Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beginning Visiting Maori and Indigenous Studies Fellowship

Today, Monday, February 23, 2015, I began the Visiting Maori and Indigenous Studies Fellowship at the University of Canterbury. My wife Monica and I were warmly greeted at a mihi whakatau. We were represented by Professor Ted Glynn, who koreroed on our behalf. We are most grateful to Professor Angus Macfarlane and to the Erskine Foundation for making this fellowship possible.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Update on pilot project

Here is the latest update from the principal of the high school where we conducted the Culture of Care pilot project for three years.

We were one year off in our predictions about college by leveraging the Culture of Care.  This year's senior class has been accepted to more colleges and had more families attend college application nights and FASFA night than EVER.  When the year is complete, the Culture of Care is really taking off by improving educational outcomes.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fellowship in New Zealand

I am sharing with you information about the fellowship I will be on in New Zealand. I am leaving on Monday, February 9th, and returning on Tuesday, April 18th. Here is the announcement about the fellowship at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Maori & Indigenous Studies Fellowship
16 February 2015

Kia ora colleagues

The UC Erskine Programme Office, in conjunction with the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education, is this year facilitating the inaugural Māori and Indigenous Studies Fellowship. The Research Fellow for 2015 is Dr Tom Cavanagh, an Affiliate to the Ethics Studies Faculty at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, as well as Contributing Faculty to Walden University in Minnesota.  Dr Cavanagh is not new to Aotearoa New Zealand, having been a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Research Fellow at Waikato University between 2004 and 2008.  Tom will be on campus at UC from 23 February to 23 April, based in Te Rū Rangahau the Māori Research Laboratory in the Whekī Block. The brief bio attached provides an outline of his skills. His full CV is available on request from Liz Jaganath

The Fellowship is keen to see Toms expertise put to good use and your School/Programme has been identified as one where Tom could make a significant contribution.
Thank you for considering this opportunity and I look forward to a response soon.


Dr Angus Hikairo Macfarlane
Professor of Maori Research

Please find the abstracts for the lectures I will deliver below.

       Public Lecture

    As the population of New Zealand and other countries around the world becomes more diverse, the need to create a culture of care is paramount. No longer can the values and principles of one culture dominate. In order to bridge the cultural gap between the dominant culture of organizations and clients of these organization, a culture of care is needed that focus on the importance of creating and maintaining relationships, built on the principle of respecting the dignity of each person, working together in solidarity to create a new culture in the organization, building the capacity of each person to address problems, and being particularly sensitive to those persons who are minoritized, marginalized, and racialized (Cavanagh, 2009a).
    In this lecture Dr Tom Cavanagh will draw on his experience conducting field research to explain how to create and maintain caring and inclusive relationships by doing the work of organization with clients, adopting culturally appropriate positioning and theorizing about people who are different, and involving everyone on the process. Also important is creating collegial relationships at work through the use of restorative justice tools in order to maintain a healthy community among leaders and staff (Cavanagh, 2007). In particular, restorative conversations will be explained in detail as a method for talking about problems in the workplace (Cavanagh, 2009b). Finally, an explanation will be given about how to use restorative justice principles of building and maintaining relationships and exercising holistic care to create a culture of care (Cavanagh, Macfarlane, A., Glynn, & Macfarlane, S., 2012).
    This lecture was created for an audience of people in the fields of education, social services, and health. Participants will leave the lecture with a deeper understanding of the importance of relationships, knowledge about how to build culturally responsive relationships, and skills to not only create relationships but also how to maintain those relationships when harm occurs by repairing the harm resulting from wrongdoing and conflict.

Cavanagh, T., Macfarlane, A., Glynn, T. & Macfarlane, S. (2012). Creating peaceful and             effective schools through a culture of care. Discourse, 33(3). 443-455.

Cavanagh, T. (2009a). Restorative practices in schools: Breaking the cycle of student      involvement in child welfare and legal systems. Protecting Children, 24(4). 3-60.

Cavanagh, T. (2009b). Creating schools of peace and nonviolence in a time of war and    violence. Journal of School Violence, 8(1), 64-80.      

Cavanagh, T. (2007). Focusing on relationships creates safety in schools. set: Research    Information for Teachers, 1, 31-35.

       Postgraduate research

         Much of the research being conducted today includes people of color as participants.  However, researchers are not taught how to conduct this research that respects the dignity of these participants. Based on personal experience working in the field conducting research with people of color, in this lecture Dr Cavanagh will explain how to include these people in the research, how to be accountable to them, how to legitimate their voices, and finally, how to activate critical race theory through community-based participatory action research.
         In this lecture Dr Tom Cavanagh tells the story of a research and professional development project initiated by university researchers and led by a group of Mexican parents. For purposes of this study these parents and their children were treated as indigenous to the United States. In that way the work of Linda Smith (2012) and Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn (1999) served as the foundation.While their work focuses on conducting research with Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, this story focuses on working with Mexican students and their parents in the United States and specifically in the state of Colorado. In alignment with Smiths work, researchers deliberately conducted themselves in ways that respected the dignity of these students and their parents by meeting with them in person, listening to their stories in a culturally appropriate manner, and assuming a position of humility, that is, learning from them. Drawing on Bishop and Glynns ideas, this project focused on the concerns and interests of these students and their parents. We were determined to have them benefit from the work by representing the reality of their experiences at the participating high school in such a way as to legitimate their voices and to be accountable to them in our work. Ultimately, the goal was to raise the awareness of these students and their parents about their experiences in the school. This story takes place in one large high school in the Denver metropolitan area where the Mexican parents worked to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by introducing restorative justice practices in classrooms as a way of responding to wrongdoing and conflict. These practices were intended to reduce the number of referrals for disruptive behavior in order to keep these students learning in the classroom and out of the school-to-prison pipeline.
         This lecture is intended for social scientists who are committed to conducting research in a culturally responsive manner. Dr Cavanagh will outline in some detail how the research and professional development project was initiated, how data were collected and from who, how these data were analyzed, how the findings were interpreted and put into action. He will also discuss the role of the cultural consultant. Finally, he will discuss the outcome of this three-year project. The lecture will be accompanied by a paper based on this project (Cavanagh, Vigil, & Garcia (in press).

Bishop, R., & Glynn, T. (1999). Culture counts: Changing power relations in education. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.

Cavanagh, T., Vigil, P, & Garcia, E. (2014). A story legitimating the voices of Latino/Hispanic students and their parents: Creating a restorative justice response to wrongdoing and conflict in schools. Equity and Excellence in Education, 47(4), 565-579. doi: 10.1080/10665684.2014.958966

Smith, L. T. (2005). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (2d ed.).
            London, England: Zed Books.