Settler tell fables: Shef Rogers, ‘The instructive power of the fable in New Zealand’s Native School Reader (1886)’, History of Education Review, 46, 1, 2017
Abstract: This essay examines the cultural implications of James Henry Pope’s selection of fables for his 1886 Native Schools Reader designed to teach English to Maori students in Native Schools.The essay takes an historical approach. It surveys attitudes toward the fable as a pedagogical tool prior to 1880 and reviews Pope’s choice of fifty from the three hundred available fables in the Aesopic canon.The study finds that Pope was well informed and well intentioned, but nonetheless appeared to be unaware of potentially unsettling interpretations of his selected fables. While it may be relatively easy for twenty-first-century readers to perceive the cultural tensions of Pope’s work, exploring the historical context helps us to understand both why Pope compiled the text he did, and why he and his books were well regarded by both pākehā and Māori, despite almost certainly not conveying the values the settlers wished to inculcate in Māori.
Filed under: Uncategorized |