Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Select a video

A Pasifika teacher outlines the process of how he uses the cultural identifiers for giftedness and applies these identifiers to students that he teaches. The Pasifika teacher also shared his presentation of the process and an explanation of gifted and talented Pasifika students.
Duration: 03:40
A Pasifika student who is able to articulate how his cultural identifiers for giftedness contribute to his world as a learner and how his gifts can be used to help others who rely on him as a role model.
Duration: 02:56
The Gifted and Talented Coordinator shares her story about how her involvement with the Pasifika Achievement Coordinator in the Digi Advisor project. The Digi Advisor project helped affirm what Pasifika initiatives the school already had in place to support their Pasifika learners.
Duration: 02:18
An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher and a non-Pasifika music teacher collaborated on a consensus approach to see which cultural identifiers applied to Pasifika students they taught mutually. The Samoan language teacher acknowledges the value of having a process to identify gifted and talented Pasifika students, providing another avenue or lens to view how Pasifika learners can translate their particular strengths into classroom learning and achievement.
Duration: 02:33
An Epsom Girls Grammar School student discusses two specific cultural identifiers: lineage and birthright that pertain to her upbringing from her family. Notions of cultural identifiers for giftedness are found in the home, and this Tongan student articulates how family and cultural values are used as a foundation to accelerate her learning and achievement at school.
Duration: 03:29
An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher explains how she combines e-Learning tools in her assessments to allow her students to achieve to their potential through the use of YouTube channels to film oral language assessments. This means that students are able to film their assessments without the time pressure or time constraints of timetabled classes as an example of ubiquitous learning.
Duration: 04:22
A Pasifika teacher shares his story about the benefits of being involved in the Digi Advisor project and being involved in online communities of practice on the Virtual Learning Network.
Duration: 03:03
A Pasifika teacher shares his opinion and interpretation of the PEP, how teachers can use the policy document as a way to provide a strategic focus on Pasifika learners, parents, families and communities.
Duration: 01:30
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) Victoria University, discusses why it is important to New Zealand as a nation that Pasifika students are successful in education.
Duration: 03:27
Research shows that the teacher's interest, respect and care for the student is an important factor in student achievement in school.
Duration: 01:44
Bilingual people are able to use their different languages in different places, with different people and for different purposes.
Duration: 01:34
Parents are pleased with new approaches to bilingual learning. They see the advantages that children get from using both their languages.
Duration: 02:43
Academic language, and particularly academic vocabulary, is a high priority for bilingual students, across all curriculum areas.
Duration: 04:03
Research shows that there are clear educational advantages in bilingual learning, but using a Pasifika language has sometimes been considered a liability.
Duration: 01:27
By integrating culture, caring, challenge and support into their pedagogies, teachers strengthen relationships and build communities of learners who succeed socially and academically.
Duration: 6:21
School leaders have a role in establishing practices that support the continuity of their Pasifika students’ learning as they move from and into different learning environments.
Duration: 2:48
Inclusive pedagogies, where teachers deliberately and positively draw on their Pasifika students’ resources, value the diversity of student experience and help to lift Pasifika student achievement.
Duration: 2:06
High expectations, together with the vision of Pasifika students as successful learners, improve relationships, pedagogy and academic outcomes.
Duration: 6:17
Safe and supportive environments, with coherent, clear and consistently enforced codes of behaviour and restorative discipline practices, contribute to learning gains for Pasifika students.
Duration: 4:30
Collecting relevant and sufficient data on Pasifika students’ achievement helps schools to track the progress of their Pasifika learners, make informed changes to their pedagogy, programmes and practices and be affirmed when their data reveals learning gains.
Duration: 05:50
Pasifika students find it motivating when teachers keep them informed about their levels of achievement, share the learning intentions with them and adjust their teaching to scaffold their learning pathways so that they know exactly what to do next.
Duration: 04:38
