Social Justice Theory and Practice: Pākehā, Kaupapa Māori and Educational Leadership

  • Alex Barnes
Keywords: Kaupapa Māori, Māori leadership, theory and practice, education, social justice


(Printed with permission. Previously published in the New Zealand Journal of Educational Leadership (2004), (19), 47–62).

This article explores the intersection of leadership theory and practice using the experience of two Māori leaders working in Kaupapa Māori education. An objective of the article is to enable these Māori educationalists to share their experiences of Māori leadership theory and practice. This research aims to add current insights into the theorising and practice of social justice and leadership within Kaupapa Māori education. Within a Kaupapa Māori research framework, I critically examine the involvement of dominant culture (Pākehā) researchers in Kaupapa Māori contexts; Kaupapa Māori education; and Māori leadership theory. Kaupapa Māori and qualitative research methodologies were the selected analytical frameworks for this study. This is because analysing the experiences of Kaupapa Māori educational leaders should be undertaken within a related theoretical and practical discourse.

Author Biography

Alex Barnes

Alex Hotere-Barnes is a kairangahau matua, senior researcher/evaluator, facilitator Māori-medium with CORE Education in New Zealand. Alex’s primary role is to advance the research and evaluation capabilities of organisations, with a particular focus on Māori educational issues. He has held a range of research and evaluation roles within the education and community sectors.


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