PASIFIKA PEDAGOGY / POLYGOGY

PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



What is an expert partner? What do they do?

An expert partner is one of the many tools that the Ministry of Education has put in place for kāhui ako (communities of learning) to use to strengthen data analysis and understand what lies beneath the problems that surface from your data.

For example, if you find that you need support for your Pasifika learners in your kāhui ako, need help with boys' writing or maths, you can access a list of expert partners who have the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to give you the professional learning advice in that area.

Expert partners currently sit in the "teaching" domain of the web tool that the Ministry of Education has designed to help kāhui ako focus on specific areas that need attention according to their data. The "partnering" domain looks at Iwi partnerships and Pasifika Powerup Plus.  There are two main domains to do with Māori and Pasifika - Domain 4: Pathways developing and connecting along the whole education journey for every child
Domain 5: Partnering with families, employers, iwi and communities.

The Expert Partners use the spirals of inquiry in our work with kāhui ako. So get familiar with it and know what you want to do within your kāhui ako, in terms of a focus for your inquiry.  +Rebbecca Sweeney is our resident queen of spirals of inquiry in our organisation so make sure you get in touch with her if you need support with this as she is an Expert Partner too, based in Christchurch! (but I'm not too shabby on this framework too!)

In the iwi partnerships section, there are some really useful planning tips that you might want to share with your kāhui ako as a kind of diagnostic tool to position how you think you are doing.

If you want to get hold of an Expert Partner who specialises in Pasifika education - then just email me!  You will find me on the list of expert partners under Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu :-)

Here's a learning story from a student.  It's good to see how kāhui ako are meant to be working across schools by focusing on one student's experience about their personalised story.  It would be nice to consider what a student learning story would look like if the student was Māori, Pasifika, Asian or Indian?  We need to be mindful of the ever increasing diversity that exists in our schools:

Emily's Personalised Pathway Story



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What does it mean to use culturally responsive pedagogy?

I've been talking with a lot of people lately - teachers, facilitators, Ministry of Education staff about culturally responsive pedagogy.
I've been doing quite a few presentations about Pasifika education, what it means to have a Pasifika lens and I thought it would be good to include the work blog post that was released today about how I see my work as a "Pasifika ophthalmologist" - thinking about the work that I do in schools and how I better support leaders in CoLs, schools and centres to develop their own ways of working with their Pasifika learners, parents, families and communities.

I've been doing a bit of thinking and decided that when we consider culturally responsive pedagogy - we should actually be focusing on the responsive part of the equation, rather than stumble aimlessly around the culturally part.  I say this because, if you struggle to think about how to culturally connect with Pasifika learners, first consider, how you would like to respond to them - finding out information about what they like to do in your class, sparking a conversation that allows the student time and opportunity to speak their minds without any prompting from you.

So when you really think about it - how we teach should focus firstly on how we respond to our learners, before we can even begin to accurately know how they identify, value and celebrate their cultural capital within their own families and worlds.


Key questions:

  • How do you know that what you are doing is making learning and achievement BETTER or WORSE for Pasifika learners?
  • How do you know that what you have written into your school charters, strategic plans, or Community of Learning achievement challenges that focus on Pasifika learners, have been formulated with sufficient consultation with Pasifika parents and communities?
  • How do we bring the Pasifika focus in your school charters, strategic plans, or Community of Learning achievement challenges to life in all classrooms? 




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How do I put a Pasifika Education Plan in my 
Tertiary Education Strategy?


Put a PEP in your TES
(taken from an article I wrote for ACE Aotearoa 2016,
Creating Confident Communities, images attached)

My experience in education has ranged in wide range of roles: as a tertiary student (currently completing a PhD in Education at the University of Auckand), as a former tutor and lecturer (Ethnomusicology tutor and lecturer in the Anthropology Department), teacher (head of Performing Arts and Music), marker and panel leader (contract work for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority) and now education consultant (coaching and mentoring principals, senior leaders, building Pasifika strategic plans, culturally responsive professional learning development).  Having these multiple experiences in education has given me access to all sectors in education – from providing workshops in early childhood learning centres, homebased childcare conferences, compulsory schooling staff and tertiary staff to government partner agencies such as NZQA, Careers NZ and adult community education organisations.  I’m a strong believer in that I can’t actively endorse and work for success in Pasifika education, if I am not aware of what is currently happening for our Pasifika learners in all sectors.

The Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 (PEP) is the fifth iteration of the only policy document that has an exclusive focus on Pasifika education across all sectors.  Part of my role as Senior Advisor Pasifika Education at CORE Education is to interpret policy documents like the PEP and ensure that all stakeholders – government agencies, parents, families and communities of Pasifika learners, principals, senior management, centre managers, teachers – basically anybody who has a vested interest in the success of Pacific peoples – to have a greater understanding of what the goals, targets and actions of the PEP looks like for each sector individually, as well as how these look across all sectors.  

The creation, development and production of the PEP has involved inclusion of all voices and despite the consultation process of the original document being a long exercise, it was a necessary one; as the steady increase of Pasifika populations in Aotearoa meant that the creation of a policy document that reflected the aspirations of such a diverse mulitiple ethnic groups in Aotearoa was required.  The question will be, when the current PEP ends in 2017, what will our next steps be?  What are we prepared to do to ensure that our focus remains on the success of Pasifika learners, particularly when there are more of them being born in our country in larger numbers than ever before, in a future that seems more uncertain than ever before?

It is important to stress here that we must always honour the historical bicultural partnership between Māori and Pākeha and that the emerging multiculturalism or multiple diversities represented not only by Pasifika but other migrant or disapora communities in Aotearoa, also means that true collaboration in our country has never been more important than now.

The vision of the PEP is to see ‘Five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages and cultures and contributing fully to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing.’  

If we then look at the government’s long term strategic plan; the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) 2014-2019 has the unique combination of learning and achievement in tertiary contexts together with business and innovation.  This means that tertiary contexts need to be looking at how they can align the PEP vision to producing Pasifika learners that are able to contribute to participate, engage and achieve in their educational settings to contribute to the country’s social, cultural economic wellbeing.  If you have had the time to really examine the TES, you would know that the Pasifika section of this strategy uses the PEP as the foundation piece.  Do you currently use the PEP in your institution’s Pasifika strategy?  If you don’t know, you probably arent.  So it’s time for Pasifika audit!

The challenge that I have seen in tertiary contexts, is the inconsistency in which they are able to offer opportunities for their Pasifika students to feel secure in their identities’ languages and cultures.  As one of the panel speakers at the Pasifika Tertiary Education Forum, I challenged forum participants to consider how their staff are able to produce Pasifika students who embody their cultures and are able to activate these with pride.  

My challenge to educators of Pasifika learners is to examine their practice.
I’m suggesting that all people that stand in front of our Pasifika learners and are responsible for their learning and achievement – need to understand how to connect, engage and teach our learners.  I have seen across the board in all sectors, that the best teacher of Pasifika learners is the best teacher.  

Key questions:
  • How do you know that your practice is effective in realising the potential of Pasifika learners and raising their achievement?  
  • Do you monitor how effective your practice is?  
  • Do you ask Pasifika learners about how they can contribute to what you are teaching?