Teachers use many different strategies to engage their Pasifika learners and help them to achieve. Their strategies work best when they are grounded in responsive and caring relationships with their Pasifika students and the focus on their learning is clear.
Duration: 05:03
When teachers and Pasifika students negotiate the learning intentions, and share clear expectations and knowledge of the outcomes to be achieved, Pasifika students engage more confidently and more purposefully in their learning.
Duration: 04:16
Pasifika students benefit from working in collaborative ways with their peers in the classroom.
Duration: 02:31
Knowing a Pasifika language is not a barrier to being successful in English-medium schooling. Teachers who value and share the languages that Pasifika students bring with them into the classroom and deliberately build their English language skills help their Pasifika students to succeed.
Duration: 02:43
Collaboration, inquiry learning and knowledge-sharing underpin the professional development and learning focus of the teachers at Māngere Bridge school. The learning and actions that result impact positively on their Pasifika students’ achievement and well-being.
Duration: 04:14
McAuley High School has an unrelenting focus on raising the achievement of their Pasifika students. School-based teacher professional learning and development enables teachers to collectively inquire into and identify what works well for their Pasifika students.
Duration: 03:39
School leaders who initiate and sustain an intensive focus on the teaching-learning relationship and promote collective responsibility and accountability for Pasifika students’ achievement and well-being can make a difference to the outcomes their Pasifika students achieve.
Duration: 01:01
Negative stereotyping and a culture of mocking can be positively transformed by providing opportunities for Pasifika students to learn and grow their leadership potential, take ownership of their own development and be celebrated as achievers.
Duration: 03:02
Pasifika students discuss the importance and relevance that the ASB Polyfest has played in their classroom learning, which in effect improved their academic achievement. Key points in this story also include the senior students mentoring younger students - tuakana/teina model, the opportunity to celebrate their culture by engaging with their traditional performing arts and being able to connect their cultural identifiers to Pasifika giftedness.
Duration: 05:33
Senior Pasifika students provide advice for teachers of Pasifika students, highlighting the need for teachers to focus on the level of language that they use in classrooms to communicate with Pasifika learners.
Duration: 02:24
Glen Tuala - Pasifika Advisory Officer, Correspondence School. explains the flexibility that the Correspondence School can offer in developing a more personalised learning programme for Pasifika students.
Duration: 05:17
Jim Halafihi, ICT teacher Papatoetoe High School, explains how establishing a positive rapport with your Pasifika students can provide a good starting point to knowing your students. When a teacher knows their students they are in a better position to respond more appropriately to their needs.
Duration: 06:01
Maggie Flavell, explains the the perspective of a non Pasifika person working with Pasifika students. She talks about the importance of learning about the Pasifika culture to enable her to better engage with Pasifika students and their families. She also talks about the value of having a good support network to support her own professional development.
Duration: 06:31
Imeleta Faumuina, HoD English Tangaroa College, discusses the importance of providing authentic learning contexts to support meaningful student engagement.
Duration: 10:27
Melaine Sagala - TIC Samoan Language, Avondale College, discusses the benefits of strong student connections for their learning. She also discusses a model for connection that has worked for her in the past.
Duration: 06:39
David Faavae explains that with in the changing Tongan culture that Tongan boys can be very different, each requiring a different approach when working with them as teachers.
Duration: 04:05
Pennie Otto, Lecturer at MIT Tertiary Secondary School, discusses how she has developed a programme based on the Niue language and culture that has lifted Pasifika student achievement at her school.
Duration: 04:23
Teokotai Tarai, HOD Languages, Teacher of Cook Island Maori Language, explains how Pasifika students come to the classroom with a wealth of knowledge and experiences. This can provide a platform for better student engagement and success.
Duration: 06:14
It’s about creating environments with students at the centre, where Pasifika students have the focus and learning support they need to lift their academic achievement patterns.
Duration: 4:21
Mutually respectful, caring and open relationships, which motivate and engage Pasifika students, form the heart of effective teaching.
Duration: 5:11
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, considers the diversity within our groups of Pasifika students and their communities in terms of their identities, languages, experiences, and aspirations.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.

