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Glossary of terms used within the Voices Project.


English / Nga Kupu Maori

Access / Accessibility

Accessibility includes but is about more than physical accessibility. ‘Access’ is linked with ‘equity’, a principle of social justice. Every person and group need and have a right to access communication, participation, learning, education curriculum, ideas, information and opportunities on an equal basis to others. What any individual or group needs to experience equal access is not the same. Teaching and settings that respond well to the access needs and rights of diverse groups find that the changes made for one person or group benefit everybody 


Advocacy is to do with rights. The main goal of advocacy is to ensure that a person’s ‘voice’ is heard and their rights are recognised and realised. Disability Advocacy ensures the human, cultural and legal rights of people with disabilities and their families are promoted and protected so that people with disabilities are valued and can enjoy satisfying lives.

source IHC Advocacy Toolkit


Autonomy is the right or condition of self-government; A self-governing country or region; Freedom from external control or influence;  Independence.
Synonyms: self-government, independence, self-rule, home rule, sovereignty, self-determination, freedom.
Autonomy is relevant to and can be exercised by individuals, communities and societies.

A Waitangi Tribunal Treaty Principle.
As part of the mutual recognition of kāwanatanga and tino rangatiratanga, the Crown guaranteed to protect Māori autonomy, which the Tribunal defined as ‘the ability of tribal communities to govern themselves as they had for centuries, to determine their own internal political, economic, and social rights and objectives, and to act collectively in accordance with those determinants’. Inherent in Māori autonomy and tino rangatiratanga is the right to retain their own customary law and institutions…

Barriers (to learning and participation)

Inclusion is an on-going process which involves the identifying and removing limits to learning, participation and success. Noticing barriers and devising plans to reduce them, in a spirit of open collaboration, is the core work of an inclusive education setting.


Experiencing belonging is essential to a person’s wellbeing. Belonging is a feeling of involvement in something; it includes feeling secure, included, accepted, comfortable and ‘fitting in’. A person and group belong when they are accepted, respected and valued through relationships and connections made with other individuals, groups, situations and settings. Belonging unites many people together as one and contributes to developing a positive identity.

Ensuring all children and families belong requires diversity to be acknowledged, visible and respected because what belonging means and how it is achieved and sustained differs between groups. (see Mana Whenua, Nga Kupu Māori list)

Best interests (of the child)

Governments, teachers, parents, guardians and all citizens, especially those who exercise power and responsibility with and/or for others, have an obligation to always consider and act in that person or group’s best interests. This is stipulated for children in the Convention on the Rights of the child but is relevant to all individuals and groups who at risk of being marginalised through social inequality and discrimination. United Nations Declarations and Conventions and local laws, policies and education curriculum provide detail and direction about what recognising this right involves.

Bias (prejudice)

Bias is a natural human characteristic, socialised into us through the cultural situations and messages we experience. We have an affinity with people who are like us and more difficulty building relationships with people who are less familiar and we don’t understand. Because of our unfamiliarity and lack of experience with particular groups, our biases against ‘others’ are mostly based on inaccurate stereotypes, false assumptions and unchecked generalisations. Biases can be overcome through conscious questioning, and reflection. Bias and discrimination become institutional when it is established as normal behaviour within a society, group or organisation. This requires cultivating an open and curious orientation within ourselves towards people and situations we experience as different or ‘other’.


In Aotearoa New Zealand the term bicultural refers to the partnership relationship and obligations between Māori and non-Māori. The Treaty of Waitangi established a formal partnership between the nga iwi Māori (tribes and sub-tribes of Aotearoa) and the British Crown (Queen of England). The language, content and terms of the Treaty outlined a political agreement and arrangement between the two parties. The key outcome of the Treaty for the British Crown was that it gave British citizens permission to settle here and establish governance - Kāwanatanga.  An important aspect of biculturalism is the recognition of the unique status of Māori as the Tangata Whenua (the indigenous, first people of this Aotearoa New Zealand) and their inalienable right to exercise TinoRangatiratanga (control and sovereignty) over their lands, forests, fisheries, people, language, culture and taonga (things of value, treasures).

Biculturalism in education works to ensure that values, policies, culture and practices respect and acknowledge Māori indigenous authority, rights, autonomy, language and culture. Collaboration and partnership between schools and their local whānau, hapū and iwi and wider Māori community is essential to growing and sustaining bicultural relationships. Biculturalism involves the on-going and conscious identification and removal of barriers to the presence, participation and education of Māori on their own terms and within their own cultural norms and worldview. Culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy are essential. Deficit explanations and beliefs about cultural difference and diversity are key barriers to education that is bi- and multi-culturally responsive and inclusive.


Bullying is behaviour that intentionally inflicts physical and/or emotional harm on another person. Bullying happens when people abuse and misuse their power in order to make another feel vulnerable, physically or psychologically. The harassment and bullying of people because of their ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, beliefs and religion are all forms of violence. A commitment to non-violence may involve challenging ways of resolving conflicts associated with some versions of masculinity and hence a need to offer alternative routes to a robust male identity. It leads to a dissection of notions of ‘losing face’ and ‘losing respect’ and their links to ‘revenge’. It necessitates a balance to be found between assertion and aggression. Anger is seen as an important indication of the strength of one’s feelings about a person or event but is to be directed into productive action and away from an aggressive response. Institutional violence or institutional bullying may occur when the humanity and dignity of those within institutions are not respected; when people are treated as a means to an end. This can happen when schools or other educational institutions are treated as businesses. The values of such organisations can be hidden within the apparently neutral influence of business software that gives exchanges between staff a business value. Non-violent institutions are developed in harmony with the needs of the people within them, with the environment and with their surrounding communities (Booth & Ainscow, 2011, p.26).


