He tohu o te wā – Hangarau pūtaiao / Signs of our times – Fusing technology with environmental sciences
- Ngāpuhi, Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tūhoe
- Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Hauā
- Ngāti Naho
- Manaaki Taiao, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Hamilton, Private Bag 3127, New Zealand
Kua wetekia te hunga rangatahi i te ao tūroa ki tō ngā tūpuna, ngā mātua ō mua. He noho tāone e tupungia ai e te taupori o te ao, ā, ko te nohoanga Māori te wheakoranga e mate haere ana. I te tau 2018, i whakahaerehia e mātou ngā papamahi e 8 ki ngā tauira 13 ki te 17 tau te pakeke nō ngā Wharekura e rua kia whakatōmenehia te whakatinana o te mahere Cultural Monitoring. Ahakoa i whai hua te urunga o te Cultural Monitoring i roto i ngaa papamahi pūnaha hauropi, he wero nui kia mārama ai ki te pokapū o te reo hauropi. Ka pupuke ake te hihiri mō te mātauranga taiao me te hauropi i te huringa o ngā akoranga ki te ao ake o rātou mā, arā, ko te ao hangarau, ko te ao matihiko, ko te ao kēmuranga. I whakamātauria ngēnei akoranga hangarau hei whakahihiko i ngā whanonga taiao kia pupū ake ai te reo o te taiao, te mātauranga Māori hei tautoko i te hononga ki te whenua, ki te ao tūroa. I roto i tēnei whakākoranga i waihangatia tētehi kēmu tūāpapa e pā ana ki te hauropi o Aotearoa. Ko Eko te ingoa o te kēmu nei. He kēmu e tuitui ana i te tuāpapa o te ariā hauropi ki te Mātauranga Māori kia whānui ake te maaramatanga ki te taiao. Ko te mānuka kei mua i te aroaro o ngā rangatahi me te ao tūroa, ko te whakatōmene i te āputa o te taiao, te hangarau me te Mātauranga Māori. I roto i ngā raraunga, ko te 90% o ngā ākonga i ngākau hihiko, ngahau mai ai ki te kēmu, ā, ko te 65% i mau, i whiwhi i ngā akoranga hōu. I whakakitea e mātou, ahakoa e tupu mai ana te mate wheakoranga o te nohoanga Māori huri noa i te ao, ko te ao hangarau pea te huarahi hei whai kia tupu te toi, kia ora te toi i roto i te reo hauropi, Mātauranga Māori, me ngā whanonga taiao. Nā runga anō i ngēnei kōrero, me akiaki te tangata ki te whakatoōene i te auahatanga o te ao hangarau hei hua torowhānui i te tuituinga o te hunga rangatahi ki te ao Tūroa.
Youth of this era are more disconnected from the natural world than their predecessors. Global populations live increasingly in urban landscapes, which creates an ‘extinction of experience’ when interacting with nature. In 2018, we facilitated 8 workshops with students aged 13 to 17 from two Maori immersion schools (Wharekura) to explore the application and implementation of a cultural monitoring framework. Although initial workshops demonstrated it was possible to apply the cultural monitoring method across ecosystems, the absence of basic ecological literacy was a significant challenge. We observed that uptake and understanding of basic environmental knowledge and ecological literacy increased markedly when we used gamification. We tested the potential of technology to enable pro-environmental behaviour and increase environmental literacy and indigenous knowledge to support student’s connection to the natural world. Over the duration of this study, we developed a basic New Zealand ecology game, called Eko. The game fuses basic ecological concepts with indigenous Maori knowledge to provide a holistic view of the environment. Our survey results show that 90% of the students found our game entertaining, while 65% reported new knowledge acquisition. Our research revealed that while ‘extinction of experience’ in this area is rising globally, technology can be used as a mechanism to facilitate an increase in ecological literacy, indigenous knowledge, and pro-environmental behaviours. Our challenge in reversing the disconnection between our youth and the natural world is to explore the void between environment, technology, and indigenous knowledge. People should therefore be encouraged to explore how technological innovation can augment holistic solutions when connecting youth with their natural world