Duration: 9:44
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, highlights a variety of viewpoints on the range of different contexts and worlds that Pasifika students inhabit.These different contexts can provide challenges for some students. At the same time, they also can provide a basis for learning.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.
Duration: 5:43
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, considers the potentially differing expectations of teachers and parents towards Pasifika students and their learning. The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.

Duration: 4:14
This clip, from the Connections and Conversations DVD, explores a variety of viewpoints from students, teachers and parents on the involvement and engagement of Pasifika parents and communities in the processes of schooling.
The DVD and accompanying booklet can be ordered via email from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or phone 0800 226 440. Quote Item number 11061.
Duration: 11:26
Many schools already involve Pasifika parents in supporting cultural events and activities. However, it should not stop there. Home-school partnerships that have a clear focus on Pasifika students’ learning with everyone able to make a positive and active contribution directly benefit Pasifika learners.
Duration: 04:16
Partnerships that share and align school and home practices and enable parents to actively support their children's in-school learning have shown some of the strongest impacts on student outcomes.
Duration: 03:29
Coming to school for special events is rewarding for Pasifika parents if the school makes them feel welcome and the focus is on their children’s achievement and strategies to extend their learning.
Duration: 01:46
Sustained higher achievement is possible when teachers use pedagogical approaches and share strategies that enable Pasifika students to take charge of their own learning.
Duration: 05:56
Sylvia Park school has set up a centre to be ‘the parents’ place’ within the school. The centre’s leader has a proactive focus on involving Pasifika parents through mutual learning conversations based on their child’s assessment data and their next-steps learning needs.
Duration: 03:56
Professor Emeritus Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop comments on the current state of education. She shares her thoughts about reducing and bridging the gap, understanding and engaging in systems, negotiating time, and the benefits of learning the basics.
Duration: 13:18
Reverend Tevita Finau calls for an education system that recognises a range of student gifts and provides opportunities for learners to discover, explore, and build off their strengths. He touches on the importance of family, identity, culture, and keeping the language alive.
Duration: 11:00
Rachel Karalus has a number of concerns for Pacific learners, including racism within the education system, the system's lack of cultural responsiveness, and the need to focus on enabling Pacific parents' engagement. She sees success as Pacific learners as "being who they are 100% of the time" and calls for Pacific learners to have the same educational opportunities as those with "sounder financial backgrounds".
Duration: 9:38
Reverend Professor Dr Uili Fele Nokise explores spirituality – a value that binds together all other values – and its significance to Samoans. He explains the importance of relationships, with both people and the environment. He calls for efforts to bring a common understanding of things, such as how the home and school environments can complement each other and how we express care for each other.
Duration: 10:25
Way before the creation of an electric drill, Tokelauans invented the vilivili – a hand-operated pump drilling device. Pacific ancestors have always been construction innovators.
Duration: 00:46
Pacific ancestors who were scientific innovators knew about the benefits of coconut oil long before it was trendy and profitable.
Duration: 00:55
Pacific ancestors have been navigational innovators since long ago. They created, studied, and memorised navigation charts made of sticks.
Duration: 00:47
Traditional tatau (tattooing) has been handed down from generation to generation. Pacific ancestors have been cultural artistic innovators from way back.
Duration: 00:59
Pacific ancestors have long been financial innovators. They used tafuliae, shell money made up of different coloured shells that represented different monetary worth.
Duration: 00:50

You are here:

By integrating culture, caring, challenge and support into their pedagogies, teachers strengthen relationships and build communities of learners who succeed socially and academically.

Key content


Key content

Where teachers and Pasifika students develop strong relationships with each other , they each gain a more holistic view of the other person as an individual. Teachers who integrate cultural values and socio-cultural norms explicitly into their pedagogy increase levels of trust, acceptance, sharing and mutual support between students.
The term 'learning community' is used to describe groups with an unrelenting focus on learning. Such a group may be the classroom. Here, the peer culture is shaped by the teacher to support the learning of each class member within a community of learners. This kind of community building, where it happens, ensures a positive, affirming social environment and supports academic and social outcomes of Pasifika learners.
Caring practices alone are insufficient to create an environment that supports the learning of Pasifika students. The research evidence is clear:
“Diversity is valued, addressed and integral to instructional strategies. Caring and support is integrated into pedagogy and evident in the practices of teachers and students. Academic norms are strong and not subverted by social norms. Students are enabled to express and process dissenting views. Disagreements around curriculum are valued and cognitive conflict is seen as a resource central to the learning process.”
Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis, page 31.


Thanks to the Principals, staff and students of Aorere College, McAuley High School, Mangere Bridge School, Sylvia Park School, Mary MacKillop School and Wymondley Road Primary School for their contribution.

Things to think about


Things to think about

  • Have you ever asked your Pasifika students how they like to learn? What do you think they would say? How would you go about finding out what they really think?
  • Pasifika students often lack self-confidence and self-belief. Do you agree? If you agree why do you think that? What support do you provide?
  • What “learning conversations” take place in your school? Who are the participants? What is achieved? Do they involve Pasifika students?