Educators and leaders can use this table below as a self review tool for themselves and in their centres, organisations, departments and faculties to examine their practice.  

Self review tool – Pasifika cultural responsiveness - Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (2016)
What five actions can I do to be more culturally responsive to my Pasifika learners?
What capacity and capabilities do I need to be more culturally responsive to my Pasifika learners?
What timeframe can I commit to these five actions?
1.
1.
1. Long term
2.
2.
2. Mid term
3.
3.
3. Mid term
4.
4.
4. Short term
5.
5.
5. Short term

Use the self review tool to inform the needs of your practice, and improve how you can get better results from Pasifika learners.  Challenge yourself and your peers to consider how you can collectively raise the achievement of Pasifika learners by reflecting on your practice in staff meetings.  Ask your Pasifika learners how they like to be taught and seek professional learning opportunities that will help to enhance your teaching skills to elicit their learning skills.  True collaboration can only begin when we set aside the competition that exists between tertiary settings and focus on working together to raise achievement across the board.
My biggest cheerleader, Mum,  reading the article :-)
 

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika




I'm not sure if you know that this is available, but if you are wanting to know how your specific sector is doing you need to check out this site.  

Things that I would be looking for is examining your Pasifika data and how this stacks up against the national updates that were collected and reported by MoE during the respective target periods.

Key questions you can ask yourself:
* How can these targets be used?
* Why would it be good to show these targets to parents?
* How often should we be monitoring Pasifika progress?
* Where can I go for support to ensure that my centre or school can have greater gains for our Pasifika learners?

Email me - manu.faaea-semeatu@core-ed.ac.nz if you want to talk more about Pasifika data in your centre, school or COL for next year.  



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



If you are a senior leader in a secondary school tasked with trying to get your staff to engage with digital technologies, and finding it extremely difficult, I suggest you check out this site.

The Connected Learning Advisory (CLA) service is a Ministry of Education initiative that enables learning advisors to give you comprehensive advice and information that is specific to your school's needs surrounding digital technology, students management systems, hardware and software.  

The cool thing with the link I've shared in the question headline above, is that it takes you directly to the SCHOOL STORIES tab that showcases some great video resources featuring students and teachers alike, describing what it means to learn in the 21st century with their digital technologies.

So if you're stuck and don't know where to get support for your school, call the Advisory on 0800 700 400 with your questions.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika





There is a great resource that Te Papa has developed that can be used by schools to highlight Tonga Language Week next week.




You might also like to check out the third book in the Pacific Heroes series - Tongan Heroes - published by David Riley with illustrations by Michel Mulipola.  


  
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



You can check out the link above which will take you to the latest curriculum reports about Pasifika that include:

  • Pasifika Student Achievement in English: READING
  • Pasifika Students Achievement in Social Studies
  • Wellbeing for Success (Effective Practice) and
  • Modern New Zealand Learning Practice (Glossary)

Key questions to consider: 

  • How can I use these reports to inform my teaching as inquiry in the classroom?
  • How can I use these reports to inform my departmental/syndicate approach to focusing on Pasifika learners?
  • How can I use these reports to inform my school/cluster's focus on raising achievement of Pasifika learners in our achievement challenges?


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika




Thanks to the folks at the Language Learning Centre (LLC) at Victoria University in Wellington, you can access RAYS OF SOUND - a website they have developed to store soundbites of stories that were printed by the Ministry of Education "back in the day".  Check it out at the above link and share with your classes.  They would make great resources to use in your classrooms and also during Samoan Language Week, heck, for everyday use!

Read the story here

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Centres and schools may want to check out the 2012 report "Improving education outcomes for Pacific learners" that talks specifically about what the Education Review Office sees as important for academic success.  

If your centre or school is getting ready for an ERO visit, it might pay to check out this report beforehand to get a sense of what they are looking for when they come to you.

There is also a summary leaflet which you may find useful and easy to read.  Use this as a discussion point in your next staff meeting.  


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


If you're interested in sharing some Pasifika myths and legends with your students, or learning more about it yourself - check out the digital legends series on TKI.  

Teachers - you can adapt and use these resources in a variety of ways:

1) Use the stories as talking or discussion points in class
2) Take sections of the stories as starting points for children to write their own myths and legends
3) For homework, ask the Pasifika learners in your class to take the stories home to read - in particular the Pasifika language translation stories that they can share with the families who speak their heritage languages at home


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



If you're wanting to know who the Pasifika based services are in your local area, then click on the linked heading above to explore what's available.

It might be useful to share this information with your school and also with the parents of Pasifika learners connected to your school community so that they are aware of what's out there.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika






As of yesterday, Google Translate now has Gagana Samoa (Samoan Language) as part of its database of languages.  



This might be a good checking tool to use with Samoan language speakers in your classes so that they have an expert role to quality assure (as we all know Google Translate has teething issues with precise and specific translations) so this is a great way to learn the language together with your students.



Check out the NZ Herald article in the linked heading above and be sure to check with Samoan language speakers too if you have access to them, about the accuracy of the terms that you use.



Manuia le aso = Have a good day!



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

#tkipasifika




For most of the data that I access for Pasifika learners in Aotearoa, I tend to look at the usual places - www.educationcounts.govt.nz, StatsNZ, NZQA - government agencies who hold Pasifika data.

I've recently discovered a new place to visit that shows data from people who have produced it from their own contexts and can now be shared. 

Check out the link above that takes you to FIGURE NZ. Explore the different categories that are there which shows graphs and tables. There is also scope for you to input your own data and read more about why this would be a great tool for you to use for capturing information about your Pasifika learners.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



I highly recommend that you read "Changing our secondary schools" by Bali Haque, published in 2014.

I will refer to it in my PhD research topic that focuses on the perceptions of Pasifika students about the factors that contribute to their success in NCEA.  

Check the link above to read a sample of the book and to order a hard copy or e-copy for yourself.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



This is my first teacher question for the year :-)

I wanted to draw your attention to this fantastic website (click on the title heading above) that focuses on Pasifika futures determined by Pasifika families in our communities.  There is strong support from the Pacific Medical Association via the Ministry of Health for Whanau Ora.

Please pay attention to the tabs at the top:

The publications tab takes you to some links that highlight relevant research reports about Pasifika peoples as conducted by Whanau Ora.  

The "funding" tab where if you think your school or local community outfit is able to produce a project, programme or initiative that not only caters for Pasifika families, but also inspires them to have autonomy over their own learning and success - by all means read through the various funding options available and put in an application.

There are three distinct types of funding available when you click on the funding tab and it produces a drop down menu.  Check out the funding recipients in the last funding round highlighted below:

Otahuhu College received funding when their application was successful in the innovation fund.  It would be great to see more schools apply for funding as well - so what are you waiting for?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


Depending on the needs of the staff, what specific things they would like me to address to increase their understanding of Pasifika learners in their school settings - this is what will form the basis of what I deliver in the session.

Click on the link above to get a taste of some of the work that I carried out last year when speaking to staff about Pasifika learners and how to engage them with their learning and be more culturally responsive.


