The Dominion post has declared it annoying reporting on academic studies week:
It's not that the teachers are doing anything wrong in schools. The reason Maori and Pacific Island kids aren't doing so well is their own faul - they're not enough like Pakeha kids.
Maori and Pacific Island children need to be taught to ask questions to improve their skills in maths, says Massey University lecturer and researcher Bobbie Hunter.
She said there was widespread concern about the lower level of numeracy in Maori and Pacific Island children compared to their Asian and European peers.
"It is recognised among teachers that this group of children does not ask questions or argue a point.
"We need to teach them to do what European children do automatically."
I think there is an important point buried in there - all students should be taught to question and argue in primary school and secondary school. It's ridiculous to say questioning comes naturally to any ethnicity (particularly as she's a secondary school teacher - there's a lot of shaping of what kids do naturally by the time they get to high-school) and I think she ignores the role racism from teachers plays in shaping students behaviour. I went to an multi-cultural, reasonably low-income high school and I was the middle class white girl who asked a lot of questions (one of my maths teachers actually told me I took up too much of his time - but he was an asshole - and wasn't interested in developing anyone else questioning him in my place - just wanted us all to shut the hell up). I know I wasn't 'naturally' any more questioning or curious than the other girls in my class - it's just that I was more comfortable in an the class-room setting, and knew how to ask my questions in a way that would get rewarded by my teachers.