Recognising, respecting and valuing diversity while working with others to achieve common goals.


An inclusive view of community extends attachment and obligation beyond family and friendships to a broader fellow feeling. It is linked to a sense of responsibility for others and to ideas of public service, citizenship, global citizenship and a recognition of global interdependence. An inclusive school community provides a model of what it means to be a responsible and active citizen whose rights are respected outside school. Inclusive communities are always open to and enriched by, new members who contribute to their transformation. In education, inclusion involves developing mutually sustaining relationships between schools and their surrounding communities. A concern with community is about acting collaboratively, with collegiality and in solidarity; it leads to an understanding of how progress in changing institutions can be best achieved when people join their actions together. (Booth & Ainscow, 2011)

Cultural responsiveness

Cultural responsiveness is the ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own culture and those from other cultures.

Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

  1. Students receive equal opportunities to achieve full Potential.
  2. Student preparation for competent participation in an increasingly intercultural society.
  3. Teacher preparation for effective facilitation of learning for every student.
  4. Schools are active participants in ending oppression of all types.
  5. Education is more student-centred and inclusive of student voices and experiences.
  6. Educators, activists and others take an active role in re-examining all educational practices and how they affect the learning of all students.

Source: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice: Academy 2, Culturally Responsive Classrooms

National Centre for Culturally Responsive Education Systems (NCCRESt). A Teacher education interactive workshop series about culturally responsive thinking and practices. 77 slides including topics, text, diagrams and activities that teachers/facilitators can use: Responsive Pedagogy and Practice Module academy 2 Slides Ver 1.0 FINAL kak.pdf


A history and set of deeply held values, beliefs, norms, systems, language, practices and experiences that are shared and lived by a group of people.

Deaf Culture

Like other cultures, Deaf Culture has its own set of values/beliefs, traditions, norms (the ways we do things) and language. Deaf culture is local and international. Some hearing people, often family - whānau members of a Deaf person, also identify with the Deaf community and speak New Zealand Sign Language. Deaf culture involves the experience of kinship with others who share the same experiences and language. Deaf culture is not based on family culture or ethnicity. Like every person, Deaf people have a family culture and ethnicity that are also part of their identities. There are some multi-generational Deaf families. Most Deaf people live in families with non- deaf members. About ten percent of Deaf children in Aotearoa New Zealand have Deaf parents. Deaf children and adults have a right to access Deaf culture, Sign Language and form connections with other Deaf people.

Deficit Model - Discourse

A view of particular forms of diversity as a ‘problem’ and as being ‘lesser’ (a deficit) than dominant norms and ways of being. The ‘problem’ – ‘deficit’ is approached as being within the person and/or culture. A deficit approach is based on medical and special education responses to differences. A deficit approach in education identifies what a student does not know or cannot do. Deficit discourses and ‘truths’ direct attention away from considering how dominant norms, values, practices, relationships, structures and environments restrict and marginalise the learning, participation and success of some students.


A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. Key elements of democracy are, a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; a rule of law, in which laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.


Within Disability Culture, disability represents a distinct and positive social identity. Disability Culture includes networks of community activism, research, celebration, advocacy, art, performance and expression.

"… disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others"(Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Disabled people

The term disabled people, person emphasises the experience of oppression. Placing the word ‘disabled’ first emphasises that people with impairments / ‘differences’ are disabled by a society that takes little account of and excludes them.

Disability Culture

Over recent decades disabled people around the world have been developing shared connections, movements, networks and principles in response to their experiences of disability discrimination and exclusion and the need to reframe and claim disability as a positive identity. Disability Culture is largely aligned with the principles and understandings of human and disability rights and a ‘social model’ discourse and perspective. Within Disability Culture, disability represents a distinct and positive social identity. Disability Culture includes networks of community activism, research, celebration, advocacy, art, performance and expression.


Discrimination on the basis of disability. “…a form of social oppression involving the social imposition of restrictions of activity on people with impairments and the socially engendered undermining of their psycho-emotional wellbeing” (Thomas, 2007).


Discrimination is the selection for unfavourable treatment of an individual or individuals on the basis of: gender, race, colour or ethnic or national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social class, age (subject to the usual conventions on retirement), marital status or family responsibilities, or as a result of any conditions or requirements that do not accord with the principles of fairness and natural justice. Discrimination and harassment refer to intentional or unintentional behaviour for which there is no reasonable justification. Bias and discrimination become institutional when they are established as normal behaviour within a society, group or organisation.


The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Respect for diversity involves exploring and learning about our differences in safe, positive, and nurturing environments. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual and group.


Equality and related notions of equity, fairness and justice are central to inclusive values. Inequality, inequity, unfairness and injustice are forms of exclusion. Equality is not about everyone being the same or being treated in the same way but about everyone being treated as of equal worth.


The concept of equity requires difference and diversity to be recognised and positively valued. Treating everyone exactly the same is not equitable or fair. Treating everybody the same pretends we don’t have important differences and promotes privilege for some groups. Equity is the opposite of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to education and requires “reasonable accommodations” and responsiveness to diversity in all of its forms. It is based on the idea that we all need different things in order to learn, participate and experience success because we are all different. Thinking and practices based on equity provide pathways to equality and success for everybody, not just those who fit the dominant norms in society. 