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



If you're interested in wanting to find out more about what it means to be a matai or chief in Samoan culture - then click on the title above and read my latest blog post for work :-)


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


In my line of work, this is the number one FAQ.
There is an assumption that all children should be treated the same and in an ideal world I would tend to agree with you.  But as we know, equality and equity mean completely different things.  

What centre managers, school leaders and staff must understand is that the Ministry of Education have education strategies and policies in place for all NZ children in all learning settings.

There is a specific education policy for Pasifika learners.  
The vision in this policy document highlights the need for five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging and achieving in their learning, whilst valuing their heritage languages, cultures and identities to secure their economic, political and social well-being in Aotearoa.

This policy document is the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017.

This is the education policy that the Education Review Office look at when they are determining how well centres and schools are providing for the Pasifika learners in their learning settings.

If you know that the Pasifika Education Plan is not featured in your school charters, syndicate, departmental or faculty annual plans - then it must be featured as evidence of your commitment to your Pasifika learners in honouring the vision of the policy.

Click on the link in the title of this post above and follow the links to download your own PDF copy of the plan and have a discussion with your colleagues about how you are implementing the PEP Plan in your learning setting.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika






Waitangi Day is fast approaching on Feb 6th.  For those of you from overseas, it is our national day of commemoration in Aotearoa New Zealand - showing the partnership between the indigenous people of Aotearoa and the British Crown with the treaty signed in 1840 at Waitangi.

CORE Education has worked quite closely with NZSTA (New Zealand School Trustees Association) - Te Whakaroputanga Kaitiaki Kura o Aotearoa - to produce some great resources to be used with school boards of trustees.

Click the link in the title above and check out some of the lovely work that has been produced to support schools and parents in terms of governance.  

Some key questions to consider:
  • Does your school know about these resources?
  • Will you share these resources at your next board of trustees meeting?
  • What does your school charter say about how they honour the Treaty of Waitangi?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can I engage Pasifika students in science?





Our new Pasifika Education Coordinator at CORE Education  Glen Tuala shares his expertise as a Pasifika teacher of senior secondary science.  

He shares some great points about what you can do to engage Pasifika learners in science by applying some techniques to help increase your cultural responsiveness and developing your own Pasifika pedagogy.



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



What does "o le ala i le pule o le tautua" mean?



I've just written a blog post about this Samoan alagaupu or proverbial expression/whakatauki for the CORE blog.


I wrote this blog post because most Samoans are aware of this expression but few are able to conceptualise it or articulate it in ways that non-Samoans and even Samoans themselves can understand.  This can often happen to indigenous peoples all over the world - we innately know who we are and what we do, how we live, work and breathe - but we sometimes struggle to be able to articulate this in ways for all people to understand.



I see this leadership model as a transferable model in many contexts.  Think about how the three stages of

1) Serve to Serve
2) Serve to Lead and
3) Lead to Serve
can be seen in the multiple contexts you live and work in.


Check it out at the above link and please write some comments about it, share with your wider group of friends or networks.



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Are there any resources available to help my Pasifika primary school students with reading, writing and mathematics?






Check out the link then click on the modules to go through a series of explanations that will help you to understand how National Standards works - through reading, writing and mathematics assessments.



These modules are designed to help teachers understand how to make judgements about their students' work in these areas with reference to the moderation process.



It would be a great idea to work through these modules together in your syndicate as part of your professional learning meetings.

Working through these modules should also provide some robust discussion about how your collective understanding of assessment in these areas can help to improve Pasifika student achievement.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Are there any resources available in Pasifika languages for parents to better understand NCEA?







You must check out how NCEA works in the different Pasifika language translations of this video.  


This can be a resource that you should use to:


  1. link out from your school website for parents to access
  2. include on social media platforms for parents to access
  3. show at Pasifika parent meetings as a discussion tool
  4. show to Pasifika learners with English as a second language  


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can I facilitate a leadership change for Pasifika learners?






If you are interested in leading change in your school for Pasifika learners - you might like to apply to be a part of the National Aspiring Principals' Programme (NAPP) that is delivered by the Te Toi Tupu Consoritum.



As part of your inquiry process to assist with the development of your leadership skills, it would be good to think about how you can focus on learners who are Māori, Pasifika, need special education and are from low socio-economic backgrounds - through your inquiry.



What I am suggesting here is that you should be considering how your inquiry can impact on the engagement and achievement of these priority learners.



You're probably asking yourself why?  

Why should I focus on priority learners in my inquiry as part of  NAPP?  There are some pretty simple reasons for this:


)) Statistically speaking, there will be more Māori and Pasifika children born by 2030 so it stands to chance that you need to prepare for how you ewill be able to guide them - it's a critical mass thing.



2) If there are more priority learners in your school, increasing as the years go by because of the transitory nature of employment in this country, then it also stands to chance that you would need to have a contingency plan in plance, in the event that a group of priority learners arrive at your school, not to treat them like you're in the wake of a natural disaster but you should be planning for the "what ifs" as opposed to the "don't haves". 



Applications close September 30th.

At least I'm guessing so because there are only 20 days in September but the website says 31st. 

Apply NOW - to help you lead Pasifika learners.


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How will I be able to have Pasifika learners as a focus for the new IES clusters that are forming? 






There are schools who have already followed the process to apply to be part of a community cluster.  Have you checked to see whether your school is already part of a community cluster?  The challenge lies in how these clusters will work, particularly when you think about how what your school needs can stack up against what the other schools want to focus on as well.

So how should these clusters work?

The above link takes you through some frequently asked questions and provides information about what you can expect from participating in a community cluster.  

A couple of things that you should really check closely on this website include the references to Inquiry time and the Teacher-Led Innovation Fund.  Being able to explore these options at length will help to make connections with other schools in your cluster.

Key questions to consider:

* How will you ensure that the needs of Pasifika learners are going to be met in these new community clusters of schools?

* Are you as familiar as you need to be about the new scheme?

* Do you know who and where to go for advice?  


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Is there a website I can check out to improve English language learning for Pasifika students? 






CORE Education have been working pretty hard behind the scenes, particularly +Michelle Tamua who managed to pin down myself and colleagues +Teanau Tuiono  and +Togi Lemanu to work on the revamping of the new look, newly invigorated LEAP site.

The fantastic thing about this resources is that ex-teachers (ahem. . . us) have collaborated to work through what works well with Pasifika learners by drawing on not only our collective teaching xoerience and what should be easily accessible to teachers, but also being informed by current research literature on Pasifika education and our TESSOL/ ESOL expertise.

Taje the opportunity to explore this resource and follow the activities that you can use within your own classroom learning or use the material as discussion starters with your own staff for professional development sessions :-) 




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How important are school values? 






Breens Intermediate share their experiences after the Christchurch earthquake on Feb 22nd 2011, how they coped with the aftermath, particularly when taking on new students from another school. 

The disaster provided an opportunity for the school to think critically about how they could support their students in their learning by 'walking' their school values, rather than just talking about them.

Key questions to consider:

1. Do your school values reflect all of the students in your local community?

2. Are your school values informed from cultural perspectives that are reflected in your student population?

3. How are your school values reflected at the classroom level?  Is there scope for students to embed the school values in their learning and achievement?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can teachers conduct an effective inquiry? 


