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Different Worlds, Different Experiences

 

Key content

Many students from the Pacific transition between different worlds. For some, handling the roles and responsibilities of home and the expectations of society, school, church, sports or social groups is a daily challenge.

Many students learn to navigate confidently between the expectations of these worlds, yet at times these varied expectations can place additional pressure on students and they may find some transitions very difficult. For some students, realistic goals and priorities may need to be developed, so that students can manage the demands of both everyday life and the schooling system.

To order the Connections & Conversations booklet and DVD, item number 11061,
email orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440.

Things to think about

Do you know what kinds of activities and commitments your Pasifika students are involved in at home and in their communities, across their different worlds?
What do you think are the skills and strengths that your Pasifika students may develop as a result of iving in these worlds and managing the transitions that they must make? How does this compare with other students in your classroom? 
 
Where and at what points can the curriculum you teach be linked to the life experiences, prior knowledge and worldviews of your students? How can the learning be made more relevant? 
 
How will you start (or continue) to do this? How could this be reflected in your planning?Different Worlds Different Experiences

Transcript

 
Many students from the Pacific transition between different worlds. For some handling the roles and responsibilities of homes and the expectations of society, school, church, sports, or social groups are a daily challenge.
 
Favalu Peni – Nurse
In the Island where I grew up and went to school there, the teacher is in charge. When we go to school, the teachers are in charge, so therefore they keep us in line. If we go to church the minister and the priest and whoever is there is in charge, they keep us in line. When we come home our parents in charge. So that is no longer working here. You see in the Island the whole village sort of look after you. You know if you get out of line in there, one of anybody in the village will come and tell you off or growl you. Over here I don't see that happening.
 
Many students learn to navigate confidently between the expectations of these worlds, yet at times these varied expectations can place additional pressure on students, and they may find some transitions very difficult. For some students realistic goals and priorities may need to be developed so that students can manage the demands of everyday life and the schooling system.
 
Tapu Misa – BOT Member

At home you have quite a different experience of the world, you are supposed to behave in a different way, you are not supposed to challenge too much. You become this...this whole other person at church. And at school you are expected to be someone else again. You are expected to open your mouth and talk and give your opinions, which is completely opposite to the world that you have at church, and at home. It's a double whammy for Pacific Island kids, and I think quite a lot of them are carrying quite a burden.
 
Brenda Siaosi – Law Student
Well from my experience it’s harder to be a Pacific Island girl than it is being a Pacific Island boy going through the schooling system. Cause we are also expected in general to do all the things at home as well as here, as well as church. I used to be in a Sunday school doing the plays, and the church culture group, playing in the church sports teams in the summer. And often the choir practices and things like that would be in the evening you know during the week days, and you've got your homework. So these days I've cut a bit of that, you know actually I've cut a lot of it back.
 
Lauraybe Goundar – Assistant Principal: Human Resources
Sometimes these worlds clash and we have got.... their worlds have different expectations and for them to move in and out of these worlds sometimes is very confusing.
 
Phillipa Mulqueen – Dean Year 11
At school the adults are less likely to be bumping into your parents, and so it’s a safer place to let go a bit and not hold it all together.
 
Pravda Webb – Teacher New Entrants
I think the challenges are related to making their way here in this world, as well as retaining the things that are of value, and of importance to them from their own culture. And sometimes that can be a challenge. 
 
For many but not all in the Pasifika community, church plays an important role. The church creates a place of community. This may offer support not only for spiritual beliefs but also for sustaining moral and cultural values, traditional practices, first language use, and a sense of Pacific identity. The experience of church is one that many Pasifika students share. At the same time students will attend a variety of churches, both traditional or contemporary, or in fact may not attend at all. Where the church plays a less significant role a sense of community may be gained through participation in cultural or community groups.
 
Their world at home and their world at church is more demanding compared to other teenagers in their age group. 
 
Haize Year 6

When I stay with my nana I go to church in Sundays, but when I'm with my dad, sometimes we go, sometimes we don't.
 
Jocelyn Year 6
Every Sundays we have Sunday School at nine o'clock and then we have church which finishes at one o'clock.
 
Keni Lesatelu – Youth Worker
Well I think for me personally to ask a child which church they go to, it normally puts a picture in my mind of what sort of background this young person comes from. Once you find out where he comes from, it sort of gives you an idea of the bigger picture of where that young person is.
 
Rev Nove Vaila'au – Minister
As Pacific Island people coming to New Zealand you really can't form villages. So what you form are their own churches. I think it is very very important that education can be part of that ministry as well. One of the realities that the church has to take into consideration is the fact that that their focus of ministry are for the people. And the people in their totality. Not just the spirituality of the people.
 
Josephine Tiro – Senior Policy Analyst
I think there is a mistaken assumption or mistaken belief that all Pacific children go to church. We have to be careful that we don't stereotype all Pacific kids. They all come with quite different richness and different understandings.
Teachers can build programmes round student experiences that will maintain their interests and engagement, and give them an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. From that basis academic success can follow.


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