This week, I’ll be heading for the Maritime Museum in Auckland city with my class to view the Pacific/Polynesian exhibition section at the museum. Over the last few years, I’ve taken my class groups to have an understanding of the amazing feats of technology that Pacific ancestors would have had to circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean to land on islands that they made home.

Part of the curriculum course that I teach is understanding the symbiotic relationship that these amazing navigators had with the land, ocean and skies etc. This would have taken hundreds of years of observation with that information passed on to the next generations.

To now learn that way before Captain Cook was even born and before Europeans had even discovered steel that our Pacific ancestral navigators were voyaging around the Pacific making their discoveries and testing their own theories of finding lands and inhabiting them with intentional voyages.

The above video discusses some of these amazing feats that aren’t being taught well in our schools (or even at all) and in which our youth need to learn about in order to realise that they come from an amazing legacy of knowledge and understanding that had been lost for a time but that is now being reclaimed.

Often in NZ education, there is a discussion about the ‘brown tail’ of educational underachievement of Pacific and Maori students. If they were taught much more relevant information like this about amazing ancestral cultural innovative legacies that they came from and not just about being good at dance and art, then perhaps things would be vastly different…