The key message for me in this video clip has been the realisation by the teacher that we need to move children away from memorising facts and figures but really looking at why things work and why we think the way that we do.

This is especially critical as we are preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist - but we need to focus on assisting them with having inquiring minds that are essential for their future and the future of the world in their hands.

Key questions:

At the end of this, what is the understanding that we want our children to walk away with?

What do we want them to understand in their world, and why do we want them to understand it?


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can teachers publish their own research? 






If you're keen to publish your own research, take a look at this link and see what you need to do to publish in SET the research journal for teachers.  It has been around since 1974 and you can access their archive of past articles through the NZCER website.



I have an article that is due to be published in the July edition of SET based on my Master's research on connecting gifted Pasifika students with their musical talent.  



The article is called 

"Pasifika Transformers - more than meets the eye".  



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 






+Claire Amos is no longer at EGGS but this video clips shows some of the great ways in which teaching as inquiry has been used in the school to develop students learning and achievement with ICT.  

She uses some key questions that I think are valuable for teachers and leaders to consider.

What are the ways that we can differentiate for our students?

What are the ways that we can provide for their readiness, for their learning styles, for their interest?

What are the ways that we can encourage student and teacher collaboration?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 


Just as we looked at the part-whole thinking map process in the junior school a few blog posts ago, this video clips looks at how students examine the effects of the Christchurch earthquakes in a more meaningful way that considers how to apply their thinking skills to explain those effects.

Teachers are then able to see how much the students understand from being able to articulate their thought processes in a more revealing way than from not having gone through this process.  

Being able to work in pairs and organise their thinking into stages means that students are able to be scaffolded through the thinking process in a logical manner.


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can schools access support services when dealing with sudden deaths and grief that affect their students? 






I had a great conversation with a principal today (yes, even while I'm on annual leave!) and she identified how fantastic Skylight was with supporting her students and community when going through some traumatic experiences with sudden deaths that affected her students.

We all know that pastoral care of this nature is provided by the guidance counsellors and the social workers who may be attached to schools - but what about ongoing support?  Do we know enough about how we can support our students when they go through traumatic events that may not impede their participation, engagement and achievement in their learning - but also as a school community - caring for every child's emotional wellbeing so that they can be happy and healthy learners who realise their full potential.

Check out the link above and pass on this site address to the parents and to all staff in your schools.  The more we know about how to effectively support our students as people in their own right, the better educators we become at developing the humanity and more importantly - the empathy - that comes with compassion and kindness.      





Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can teachers help students articulate their thinking? 





This video is a great example of how teachers facilitate the thinking skills of the junior school.  I believe it isn't too young to start helping students articulate their thinking, because the process steers them well for being able to be critical thinkers when they are older.  

How do you facilitate the thinking skills 
of the students in your classroom?





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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 




The thing I love about this inquiry is that teachers have looked beyond assessment tools but focused more on the outcomes for students.  The assessments are important - yes - to find out where students are, but the learning process for the students is far more important.  Once you are able to figure out how the students learn best and match this / align it with the appropriate assessment tools that maximise the accurate evidence of that learning - that is the key to success.

What do you think?  Feel free to Tweet me some comments or questions @ManuMuso :-)





Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

______________________________________________


PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 





It can be hard for teachers to facilitate student learning, especially when they are worried about relinquishing the control of the learning that takes place in the classroom (being teacher-directed, rather than student-directed).



This video clip is an excellent example of inquiry using the mantle the expert across the entire school.  Would you consider trying this approach in your own classroom with your students?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 




Staying with Pomaria School, we note in this video clip how teachers are able to feedback to senior leaders about their reflections through transparent reflection.

Having such a hub of information means that senior leaders can also feed this back to the board of trustees so that funding can be allocated where professional learning for teachers is needed most.

Key questions to consider:
  • Have you considered adopting such a transparent reflection approach in your school?
  • How much information does your board of trustees have about what the teachers in the school think about their teaching and learning - that originate from the source? i.e. teacher voice
  • How aware are your board of trustees about what is actually going on in the classroom that isn't reliant on a summary from a Principal's report?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can teachers get some support to improve their practice? 




Teachers at Pomaria School talk about the value of having a mentor as part of a support system to improve their pedagogy and promote their best practice in the classroom.


There is no clear cut way of mentoring, no one style of mentoring, just as there is no one style of teaching.



The benefits of having a mentor (in my experience):

* having someone as a sounding board to listen to your ideas
* having someone to critique your thinking behind your practice
* having someone to help reflect on the teaching and learning activities that you are conducting in the classroom
* having someone who is more experienced than you in the area that you are looking to develop.


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can schools understand how to address the linguistic and cultural diversity of Pasifika learners?





Dr. Rae Si'ilata talks about the differences in the diversity that exists within Pasifika families - whether the students are New Zealand-born or have migrated from the islands.  Schools and teachers need to understand how Pasifika parents, families and communities view themselves in their authentic home context - don't rely on stereotypes and assumptions.

She highlights the distinctions between linguistically diverse and culturally diverse - developing an inquiry habit of mind (I call it having a learning disposition) because the teachers only need to develop the valuing and the facilitation of this process - from transferring how the learning happens in the home to the school contexts.

Si'ilata highlights ako and tuakana/teina as important principles for developing learning opportunities.

Key questions:
Whose knowledge is being valued?
Whose knowledge is being represented in the knowledge of school?
Who decides what knowledge is being valued?


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
______________________________________________

PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can schools understand how to address cultural diversity of Pasifika learners?



This wonderful TV series screened on TVNZ last year as an examination of life in Aotearoa.  Popular psychologist +Nigel Latta highlights some key concerns that parents might have about education - in particular with the use of technology in learning, the perception of the "soft subjects" such as Dance being examinable and the shift in pedagogical approaches - particularly in engaging our students.

The highlights for me in this episode include:

* mother Tania Lake talking about the media representation of her community - don't label us, but come and see what we're doing because we're doing well
*principal Richard Burt from Pt. England Primary School talks about the decile ratings having NOTHING to do with the success of his school (and I totally agree - decile ratings don't tell parents about how fantastic the teaching staff are in a school or the brilliant learning and engagement that the students have) and
* just seeing the students being able to articulate their learning and opinions.

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
 phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can schools understand how to address cultural diversity of Pasifika learners?



After watching this video (link sent to me by +Fionna Wright) the thought struck me that when I was teaching, this was the pedagogical approach I was using with not only my Māori and Pasifika students, but all students.  


I really like the simple explanation of UDL in this video clip, as I have often been asked what a Pasifika lens of UDL looks like - and basically it is encapsulated in the video!  The ideas around multiple representations of the learning and the high levels of engagement plus designing learning for those in the "margins" is super important.

I have used many examples of UDL in my teaching.  Upon reflection here are some examples.  You might be doing similar things in your classroom that have a UDL approach.  

Check it out:

* In Social Studies, whilst studying about the pioneers in the Wild West of America, students listened to songs that I wrote about the biographies of the pioneers using popular country songs.  Students listened to the songs and wrote out the key points of information (who needs boring dictation?)

* In Social Studies, whilst studying about ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs, students brainstormed about the main points of information, the class voted on a favourite song that was current, we wrote a class song about Egypt and the Pharaohs (I had a guitar) and the class was able to use the song to memorise important information for a test. The HoD of Social Sciences came to listen to them perform.  