Groups, communities and individuals who because of deprivation, poverty or discrimination are unable to realise their potential and participate and contribute to society are excluded. Inequality, inequity, unfairness and injustice are forms of exclusion. Social exclusion occurs as a result of shortcomings and failures in the systems and structures of family, community and society. The term involves understanding who is excluded, and how, as well as the outcomes of exclusion.

Source: UNESCO Definitions of social and political concepts:


Expert Model - Discourse

An expert is a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area.

In education, experts include and expertise can be shared by children and young people, families – whānau, teachers and others who have relationships and collaborate witā tahē young persons and tiri community.

Professionals involved in medicine, psychology and related fields such as special education usually regard and approach their theories, knowledge and ‘interventions’ as expert, scientific and objective. Within expert model thinking, the knowledge and perspectives of disabled people, their families and advocates can be discounted as not expert and ‘subjective’. Some people in professional roles see the disabled person and/or families’ - whānau knowledge and contexts as having little meaning or relevance to their focus and work. Teachers who believe that other ‘professionals’ are the experts often defer to others’ knowledge and can follow their advice uncritically. If anyone is an expert on a person, it is the person themselves, their family and teachers.

Good Faith

A principle of human rights, natural and social justice. Acting in good faith is a central obligation within partnership relationships.

Human Rights

Human rights are based on the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations and the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognise the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.


Who a person is, the unique qualities of a person or group that make them different from others. We all have various aspects or parts to our identities and we are a combination of these aspects. Aspects of our personalities and identity are more or less important depending on the time, place situation. How others think about and treat us affects our identity, and how we view and feel about ourselves and others.

IEP  (Individual Education Plan)

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Development Plan (IDP) is a broad term for planning processes and documents used to identify, plan and evaluate the educational programme and needs of an individual student within an educational setting. Education planning should always include the young person,  families – whānau, teachers, support staff and sometimes tohorā involved ine The young person’s kite and education.

Some early childhood centres and schools are developing the language and processes of IEPs to reflect a more collaborative and community focus. Community Learning Plans is a new term being used by some schools to describe planning for individual students. Along with focussing on the individual, their learning, access and ‘needs’, there is a thorough and critical consideration of the implications for teachers, peers, school curriculum, culture and environment.


A process of reducing barriers to and ensuring the rights of all people/s to belong, learn, participate and succeed with and alongside each other on their own terms in education, the community and throughout society.
Inclusive education / Inclusive Practice
Inclusive education can be understood as;

"a process that transforms culture, policy and practice in all educational environments to accommodate the differing needs of individual students, together with a commitment to remove the barriers that impede that possibility. An inclusive approach involves strengthening the capacity of an education system to reach out to all learners."
"It focuses on the attendance (presence), participation and achievement of all students, especially those who, for different reasons, are excluded or at risk of being marginalized. Inclusion involves access, permanence and progress to high-quality education without discrimination of any kind, whether within or outside the school system. It seeks to enable communities, systems and structures to combat discrimination, celebrate diversity, promote participation and overcome barriers to learning and participation for all people."
"It, therefore, requires an in-depth transformation of education systems, not only in legislation and policy, but also in the mechanisms for funding, administration, design, delivery and monitoring of education. The goal is for all students to learn in inclusive environments."

(General Comment, 2016, Committee of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Inspiration Porn

Inspiration Porn is the communication and use in the media / popular culture of images, text and messages that portray disabled people as an ‘inspiration’ to others solely or in part on the basis of their impairment or disability. The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young in an editorial in Australian Broadcasting Corporation's webzine Ramp Up. The link with pornography is about non-disabled people deriving a good feeling from the inspiration they construct as an outcome of their assumption they are “better off” than others who they position as “less fortunate” than themselves. These assumptions are based on deficit thinking about disability and difference.


(noun) A small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it.

(noun) A classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive.

(verb) Attach a label to (something).

Sometimes labels can be useful and positive to a person or groups’ well-being and identity. It depends on who is using the label, why they are using it and what the outcomes of using that label are. The Disability Rights Movement saying: “labels are for jars not people” means it’s OK to put a description (a label) on a jar so you know what’s inside, but it’s not okay to negatively judge people by attaching a label, or description to them, such as ‘retarded’, ‘slow’, ‘ugly’, ‘delayed’, ‘useless’ etc...


The exclusion of particular groups of people from full respect, participation and inclusion within education and society. Marginalisation involves processes of ‘other ring’, in which groups such as disabled children are marginalised with limiting effects on their rights, and the opportunities to contribute to and shape learning environments, relationships and school communities.

Medical Model - Discourse

The medical model defines disability as an illness or condition within an individual. Diagnosis or assessment of deviation from a normal body and/or mind is used to assign individuals a label and recommend ‘treatment’.  It is assumed that a person with a diagnosed condition requires (expert) monitoring, treatment or therapy to remediate or fix the ‘problem’. In education, the medical model takes the form of ‘special’ education.  ‘Special education experts’ diagnose, intervene, treat, provide therapy and ‘special’ (separate) curriculum and advise families and educationalists. They are also often gate keepers to additional funding, resources and services.

Multicultural – Multi-ethnic

Multicultural and multi-ethnic are terms that refer to and recognise cultural and ethnic diversity within communities and a society.

