the second phase of a Teaching Learning and Research Initiative (TLRI) funded project, Te Whakapūmautia te mana: Enhancing mana through kaitiakitanga, which involved working with kaiako (teacher/s) in Puna Reo (language springs) and Kōhanga Reo (language nests). It also discusses some of the implications for Early Childhood Education (ECE). The project aimed to explore the ways that ECE accords mokopuna opportunities to recognise mana and understand ways to accrue and attain mana through being kaitiaki (guardian) of themselves, others, and their environment, thereby contributing to a collective sense of wellbeing.

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