* For Music, students were taken to the ASB Polyfest, visited the various stages and interviewed students from other schools to gain their indigenous knowledge about their cultural performing arts.  We were studying traditional Pacific music in class as set works for NCEA Level 1-3 Music.  Level 3 Music - it was one of the topics for the external exam.

* In Maths, to learn the rules of the bar graph, I used the Green Day Song "Time of your life" so students could learn the rules.  Here are the lyrics:

A bar graph is also called a column graph you see
It's called a column graph 'cos there are gaps between the bars
There are two sets of axes - horizontal and vertical
Decide what data you want to show on the axes drawn

Get a rule to draw straight lines
The kids will colour them in
And then they'll have the time of their lives.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can schools understand how to address cultural diversity of Pasifika learners?


Dr. Rae Si'ilata talks about the fact that Pasifika achieving success as Pasifika is just as fundamental as Māori achieving success as Māori. 

She also highlights the important of referring to students as emergent bilinguals rather than second language learners.  

The Ministry of Education has identified priority learners to mean four distinct groups of learners:
1) Māori
2) Pasifika
3) Students with special education needs and
4) Students from low-socio economic areas.

Provocations to consider:
* If ALL students are important to you, why do you think the government has chosen to focus on these four groups of learners in our schools?
* How do you address the needs of these priority learners in your classrooms?  Are you doing anything particularly different, special or unique in your practice?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

______________________________________________


PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can schools understand how to address cultural diversity of Pasifika learners?


Dr. Rae Si'ilata highlights some important points about how schools can connect with the cultural diversity of Pasifika learners in the classroom.  She discusses the use of inquiry to help to promote genuine learning conversations with parents and caregivers about their children.

Valuing the funds or kete of knowledge that each child comes with from home - is a great starting point to gaining a more  comprehensive understanding of Pasifika learners.  Dr. Si'ilata rightly points out that teacher doesn't need to know all of the Pasifika languages (although it doesn't hurt to try!) - but that what is important is that teachers facilitate the process of connecting Pasifika learners with their treasured taonga from home.

Learning maps - understanding the broader picture from the learners themselves, who they learn with at home, who is passionate about their learning and success in the classroom.  This is a great classroom activity to start having learning conversations with the children themselves, to give them a platform to talk about who supports their learning at home.

Adornment - helping students to understand what they decorate themselves with from home, to bring it to school - reassures them that schools are not domains to take away who they are, but allows opportunities to continue to add value to who they are as people.  


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


We understand that Pasifika learners would benefit from 'real life' learning.  
Do you have some examples about what that might look like?


Staying with the theme of Education for Enterprise, today's clip highlights Whangarei Girls' High School and their journey on the education for enterprise.  The idea for the journey sparked from the attendance at the NET Conference in Whangarei.  I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking alongside +Togi Lemanu at the FarNet Digital Horizons Conference in Whangarei about engaging Pasifika learners in schools.

This theme resonated in the realisation that senior leaders highlighted when teachers were able to pinpoint that they weren't able to discuss the importance of assessment and curriculum without first engaging their students. 

The school was able to bring their values to life with the Education for Enterprise programme.  The collective nature that is involved in the activities that contribute to the full programme resonates strongly with Pasifika learners who appreciate being involved in groups.  




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


We understand that Pasifika learners would benefit from 'real life' learning.  
Do you have some examples about what that might look like?



In this next series of PASFAQs I will be featuring video clips from the media gallery in New Zealand Curriculum Online (NZC online).  There are a wide range of resources available that I'm sure you haven't had a chance to look at, but as I look through them, it occurs to me that even though some of the clips may not necessarily be focused on Pasifika learners, but I can definitely see them through a Pasifika lens.  



So why would Pasifika learners benefit from this type of learning? 'Real life' learning?  In my experience, Pasifika learners respond well to learning in the classroom when they are being taught to make connections with the values that they uphold.



In this clip you will see Waimea College students run an apple enterprise using the key competencies of the NZC - in particular managing self, participating and contributing, as well as communicating with the community.  



Students had an opportunity to make a presentation to an assembly, with a panel of judges.  One of the key features of being able to work well with others and be successful in their future careers is to be able to articulate their findings on teamwork that they have collaborated on to make a product or produce a service.





Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we engage Pasifika parents, families and communities with their children's learning?



Using Pasifika staff or non-Pasifika staff with strong Pasifika hearts can help the school to connect with the Pasifika parent community.  

The conversations are the key to bringing the parents into the school.  Taking the time to chat with parents at every opportunity is vital.  


One way you can also help to increase the Pasifika capabilities of your staff is to offer your Pasifika staff - or non-Pasifika staff who have great rapport and relationships with their Pasifika learners - opportunities to present professional learning workshops internally to staff.  



I will be featuring a few video clips that I filmed a few years ago before joining CORE Education.  This is still the kind of work that I do, but now across the country.





Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we engage Pasifika parents, families and communities with their children's learning?


Sylvia Park School has a thriving parents centre thanks to the "Mutukaroa" project, that focused on exploring school and parent connections in a more meaningful way, initially funded by the Ministry of Education.

For a closer look at the website that was launched this year visit www.mutukaroa.org.nz to learn more about effective school and home partnerships.  

The attached video clip shows the initial journey that served as the pilot programme to the fully fledged programme that is now being offered across other schools who would benefit hugely from its approach to community engagement.






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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we engage Pasifika parents, families and communities with their children's learning?


There are ways for teachers to facilitate the conversations with Pasifika parents about their child's learning.

Student-lead conferences allow the students to have a voice to express to their parents what they have been learning and it is also a way for parents to not feel intimidated by teachers during parent-teacher evenings, by feeling powerless in understanding how they can support their child's learning.  

Changing the parent-teacher evening format to something less formal, like a lunch during the day in which food is shared and conversations flow easily, will ensure that families feel more connected in a less confrontational way.  

It will take time to develop trust and understanding with parents, particularly when you are wanting them to be able to 'champion' their child's learning effectively - as this is one of the goals of the parents, families and communities section of the Pasifika Educational Plan 2013-2017.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we engage Pasifika parents, families and communities with their children's school?




These educators share their experiences about how they make Pasifika parents feel welcome in their school.


One important point that I picked up from this video clip is the notion that the Pasifika parents' time is important.  Often as teachers we forget that the parents have busy lives and are juggling so many other commitments and other family stresses (I'm not saying that teachers aren't busy either!  We're all busy!).
But what I am saying is that as teachers, we are the professionals, we need to consciously think long and hard about - why do we want to speak to our Pasifika parents?  What would we like them to know about their children?  How can we support them as well as their children so that we have a holistic approach to raising achievement.  

We can forget that Pasifika parents must be supported too - in the learning journey of their children.  They take their social cues from us when it comes to what it is they are "invited" or "allowed" to do in school settings.  

We need to be explicit about what our expectations are - not just for our students - but also for the parents - to explain quite explicitly how we want our parents to support their children, to support us in the classroom with their children - this partnership of reciprocity, particularly around the reciprocal learning or ako where we can all learn from each other is fundamentally critical to the success of our kids.