All multicultural and ethnic groups within Aotearoa-New Zealand have a right to be recognised, respected, valued and included within education and society.

The New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils (NZFMC) defines ’Ethnic’ as, pertaining to or relating to any segment of the population within New Zealand society sharing fundamental cultural values, customs, beliefs, languages, traditions and characteristics, that are different from those of the larger society. The NZFMC acts as an umbrella organisation for the “ethnic communities of New Zealand.”

Vision A multicultural New Zealand where people of different cultures and beliefs live safely and in harmony.

Mission To represent and support multicultural councils and ethnic, migrant and refugee communities through leadership, partnership, capacity building and service delivery.

Values Diversity, Inclusiveness, Equality, Participation, Collaboration, Service to the Community.

Mutual Benefit

A principle of inclusive partnerships and relationships is to work towards common goals to the benefit of everybody. A treaty of Waitangi Principle.

Narrative Assessment

An approach to assessment that is responsive, relational, on-going and draws from multiple people and contexts. Narrative assessment requires educators to develop deep knowledge of and relationships with children and families- whānau to support teaching and learning. Narrative assessment involves teachers, students, families – whānau and others involved in a student’s education recording and reflecting on stories of student interests, strengths, needs and learning in action. Narrative assessment supports and requires teachers to develop an intimate knowledge of each student across education, home and community contexts. This knowledge is used formatively by teachers to inform teaching, and support relationships, learning, participation and success.

Narrative assessment provides a rich picture of students’ skills, strengths, and learning support needs. It uses learning stories to capture progress in students’ learning, and records the often subtle interactions between the student, their learning environments, their peers, their learning support team, and their learning activities.  

Kei tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning Early Childhood Exemplars

Through Different Eyes New Zealand website The resources available on this website are the Narrative assessment: a guide for teachers and The New Zealand Curriculum Exemplars for Learners with Special Education Needs.


Non-violence requires listening to, and understanding, the point of view of others and weighing up the strength of arguments, including one’s own. It requires the development of skills of negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution in children and adults. It requires adults to model non-violence in their own conduct. Within communities of equals, disputes are resolved through dialogue rather than coercion derived from differences in status and physical strength. This does not mean that people avoid challenging or being challenged and deny disagreement, but that they use challenge to provoke reflection and invention (Booth & Ainscow, 2011, p.26) 

Normal - Normative

Thinking and practices based on cultural beliefs that there is an ideal, preferable, universal timeline and way of developing, behaving and being in the world.


The extent to which students take part in and benefit from the involvement in the life of the school through both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Participation means learning alongside others and collaborating with them in shared learning experiences. It requires active engagement with learning and having a say in how education is experienced. More deeply, it is about being recognised, accepted and valued for oneself (Booth & Ainscow, 2002 p3).

Participation goes beyond, but starts with, simply being there. Participation involves two elements to do with participatory action or activity and the participating self. A person participates not only when they are involved in common activities but also when they feel involved and accepted. Participation is about being with and collaborating with others. It is about active engagement in learning. It is about involvement in decisions about one’s life, including education and links to ideas of democracy and freedom. It also entails the important right not to participate, to assert one’s autonomy against the group by saying: ‘no’ (Booth & Ainscow, 2011, p.24).


A partnership is an arrangement and relationship where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. Partners might include individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, nations or combinations. Organisations sometimes partner to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission.

The Treaty of Waitangi signifies a partnership between Maori and the Crown. Partnership is a Waitangi Tribunal Principle. Each partner is expected to act towards the other ‘with the utmost good faith’ which is a key obligation of partnership. This includes the duty to consult Māori and to obtain the full, free, and informed consent of the correct right holders in any land transaction.


Being physically present is a critical feature of inclusion and a pre-condition for inclusive education and an inclusive society.

Presence refers to the place of children and young people in their local regular school. Being present in ordinary classrooms alongside peers in a regular school is a critical feature of inclusion. Students can only develop a sense of belonging in their local community and learn to be part of that community by being present in their local community at school.

(MacArthur, 2009, p.14)

Although physical presence is a requirement and first step of inclusion, being physically present does not mean that every child or young person is experiencing equal access, belonging, inclusion and success. We all need to work consciously to ensure that every child, whānau and group has equal access to relationships, teaching, learning and an environment that values them and fully supports their learning and success.


A legal or other formal measure intended to preserve civil liberties and human rights. Active Protection of Maori rights, taonga and interests is a Principle of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Principles are fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning. Principles provide frameworks for and are used to guide thinking and action.

Synonyms; Truth, Proposition, Concept, Idea, Theory.  


Racial discrimination is defined in international law as

any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

 (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965, article 1)

Reasonable Accommodation

A ‘reasonable accommodation’ is an adjustment made in a system to accommodate, ensure access or make fair the same system for an individual based on their rights and needs. Accommodations can be religious, academic, education or employment related and are often mandated by law. Each country has its own system of reasonable accommodations.

The United Nations uses this term in the Conventionon the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, saying refusal to make accommodation results in discrimination. The CRPD (article 2) defines 'reasonable accommodation' as the:

…means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms


Reciprocity involves expressing mutual, complementary actions, where each party returns a corresponding act or quality to the other.


Remedy or set right an undesirable or unfair situation


Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of yourself and others.