“Peer groups, especially at secondary school level, can profoundly influence children’s achievement. They can do so in positive ways, or negative ways”.
Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration: Community and Family Influences, Section 3, page v.

  • How do you shape the peer group culture in your school to be a positive influence on the achievement patterns of your Pasifika students?

“The term 'learning community' denotes an unrelenting focus on, and active orientation to, learning and describes the kind of classroom where community building supports academic and social outcomes.”
Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis, page 31.

  • Would this be an accurate description of your classroom with Pasifika learners? Is this a model you would want to aspire to?




I think what makes a really good teacher is the ones who build relationships with their students, get along.

Liz Crisp
The challenges I think I face with some Pasifika students and their families would be along the lines that the children think they've come to school to sit, and be quiet, and listen to me, and that I'm going to pour knowledge into them; and they will, if they listen, get it. And that can be something to overcome because I want and need the children to talk and relate to me, and work with me. So there’s a little shake-down time while we work that out.

Glen Ryan
The children arrive at this school with less understanding, would be my belief. ABC's, 123's – they’re not so familiar with them. Sometimes it's the language, and it can be a barrier. If the teacher doesn't have the language, they don't think the child knows. But have someone speaking Samoan or Tongan – they know it. So often that is an issue. And yes, they won't ask questions, so they will be more reserved. And the teacher’s the higher person, and they won’t question that ,they’ll just follow. So they look quiet and shy – but they're not.

Anne Dyer
One of the things I think is important is that we don't keep looking at the students from a deficit model. "Oh, they don't know. Oh, they don't understand". You have to keep in mind that every student is capable and every student has the ability to do well. It's just that you have to bring it out of them. You have to find a way to get that student to participate. And when students do that then they just move. For the Pasifika students, you really have to build up that confidence, and provide a learning that allows them to be able to share their knowledge, and to know that what they bring is respected and it's valued. That’s really important.

Nola Dougall
So I've learnt to appreciate the differences between the different Pasifika cultures that we have here. I've been on a Malanga, a trip, with the students to Samoa, and learnt an enormous amount about where these students have come from. And that to me was one of the most valuable learning experiences.

I think what makes a good teacher is a teacher who really knows their students, because then they know our weaknesses and our strengths, and make use of those weaknesses to work with us to better what we need to make to improve on. And to get our strengths, and make it so we can aim higher and do better with those strengths.

Moyeen McCoy
I would describe the relationship that I would like to have as an open relationship, with a wee bit of distance in it, because I am the teacher. And I would like it to be an open exchange of views, because a lot of what we do here is to encourage the girls to speak out and to articulate views.

Moyeen McCoy
I like it to be positive. Negative relationships with students just don't work – the work just doesn't get done. It has to be a kind of energetic relationship, if that makes sense, where there is energy being exchanged between two parties, rather than the teacher giving it all and the students sitting like a stone.

My favourite teachers are... they are like my friends in a way, where they can teach us and still have that line where we can't really cross.

It's okay to be wrong. The teachers let you like make your mistakes so that you can like learn from it, so that really helps.

A good teacher is like, they respond to their children, and they, you know, they have like good comments, and what you need to improve on. And they help them with their learning and that.

Moyeen McCoy
I think it's really important to understand the culture of the students that you're teaching as much as you can from your own perspective. But I don't think it's expected that you have chapter and verse on somebody else's culture. And I also think it's important that you act the person that your are – you act out the person that you are, rather than try and take on somebody else's culture. There are certain things that you need to know, that you need to understand about Pacific Island culture, particularly to do with the community and the families. And I think if you don't know those things then it's incumbent on you to learn them, because it would be very difficult for you to move in those circles unless you did know those things.

Aina Masina
As Pasifika children, the culture that they bring in is very diverse, so it can be a handful for teachers who don’t understand those cultures. But by putting their own culture to the side, and valuing what the kids bring into the classroom, is one good step of moving effective teaching practice into place. There are three similarities that I take into account: it’s the family, their religion, and also their traditions and their customs. So I know a lot of the things that they bring into the classroom, and what they can offer. And being effective around that is utilising a lot of that – their strengths.