I have never assumed as a teacher that I knew everything in the classroom.  I really enjoyed parent teacher evenings and loved the opportunity to meet with parents and ask them what they wanted to know about their kids.  

Making parents feel welcome, also means that you inform the parents about what they can demand from us in the school.  







Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we engage Pasifika parents, families and communities with their children's achievement data?


Pasifika parents need clear messages from school about how they can best support their child's learning.  Some of the great ideas that are in this video clip, include the emphasis that Pasifika parents don't necessarily need to know or understand the content that their children are learning.  If that's the case - what should they know?

Schools sometimes think that trying to explain data to parents is a difficult task.  This is not the case.  Pasifika parents want to be able to see relevant data that shows how their child is doing, what their expected levels are and what needs to happen to help them improve.  Let's demystify the data or information sharing process so that it's not about the technical rocket science - just tell it like it is.  In my experience as a teacher, Pasifika parents appreciate honesty.  Remember secondary teachers, "it's all about ME" (merit/excellences!).


So what can Pasifika parents do to support their child's learning?


They can:
* Provide quiet study spaces for their children
* Provide a balance of household chores with homework completion
* Ask the Principal or teacher about any support programmes in the school that their child can access e.g. literacy or numeracy
* Sort out a home timetable or schedule that really shows how much time is devoted to study and family activities

One thing you can think about using with Pasifika parents is balancing the number of hours of "free time" that their children have with homework time.  It's not about comparing the number of hours (well to some extent yes), but more importantly, it's about raising the awareness of the importance of making education and learning a priority not only at school - but a central focus in the home.






Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What do we understand about engaging Pasifika parents, families and communities?


Pasifika students understand the importance of making their parents proud as they continue the legacy of the migrant dream - that each generation does better than the last generation.

Schools need to understand what the parents want and ask them how they would like to be engaged with their children's learning.

One principal in the video highlighted the research project that a teacher had undertaken to understand how the school could better connect:
1) Learning the simple greetings in Pasifika languages
2) Pronunciation of Pasifika student names
3) Asking Pasifika parents to be role models and speak to other parents in Pasifika style forums or meetings

Pasifika students may initially seem embarrassed that their parents come to school for meetings, prizegiving, cultural events or sports games - but secretly they want to make their parents proud and include them in the celebrations that go on in school life.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What do we understand about the diversity of Pasifika learners?


Pasifika parents already involve themselves with the fundraising activities of their children.  How else can we involve them more in their child's learning?

Pasifika parents often feel that they are ill-equipped to understand the educational jargon that they need to know to better support and champion their child's learning.

Key points to consider:
* What are the most effective modes of communication with your Pasifika parents?
* What events do they support the most in the school?
* How can we eliminate the jargon and focus on the "need to know" so that they feel they can contribute to their child's learning?
* Where would you like Pasifika parents to contribute in your school?  How accessible is it for Pasifika parents to be involved?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

______________________________________________


PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What do we understand about the diversity of Pasifika learners?


Pasifika students must be able to have their cultural experiences at home valued in the classroom.  The best way to do this is to have assessments that can be shaped to include this.

High expectations from parents can often seem unrealistic, so it is important that teachers can tell parents that they too have high expectations as well - the operative thing is to have open dialogue and to work together as a unit to ensure that expectations are realistic but still remain high.  

Pasifika learners can also easily tell if teachers "look down on them" as one student pointed out in this video clip.  If students feel this way, what are you doing that makes them think that your actions do this?

Key questions to consider:
* What are you doing in the classroom to ensure that Pasifika learners don't feel that you are "looking down on them"?
* How can you connect with Pasifika parents and their high expectations of their children?




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What do we understand about the diversity of Pasifika learners?


There is still an overwhelming sense that students have different expectations thrust upon them from the adults who teach them or who are responsible for their learning in their different worlds.

How can teachers help students to understand that when they are at school, they need to be able to question and challenge what is being learned in the classroom?  How can teachers support parents of Pasifika learners to foster creativity and curiosity at home as part of their homework?

We need to be exploring ways to be able to live within our different worlds, to move between them seamlessly without holding back our ideas and natural perspectives.

What do you think?



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


Is there another name for Pasifika pedagogy?  
Another name for the study of the teaching and learning 
of Pacific peoples?


Polygogy

I had the pleasure of attending the first RUPIE (Research Unit in Pacific and International Education) seminar for the year.  RUPIE is a school-based research unit in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland.  

I listened to a collaborative presentation from four Pasifika academics due to present at the AERA conference in Chicago next week.  

If you would like access to the notes from their presentation, please message me on Twitter: @ManuMuso

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Rae Si'ilata (due to graduate with her PhD next month, winner of the Vice Chancellor's Award for best PhD thesis, one of only five award winners), Alexis Siteine, Dr. Tanya Wendt Samu (Associate Dean for Pasifika) and Dr. Ala Toetu'u-Tamihere (due to graduate with her PhD next month).

Photo credit: +Dave Fa'avae 


After the seminar I had the pleasure of chatting to Lillien Skudder about a new word she has coined.  I wanted to pay tribute to her and acknowledge her for the term - polygogy.  She described this term as being about the teaching and learning of Polynesian (Pacific / Pasifika) peoples.

This term intrigued me and I have adopted it as part of the title for this Pasifika pedagogy page of my blog.

I thought alot about the neologism.  It fascinated me.

I believe that the term polygogy can be expanded to include elements of the definitions from these three 'gogies': 
1) pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching), 
2) andragogy (teaching strategies based on adults) and 
3) heutagogy (self-determined learning).

I define polygogy as 'the method and practice of teaching that encompasses intergenerational learning and teaching strategies,  informed and self-determined by Pacific peoples'.

This will be something that I will explore in my PhD research over the coming years.  Thank you Lillien for giving me permission to use the word!  Full credit to you :-)



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


Do you know where I can find some Pasifika songs for 
Early Childhood?


Check out what the CORE Pasifika Team has created!
Click on the link next to each song if you want to order the full version or order the CD.


Proud to work alongside these rockstars +Ruta McKenzie+Losalima Magele+Shannon Vulu+Teanau Tuiono+Togi Lemanu and +Anthony Faitaua on guitar.  



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
______________________________________________




PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What do we understand about the diversity of Pasifika learners?


This video clip is probably by far, my favourite of the videos in the TKI Pasifika media gallery.  It shows the opinions of Pasifika students, Pasifika parents, teachers of Pasifika learners, senior leaders and key researchers of Pasifika education.  

Some familiar faces to me include Carol Jarrett who is now HOD English at Kelston Girls' College, Gabby Makisi who is at the National Office of the Ministry of Education, Diane Mara - former Associate Dean of Pasifika in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland.

What strikes me most of all are the voices of the students who are very familiar with their cultural backgrounds and the effects of the diverse worlds that they walk in.  Pay attention in particular to Alexandra, year 8 at 4:00.  

Key questions to consider:
* Does your school have a shared understanding of what diversity means?
* Do you think that as a country, as Aotearoa, that we understand what diversity means? 
* Is the term diversity defined in different ways in different contexts?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How do we empower our Pasifika learners?