Respect is about how you feel about a person or group and how you treat them. Having respect for someone means you think good things about who a person is or how he/she acts. You can have respect for others, and you can have respect for yourself. Showing respect to someone means you act in a way that shows you care about their feelings and well-being. Showing respect for others include things like not calling people mean names, treating people with courtesy, caring enough about yourself that you don't do things you know can hurt you.

Talking with trees: stories that teach you character traits

Social Justice

Fairness and equity in a society’s political, economic, and social institutions based on a philosophy that places a value on collective action for the common good. The United Nations Universal Declaration or Human rights opens with the statement that: recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world 

Social Model -  Discourse (of disability)

Disability is defined as the limitation placed on disabled people by physical and social arrangements designed only for those perceived as ‘able’ bodied. As this represents discrimination and oppression, it requires political action for change.

Sociocultural Theory

Socio-cultural theory understands knowledge as developed and constructed through relationships within social and cultural contexts. A view of knowledge as socially constructed contrasts with traditional views of Western based knowledge and assumptions being indisputable fact. Sociocultural theory underpins the pedagogy within Te Whaariki The Early Childhood Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1996, 2017) and The New Zealand Curriculum (2007).  From a sociocultural view, teaching, learning and curriculum are approached as relational and responsive to the identities, experiences, cultures and communities of students and their families - whānau.

Special Education

Special education is the translation of a medical model and discourse of disability from medicine and psychology into education thinking and practices. Special Education is based on deficit thinking about differences.  Special education practices often involve separate curriculum, instructional strategies and locations for children and young people given special education labels or ‘diagnoses’.


Stereotypes are a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing… An implicit stereotype… is one that exists outside of our conscious control and awareness. Many stereotypes are implicit. (Houkamau & Blank, 2017).

Strengths-based Model - discourse

An approach to assessment, teaching and learning that recognises, values and builds on what a student knows and can do and their interests. This contrasts with a deficit approach that identifies what a student does not know or cannot do as the basis for and focus of assessment, teaching and learning.


The most fundamental aim of education is to prepare children and young people for sustainable ways of life within sustainable communities and environments, locally and globally. A commitment to inclusive values must involve a commitment to the well-being of future generations. Discussions of inclusion always beg the question: ‘inclusion into what?’ Schools developing in inclusive ways are places that encourage the sustainable development of everyone’s learning and participation and the lasting reduction of exclusion and discrimination. They avoid making unco-ordinated changes only for the short term, signing up to programmes and initiatives which are not linked closely into their own long term commitments. Environmental sustainability is central to inclusion at a time when environmental degradation, deforestation, and global warming threaten the educational institutions are treated as businesses. The values of such organisations can be hidden within the apparently neutral influence of business software that gives exchanges between staff a business value. Non-violent institutions are developed in harmony with the needs of the people within them, with the environment and with their surrounding communities. (Booth & Ainscow, 2011)

Teacher(‘s) Aides

Assist teachers in facilitating students learning and participation in school life, under the guidance and supervision of teachers (also referred to as paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, learning support workers).


The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (2016) describes the process required to achieve an inclusive education system as transformative. Inclusive education is described as

a process that transforms culture, policy and practice in all educational environments to accommodate the differing needs of individual students, together with a commitment to remove the barriers that impede that possibility. An inclusive approach involves strengthening the capacity of an education system to reach out to all learners.

Inclusion involves access, permanence and progress to high-quality education without discrimination of any kind, whether within or outside the school system.

It seeks to enable communities, systems and structures to combat discrimination, celebrate diversity, promote participation and overcome barriers to learning and participation for all people.

It, therefore, requires an in-depth transformation of education systems, not only in legislation and policy, but also in the mechanisms for funding, administration, design, delivery and monitoring of education. The goal is for all students to learn in inclusive environments.

Draft General Comment on the right to inclusive education

Easy to read version-Draft General Comment on the Right to inclusive education

Plain English version-Draft General Comment on the Right to inclusive education

Treaty of Waitangi

New Zealand’s founding document. Te Tiriti O Waitangi - The Treaty was signed in 1840 between 540 Maori iwi (tribes) and leaders and the British Crown. Not all iwi signed the Treaty. The Treaty text and Principles promote values, structures, relationships and processes that support partnership, equity, respect for (bi) cultural diversity, participation and conflict resolution focussed on improving outcomes for individuals and communities.

Above all, the Treaty of Waitangi partnership is a reciprocal one, involving fundamental exchanges for mutual advantage and benefits. Māori ceded to the Crown the kāwanatanga (governance) of the country in return for a guarantee that their tino rangatiratanga (full authority) over their land, people, and taonga would be protected.


Trust supports participation and the development of relationships and of secure identities. It is required to encourage independent and unobserved learning and the establishment of dialogue. Education can help to build trust for children and young people in others outside their families, and may involve considered discussion of the nature of safe and unsafe encounters with others. This can be especially important for those who feel vulnerable at home or have been made to feel distrustful in the past because of their experience of routine discrimination. Trust is closely related to ideas of responsibility and trustworthiness. Trust is needed for the development of self-respect and mutual respect in professional practice. The less people are trusted, the less trustworthy they may become.[1] Trust that others will listen and respond fairly is required if difficult issues which impede educational development are to be uncovered and addressed: people feel free to speak their minds when they trust that others will engage in respectful dialogue without seeking an advantage.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for inclusive education assessment, planning and practices. UDL is based on 3 inclusive principles providing multiple means of:

(i)              Representation - The “what” of learning

(ii)            Action and Expression - The “how” of learning; and

(iii)           Engagement  - The “why” of learning

Ministry of Education. (2017). Updated Universal Design for Learning Guide. Retrieved from


Values (inclusive)

Values are deeply held beliefs which act as spurs, signposts and distant destinations for action, providing motivation and a sense of direction… Putting values into action involves an inclusive pedagogy that includes planning for and supporting the inclusion of everyone.


