Creating New Zealanders: Education and the formation of the state and the building of the nation

by Stephenson, Maxine Sylvia

Abstract (Summary)
Educational activity preceded official British presence in New Zealand. The development of the New Zealand state from crown colony, to a system of relatively autonomous provincial councils, to a centralized administration took place within a period of four decades. Co-terminous with and essential to the state's progressive securing of its authority was the institutionalization of separate national systems of education for Maori and Pakeha. Whilst the ascendancy of the state and the securing of education as a central state concern proceeded ultimately with the sanction of the state and in accordance with its objectives it was not a straight forward process in a young nation which was born democratic, but was struggling to consolidate political and cultural unity. The various stages and the ultimate form that education in New Zealand took were closely linked to shifts in the nature and role of the state in its formative years, in the nature of its relationship with civil society, and in its official relationship with Maori. This provided the context and dynamic of the shift to state control as public schooling came to dominate over private or voluntary efforts, and as the particularism of isolated provincial settlements was replaced by a system designed to serve the nation as a whole. Positing conceptual links between the development of national education and the processes of state formation and nation building in a colonizing context, this thesis argues that the institutionally differentiated form that universal education took in New Zealand produced a site through which socially, culturally and ideologically determined conceptions of “normality” would be legitimated and become hegemonic. By nationalizing education to legitimate a culture of uniformity based on a specific set of norms, individual New Zealanders were differentially created according to class, gender and ethnicity, and to physical, intellectual, behavioural and sensory functioning.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Roger Dale

School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:education history of 0520 sociology 0340 asia australia and oceania 0332 fields research 330000 330100 studies 420000 language culture 420300 cultural 420306 maori


Date of Publication:01/01/2000

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