The students in this video clip talk about leadership opportunities through a cultural lens - particularly through tuakana-teina partnerships, where older students will buddy up with younger students to support their learning.  Often peer to peer learning is more effective than teacher directed learning because the conditions are similar to that which Pasifika learners experience in their homes and communities.  Older siblings in high school are often the ones tasked with helping younger siblings with their homework and assignments, so it makes sense that schools and kura can capitalise on replicating learning processes from the home and bringing it into school.

It is vitally important for schools to build leadership capabilities of Pasifika learners at all levels of their schooling life - every year the students should have opportunities to exercise their strengths and share these with their non-Pasifika peers.

Key questions to consider:
* Have you identified leadership opportunities for your Pasifika learners?
* Have you incorporated these opportunities in classroom learning?
* Have you used their leadership skills to engage in assessment?
* Where can you get support to offer relevant leadership opportunities?
* Why should you make leadership opportunities explicit to Pasifika learners?
* How can you embed leadership opportunities in all levels of learning in your classroom?  How can you manage your expectations for leadership?





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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our Pasifika students with their heritage languages?



Link: Leadership

Good leadership in a school should focus on growing the professional learning of staff by growing their skills and allowing time for this to happen with professional development opportunities inside or outside of school.

Senior leaders themselves should be able to share back their learning with staff but do this in a way that is meaningful and reflects their new learning in effective ways.

Examples of how to do this would be:
* Use a blog to show evidence of reflections
* Record MoveNote presentations that have powerpoint presentations embedded with a video of them discussing the slides
* Create a unit or series of PD sessions with staff that unpack the material they have learned so that the entire school teaching community can benefit.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
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#tkipasifika


How can we connect our Pasifika students with their heritage languages?





This video clip focuses on how McAuley High School principal Anne Miles talks about the importance of identifying key staff members within your own staff first to offer learning opportunities to share their expertise with the wider school.

When I was teaching in secondary schools, I was often called upon to provide some internal professional learning with staff about increasing their culturally responsive practice for Pasifika learners in their subject areas.  I also shared some examples of how to engage with Pasifika parents and parents of Pasifika learners so that they could establish that all-important home-school partnership that is vital for Pasifika academic achievement.

It is crucial for teachers to still have dispositions for learning.
We can all too often get caught in that trap of we know everything, so why should have to go through with professional learning - and for me, the answer is simple - the best teacher of all students - is the best teacher.  I used to think that I had a massive responsibility to offer the best education for children in my care, that their parents entrusted me with their children to teach them the best that my subject area had to offer and even if they weren't going to continue and pursue Music as a career option - I was going to do my darnedest to ensure that I taught them transferable and valuable life skills for learning - that they could use in other subjects.

The key for me was to be completely explicit with my students - we talked alot about meta-reflection and cognitive strategies - thinking about our thinking and why we were learning what we were learning.  Some kids are innately curious and built to ask us those difficult questions that if we get caught off-guard - immediately trigger us to shut them down.  Don't do that!!!  If anything, we must adopt patience and answer their questions carefully.  

Our class might be the only time that child has felt really comfortable asking a question - so don't create emotional scars out of our kids - create devotional stars - kids who will develop a life long passion for learning.  My mantra continues to be - it's all about the kids.  Don't sell them short because they are our future :-)


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our Pasifika students with their heritage languages?

Generally speaking, there are Ministry of Education-funded professional learning initiatives and opportunities that are currently operating across schools in Aotearoa. 

What we need to bear in mind for our Pasifika learners - is that there is no specific Pasifika-based professional learning that is explicitly Pasifika.  Instead, professional learning in this sense has Pasifika learners grouped under the umbrella term of "priority learners" which sees them labelled together with Māori, special education needs students and learners from low socio-economic backgrounds.  

Schools tend to say that they have "different" priorities for their professional learning which doesn't include the four distinct groups (and in some cases you will have learners that encompass all four groups at once!). What senior leaders must process is that the government's "priority" ARE the groups that I've listed:
1. Māori
2. Pasifika
3. Special Education Needs (SEN)
4. Low socio-economic 

Key questions to consider:
* How can you respond more effectively to the "priority learners" in your school?
* How does your staff work together to monitor their cultural responsiveness for "priority learners" ?
* Where does your school access support for "priority learners" in their communities?  Are they consulted for their perspective to inform your school's approach to supporting "priority learners" ?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our Pasifika students with their heritage languages?



Link: Language

Pasifika learners who enter your classrooms with their heritage languages should be celebrated.  Teachers need not worry about having to grasp an understanding of these Pasifika heritage languages from the get-go.  This can be a learning opportunity for the teacher alongside the rest of the students in the classroom.  

Key questions to consider:
* Do you allow occasions for students to share words from their heritage languages?
* Are you able to incorporate Pasifika heritage languages into your units of learning?
* Have you connected with the parents, families and communities of Pasifika learners about sharing their knowledge of Pasifika heritage languages with your school?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our data with our students?





Pasifika learners love collaborative learning, cooperative learning, group work which we now call collaboration - one of the ways of learning that makes 21st century learners more effective.  They love learning from each other from their peers without having to resort to asking the teacher all the time for support, they can look to each other for assistance, particularly as class sizes in the 30s make it difficult for teachers to make their way around the entire class in one lessons.

Group work that is effective is one way of solving this class size issue (but let's face it, it's not an ideal way of learning for the students as they still need effective teacher feedback and personalised learning time to ensure that they are on the right track at all times).  

Key questions to consider:
* How do you know that you are practicing collaborative learning in your class?
* What are some of the ways in which students are able to sustain collaborative learning outside the classroom?
* Have you been successful in creating effective group work projects for assessment purposes?  
* Where can you find great examples of cooperative learning?  Have you seen your Pasifika learners in cooperative situations outside the classroom that may in fact inform your understanding of how Pasifika learners cooperate in their communities?

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our data with our students?





Pasifika learners benefit from having learning intentions being made explicit to them in the classroom - even when they are really young.  It shouldn't matter how young the children are, if they know exactly what they are going to learn, they will be able to focus on the task at hand and understand how teachers will be able to support them if they get stuck.  Learning should be done with the children, not to them.


Key questions to consider:
* What mechanisms do you have in place for Pasifika learners to show that they understand the learning intentions?
* How can Pasifika learners contribute to the learning intentions of the classroom?
* Where can parents of Pasifika learners access the learning intentions of what their children are learning in your classroom?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our data with our students?

Pasifika learners connect with teachers who are able to keep their attention by making lessons fun.  They also respond well to teachers who have an obvious, contagious passion about their teaching - that engages the students with their learning.

Student voices in this video clip share about how good teachers show clear processes of how to complete tasks in class, ranging from writing frames or structures that are necessary to understand the foundation of the concepts being taught.  This enables students to be able to do independent learning once they have mastered the concepts being taught by their teachers.  This could involve other formative strategies before you teach something in its entirety e.g. delivering small manageable chunks is something good - as practising these segments or steps frequently is necessary to cement the children's understanding.  

Teachers share their strategies about how they connect with Pasifika learners by:
* keeping tasks simple yet challenging - knowing your learners enough to keep explanations succinct and to the point
* having a variety of methods to learn a concept.  I recommend that using the universal design for learning (UDL) approach as an ideal way to address this and with the next point which is,
* knowing about the students' learning preferences/styles.