A concern with creating beauty may seem contentious since it is evident that beauty is in the eyes and mind of the one who sees or conceives it. It is also evident how oppressive and excluding the marketing of particular notions of beauty is for many people. But it is part of this list since many people see it as a feature of their most rewarding achievements or the most values with their interpretation of spiritual fulfilment. Beauty can be seen in gratuitous acts of kindness, in precious occasions where communication has transcended self-interest, in collective action and support to demand rights, when people find and use their voice. Beauty is there when someone loves something that they or someone else has crafted, in an appreciation of art and music. Inclusive beauty is to be found away from stereotypes in the diversity of people and in the diversity of nature (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Compassion involves an understanding of the suffering of others and a wish for it to be alleviated. It requires a deliberate attempt to know the extent of discrimination and suffering locally and globally. It requires a willingness to engage with other people’s perspectives and feelings. Compassion means that personal wellbeing is limited by a concern with the well-being of everybody, though not to the extent that we should encourage misery until we are all smiling. Embracing compassion involves replacing punitive approaches to the breaches of rules with professional duties of care and resourcefulness. It involves adults in taking some responsibility when there is a breakdown in relationships with children and young people. However fractured the relationship between a young person and a setting might seem, it remains the duty of professionals to continue to ask: how can this young person be best supported to develop relationships and engage in learning in the school? A compassionate education is one where mistakes can be acknowledged, irrespective of the status of the person involved, apologies can be accepted, restitution can be made and forgiveness is possible (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Courage is often required to stand against the weight of convention, power and authority or the views and cultures of one’s group; to think one’s own thoughts and speak one’s mind. Greater personal courage may be necessary to stand up for oneself or others where there is no culture of mutual support or it has been eroded. What is called whistle-blowing, speaking out about malpractice in one’s organisation and risking loss of advancement, employment or friendship, generally requires courage. Whistleblowing may be seen as disloyal by those with power in an organisation, thoughinclusive loyalty is to the wider community and to the most vulnerable within it. Courage may be involved in counteracting discrimination by acknowledging it, naming it and then acting against it (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Honesty is not just the free expression of the truth. Dishonesty may have more to do with the deliberate omission of information than with direct lying. Deliberately withholding information from, or misleading, others impedes their participation. It can be a means for those with power to control those with less power. Honesty involves avoiding hypocrisy by acting in accordance with one’s stated values or principles. It involves keeping promises. While honesty is linked to integrity and sincerity, it is also related to values of courage and trust. It is harder to be honest when it requires courage and easier where others can be trusted to be supportive. Honesty in education involves sharing knowledge with young people about local and global realities; encouraging them to know what is going on in their worlds so that they can make informed decisions in the present and future. It involves encouraging the asking of difficult questions and a preparedness to admit the limits to one’s knowledge (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).

Hope / Optimism

A value concerned with hope and optimism may also be seen as a professional duty for educators and a personal duty for parents and carers: we may have a duty to convey a sense that personal, local, national and global difficulties can be alleviated. It also involves showing how people can make a difference to their own and other people’s lives locally and globally. This does not mean that we fail to engage with the realities of the world, or the cynical motives of others, and only look on ‘the bright side of life’. For hope and optimism require an eagerness to engage with reality as the foundation for principled action. Clarity over inclusive values can provide a framework for action, connecting together those with similar values but with different labels for their activities. This can increase collective power to counteract the formidable exclusionary pressures that are manifest locally and globally. It can make change for the benefit of people and the planet more likely. Thus hope supports the possibility that a future can be sustained in which people can flourish (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Inclusive values are concerned with the development of whole people, including their feelings and emotions; with enhancing the human spirit; with joyful engagement in learning, teaching and relationships. They are concerned with education settings as places to ‘be’ as well as to ‘become’. A joyful education encourages learning through play, playfulness and shared humour. It encourages and celebrates satisfaction and contentment in acquiring new interests, knowledge and skills as the best way of sustaining them. Education settings which focus only on a narrow set of core attainments, or on the role of education in securing personal status and economic benefits, can be joyless, humourless places. This can diminish adults and children by constricting their self-expression and can lead to disaffection and disengagement (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Compassion is closely linked to the value of love or care. A deep caring for others, which asks for nothing in return, is a core motivation for many educators and a basis for a sense of vocation. It involves nurturing others to be and become themselves in recognition of the way people flourish when they are valued. This fosters a sense of identity and belonging and promotes participation. A willingness to care for others, and be cared for in return, underlies the creation of communities connected by fellow feeling as well as common activities. But as a value for educators, ‘love’ or ‘care’ is a feature of an asymmetric relationship. It may be a professional duty that educators should care equally for all children and young people within their settings, without regard to any warmth, gratitude or progress that they display (Booth & Ainscow, 2011).


