Prof. Russell Bishop

Director of Te Kotahitanga (Unity of Purpose)

New Zealand

Russell Bishop is a descendent of the Tainui and Ngati Pukeko tribes of New Zealand and Scots and Irish peoples of Europe. He is Foundation Professor for Maori Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. He is the author of 7 books and 80 other publications which focus on the promotion of equity and self-determination in education through the application of kaupapa Maori principles and practices. His books include Collaborative Research Stories: Whakawhanaungatanga; Culture Counts: Changing Power Relationships in Classrooms; Pathologising Practices: The impact of deficit thinking on education; Culture Speaks; Scaling Up Education Reform: Addressing the Politics of Disparity; and Freeing Ourselves. The latter is a compilation of key articles about addressing educational equity and self-determination through the application of kaupapa Maori research and development from the past 20 years of his work.   

He is the initiator, lead designer and developer, and for the first twelve years, was the Project Director for Te Kotahitanga, a New Zealand Ministry of Education funded research and professional development project that seeks to improve the educational achievement of Maori students in mainstream classrooms through the implementation of a culturally responsive pedagogy of relations and culturally responsive leadership.

He has delivered over 100 keynote addresses, nationally and internationally, and has attracted approximately $32.5 million in research and development contract funding in recent years. He has recently been awarded the Paolo Freire Award for Social Justice in Education.