Actively seeking, listening to, and responding to all peoples’ views and perspectives. This includes people who require assistance, technology, adaptations and/or interpretation to participate and express their views. Seeking and including the leadership and active participation of disabled people, in matters concerning them is reflected in the Disability Rights Movement principle of “Nothing about us without us!” All people have a right to be listened to, represented and involved in matters that concern them. This includes students and their families concern with their well-being, learning, participation and success in education.

Nga Kupu Māori


To learn, study, instruct, teach, advise.

Akonga Māori is the preferred Māori way of teaching and learning. It is not necessarily the traditional way although Akonga Māori is derived from traditional concepts and values. Akonga Māori emphasises the inter-relationship of teaching and learning, in that they are not understood as separate concepts. In Māori world view, “teaching” and “learning are one in the same idea; thus the Māori term for “learn” is Ako, the Māori term for “teach” is Ako. This perception differs significantly from the Pākehā notion which perceives “teaching” and “learning” as distinctly separate items. (Smith, Graham. January 1987:1)


(verb) to love, feel pity, feel concern for, feel compassion, empathise.

(modifier) loving, affectionate, caring, compassionate, kindly, sympathetic, benevolent.

(noun) affection, sympathy, charity, compassion, love, empathy.

Hā a koro ma, a kui ma 

Breath of life from forbearers.


(stative) be pregnant, conceived in the womb.

(noun) kinship group, clan, tribe, subtribe - section of a large kinship group and the primary political unit in traditional Māori society. It consisted of a number of whānau sharing descent from a common ancestor, usually being named after the ancestor, but sometimes from an important event in the group's history. A number of related hapū usually shared adjacent territories forming a looser tribal federation (iwi).


The mind, thought, intellect, consciousness, awareness. The capacity to communicate, to think and to feel. Mind and body are inseparable. Thoughts, feelings and emotions - whatumanawa are integral components of the body and soul.


(noun) extended kinship group, tribe, nation, people, nationality, race - often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor and associated with a distinct territory.


(noun) government, dominion, rule, authority, governorship, province

The key outcome of the Treaty for the British Crown was that it gave British citizens permission to settle here and establish governance - Kāwanatanga.  An important aspect of the Treaty is its recognition of the unique status and authority of Māori as the Tangata Whenua (the indigenous, first people of this Aotearoa New Zealand) and their inalienable right to exercise TinoRangatiratanga (control and sovereignty) over their lands, forests, fisheries, people, language, culture and taonga (things of value, treasures).


(noun) unity, togetherness, solidarity, bonding, collective action, collaboration, unity of purpose


(noun) prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma - mana is a supernatural force in a person, place or object. Mana goes hand in hand with tapu, one affecting the other. The more prestigious the event, person or object, the more it is surrounded by tapu and mana. Since authority is a spiritual gift delegated by the atua (gods), man remains the agent, never the source of mana. Almost every activity has a link with the maintenance and enhancement of mana and tapu. Animate and inanimate objects can also have mana as they also derive from the atua and because of their own association with people imbued with mana or because they are used in significant events. There is also an element of stewardship, or kaitiakitanga, associated with the term when it is used in relation to resources, including land and water.

Mana ake

Unique identity of individuals and family


(noun) an ethic of care, hospitality, kindness, generosity, support - the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others

Mana Whenua

Territorial rights, power from the land, authority over land or territory, jurisdiction over land or territory - power associated with possession and occupation of tribal land. The tribe's history and legends are based in the lands they have occupied over generations and the land provides the sustenance for the people and to provide hospitality for guests.


  1. (modifier) normal, usual, natural, common, ordinary.
  2. (modifier) native, indigenous, fresh (of water), belonging to Aotearoa/New Zealand, freely, without restraint, without ceremony, clear, intelligible.
  3. (noun) Māori, indigenous New Zealander, indigenous person of Aotearoa/New Zealand - a new use of the word resulting from Pākehā contact in order to distinguish between people of Māori descent and the colonisers.


(noun) life principle, life force in people and objects, vital essence, special nature, a material symbol of a life principle, source of emotions - the essential quality and vitality of a being or entity. Also used for a physical object, individual, ecosystem or social group in which this essence is located.


(verb) to greet, pay tribute, acknowledge, thank.

(noun) speech of greeting, acknowledgement, tribute.


(noun) speech of greeting, official welcome speech - speech acknowledging those present at a gathering. For some tribes a pōhiri, or pōwhiri, is used for the ritual of encounter on a marae only. In other situations where formal speeches in Māori are made that are not on a marae or in the wharenui (meeting house) the term mihi whakatau is used for a speech, or speeches, of welcome in Māori.

Mihi Whakatau

(noun) speech of greeting, official welcome speech - speech acknowledging those present at a gathering. For some tribes a pōhiri, or pōwhiri, is used for the ritual of encounter on a marae only. In other situations where formal speeches in Māori are made that are not on a marae or in the wharenui (meeting house) the term mihi whakatau is used for a speech, or speeches, of welcome in Māori.

Ōritetanga, Noho ōrite

(noun) equality, equal opportunity.

Ōritetanga  The guarantee that Māori would have the same and equal rights as others. (Te Tiriti O Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi, article 3)


(noun) New Zealander of European descent - probably originally applied to English-speaking Europeans living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Many Pākehā people are descendants of prior British and European settlers to Aotearoa New Zealand. Some suggest that pakepakehā was another name for tūrehu (pale skinned) or patupairehe (fairylike, supernatural being). Despite the claims of some non-Māori speakers, the term does not normally have negative connotations. Pākehā identity and culture is unique to Aotearoa New Zealand.

(modifier) English, foreign, European, exotic - introduced from or originating in a foreign country.


(noun) tribal saying, tribal motto, proverb (especially about a tribe), set form of words, formulaic expression, saying of the ancestors, figure of speech, motto, slogan - set sayings known for their economy of words and metaphor and encapsulating many Māori values and human characteristics.

Pepeha is the way that we identify ourselves and each other through te reo me ngā tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) to introduce ourselves and our connections. Through pepeha, we make connections with people, landmarks and waterways that we spiritually identify with to define who we are. We also connect with our homeland and the vessel/s that brought our people/s to this land.

Ka tauria a Hikurangi e te huka ka pepehatia, 'Ka rukuruku a Te Rangitāwaea i ōna kākahu rīnena.' / When Hikurangi mountain is covered by snow the saying is used, 'Te Rangitāwaea wears his linen cloak.'  


(noun) beating heart, pulse. Used in education to refer to and consider the atmosphere and energy within a classroom and school community.

(Macfarlane, Macfarlane, Savage & Glynn, 2011)


(noun) younger generation, youth.

Taha hinengaro

Mental health. Mind and body are inseparable. Thoughts, feelings and emotions - whatumanawa are integral components of the body and soul. This is about how we see ourselves in this universe, our interaction with that which is uniquely Māori and the perceptions that others have of us. (Mason Durie).

Taha tinana 

Physical wellbeing. Our physical ‘being’ supports our essence and shelters us from the external environment. The physical dimension is just one aspect of health and well-being and cannot be separated from the aspect of mind, spirit and family (Mason Durie).

Taha wairua

Spiritual health. The spiritual essence of a person is their ‘mauri’ - life force. This determines us as individuals and as a collective, who and what we are, where we have come from and where we are going (Mason Durie).

Taha whānau

Whānau - family health. The capacity to belong, to care and to share where individuals are part of wider social systems. Whānau provides us with the strength to be who we are. This is the link to our ancestors, our ties with the past, the present and the future (Mason Durie).

Tangata Whenua

(noun) local people, hosts, indigenous people - people born of the whenua, i.e. of the placenta and of the land where the people's ancestors have lived and where their placenta are buried


Treasure, something highly valued and held in utmost regard


(noun) new people/s, foreigner, European, non-Māori, colonist, person coming from afar, stranger,

Te Reo Māori

The Māori language. An Official and the first language or Aotearoa New Zealand.


Correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol - the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social and cultural context.

(noun) correct, right.

(noun) reason, purpose, motive.

(noun) meaning, method, technique.

Tikanga reorua

(noun) bilingualism

Tikanga rua

(noun) biculturalism

Tino Rangatiratanga

(noun)self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, self-government, absolute authority, dominion, rule, control, power.

Tuākana / Tēina

Tuākana (noun) elder brother (of a male), elder sister (of a female), cousin (of the same gender from a more senior branch of the family), senior relative; prefect.

Tēina (noun) younger brother (of a male), younger sister (of a female), cousin (of the same gender) of a junior line, younger relative.

Tuākana / Tēina roles and relationships are an integral part of traditional indigenous Māori and Pasifika kinship models. Tuākana (‘big brother/sister’) / Tēina (little brother /sister) family - whānau values and practices are based on older and/or responsible children and young people caring and providing for younger members of their whānau and community. Understanding and encouraging Tuākana / Tēina roles and relationships is relevant and important within contemporary contexts of inclusive teaching and learning. Tuākana / Tēina practices align with socio-cultural understandings of learning and teaching as a shared process of co-construction within a social and cultural setting.


Iwi – tribal groupof the Bay of Plenty, including the Kutarere-Ruātoki-Waimana-Waikaremoana area. Iwi of Tūhoe educationalist and leader Rose Pere.


Health, soundness. Total well-being for the child and whānau – family.


(noun) spirit, soul - spirit of a person which exists beyond death. It is the non-physical spirit, distinct from the body and the mauri.




(noun) oratory, oration, formal speech-making, address, speech - formal speeches usually made by men during a powhiri and other gatherings. Formal eloquent language using imagery, metaphor, whakataukī, pepeha, kupu whakaari, relevant whakapapa and references to tribal history is admired. The basic format for whaikōrero is: tauparapara (a type of karakia); mihi ki te whare tupuna (acknowledgement of the ancestral house); mihi ki a Papatūānuku (acknowledgement of Mother Earth); mihi ki te hunga mate (acknowledgement of the dead); mihi ki te hunga ora (acknowledgement of the living); te take o te hui (purpose of the meeting). Near the end of the speech, a traditional waiata is usually sung.


  1. (verb) to utter a proverb, utter a significant saying, utter a formulaic saying, utter an aphorism.
  2. (noun) proverb, significant saying, formulaic saying, aphorism - particularly those urging a type of behaviour. Like whakataukī and pepeha they are essential ingredients in whaikōrero.


(verb) to be born, give birth.

(noun) extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people - the primary economic unit of traditional Māori society. In the modern context, the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members.

The capacity to belong, to care and to share where individuals are part of wider social systems. Whānau provides us with the strength to be who we are. This is the link to our ancestors, our ties with the past, the present and the future. (Mason Durie)


(noun) relationship, kinship, sense of family connection - a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group. It also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship. Building and maintaining relationships, kinship, connectedness.


Seat of emotions, heart, mind. The open and healthy expression of emotion.