Pasifika students will learn from teachers who are passionate about what they are teaching.  On the flip side, if you are having a bad day, tell the students.  They appreciate teachers who are honest about how they are feeling, as this will impact on the classroom climate.  In the past, if I have felt this way, I have been honest with my students and explained to them that I don't want to punish students for misbehaviour because they have not done what I have asked in the first instance.  

Warning students in this way, allows them to understand your teacher expectations and promotes fairness in the classroom.


Create a classroom culture of high expectations, showing your passion, but also showing your humanity.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our data with our students?

"The learning belongs to the children, the data belongs to the children".  It is important that we as educators understand how best to collect data and more importantly - how best to use it.  We should be openly sharing data with children so that they understand how well they are learning and have ownership of their learning. 

It must be said that the data of course should not be viewed in isolation - away from the personalities of the children and what drives them personally to succeed.  This is because some children may test poorly under test conditions - and as important as test results are, if a child does exceedingly well in all formative tasks and then falls over at the last hurdle of the summative assessment - how do we cater for that? 

Key questions:
* Do you have other mechanisms in place to provide a fuller picture to the data? - 
 - e.g. teacher observations during the formative tasks leading up to the summative assessment
- student voice, student feedback about the test and how they were feeling
- how well they tested in other tests, to eliminate whether it isn't just students not being ok with tests in test conditions but that there are wider issues at play.  



Being explicit with Pasifika learners is the best way to advance their academic achievement.  It is never too early to start explaining to students what they can do and where they need to go next.  They deserve to know about their learning!

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can we connect our data with our students?

The video clip highlights the specific assessment tools that school use with reference to Letting the students know explicitly about how they are doing in their learning, in particular their own data - the students truly appreciate knowing how well they are doing and what went wrong in their results so that they can improve for next time.

Schools identified that they are doing data analysis with a purpose - by entering students into subjects that cater to the strengths of the students where feedback is always given to students, and also the importance of students to be able to give feedback to teachers about what they enjoyed in their learning in specific units.

Teachers in the video clip also discuss how they use the data to inform students about where they sit in the class with reference to credit groupings, with monthly updates that show progress more consistently and with reference to the previous year's cohort.

Pasifika learners thrive on competition - being the best in the class and if teachers can create a healthy culture of success, this will allow students to shine!


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our community celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?

Schools who have great engagement with their Pasifika learners will find that they won't need to rely too much on "managing behaviour".  But in saying that - looking at celebrating the positive  behaviour of Pasifika learners, all learners for that matter - will ensure that high levels of engagement convert into academic achievement.

Key questions to consider:
  • What systems do you have in place at school to promote and foster positive behaviour?
  • How do Pasifika learners feel empowered to be at their best, to give their best?
  • Why should we feel good about who we are and the skills that we have?  
  • How can we contribute positively to our teaching and foster positive contributions from our students?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our community celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?

This video clip supports the research literature that high teacher expectations contribute to student academic achievement - because teachers are prepared to realise student potential through motivation and engagement.

Pasifika learners appreciate consistency from teachers.  They may seem like they give a lot of "push back" in class but once they know that a teacher has set high expectations for them - to challenge them and believe in the students

Pasifika learners also appreciate when teachers lay out a classroom culture where success is expected, there are no excuses for failure and that teachers are always there to support them - particularly when the expectations are high - but teachers need to be real at the same time.  Positivity and high expectations are crucial for Pasifika learner success.

National averages and national standards aside - Pasifika learners must also be reminded of their sense of purpose.  Students must be reminded about what they can contribute to their family, to their school, their respective culture(s) and more importantly - society at large.


Key questions to ask Pasifika learners:
* What would your success mean to your family?
* How can I support your success in class?
* Do you believe in yourself and your abilities?
* Where do you see yourself in the future?  What is your dream career?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our community celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?

The students use 'tuakana teina' as a way of learning, where the older students teach the younger students.  One of the principals in the video clip identifies that learning happens for everyone - they learn from the students, the students learn from each other and the teachers learn from the students - it's not always teacher-directed.

This reminds us that teachers to some level can still be uneasy with "relinquishing" some of the control that they feel is necessary to hold onto the teaching and learning of the student.  This is not the best way to teach anymore.  Modern learning practice is student-centred, it is student-driven and teachers are more like facilitators rather than knowledge holders.  We must be knowledge builders and allow students the space to direct their learning.  We are just there to capture the learning journey and ensure that they stay engaged, never lose that curiosity and never lose that sense of fun while learning.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our community celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?



Link: Transitions

This video clip explores how at an intermediate school, a principal had former students who had started a new year at high school, come back into the school and share their new experiences with Year 8 students - so that they were better prepared for the transition into high school.  

From a secondary school perspective, having a partnership with your main feeder schools can also help to inform the support services that you would need to institute to cater for your Pasifika learners and their success.

Key questions to consider:
* Do you have relationships with your feeder schools?
* Do you think about where your students and come from and where they are heading?
* What will you do to ensure that you make the transition process easier for Pasifika learners?
* Who can you access for support with the transition of Pasifika learners in your school?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our community celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?

This article is a perfect example of meeting the needs of Pasifika learners, their parents, families and communities.  Ignore the negative comment by one of the readers on this article, because the key thing that stood out for me on this article is that the Northland community have recognised that they have a burgeoning population of Pasifika and that they are keen to make inroads in identifying how to celebrate the diverse cultures of Pasifika (particularly for non-Pasifika) by:

1) seeking support from Pasifika members of the community

2) making it clear that you want to include Pasifika identities, languages and cultures as part of the local community and 

3) using the cultural celebrations as a way to gain some learning from the Pasifika members of your community - are you ready to learn about cultures that are different to your own?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


How can our school celebrate Pasifika identities, 
languages and cultures?



 The Hon. Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga met with Pasifika community members at the beginning of the year to confirm the Pasifika Language Weeks for 2015.  


We had to wait for the weeks to be finalised and confirmed before launching them so it's great that there is still some time for schools to include the Pasifika Language Weeks into their planning with the first language being Samoan Language in May this year.



With the passing of Toleafoa Tavale Tanuvasa, Melaine Sagala-Timoteo and more recently Faimai Tuimauga - it will be even more important to commemorate the importance of Samoan Language (Gagana Samoa) in Aotearoa without these language stalwarts.



You can use the Pasifika Language Weeks as a way for your school to celebrate the Pasifika cultures of the students in your school, providing an avenue to connect with Pasifika parents, families and communities in your school.  This can be a way for Pasifika parents, families and communities to share their cultural strengths and teach your school about what matters to them and how they value cultural learning in the home and extended family environment.



Pasifika Language Weeks 2015:



Samoa Language Week - 24-30 May



Cook Islands Language Week - 3-9 August



Tonga Language Week - 30 August-5 Sept



Tuvalu Language Week - 27 Sept-3 October



Fiji Language Week - 5-11 October



Niue Language Week - 12-18 October



Tokelau Language Week 25-31 October  






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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What can your school do to help Pasifika students 
believe in themselves?

Last time we looked at building relationship.  Today we look at strengthening those relationships.  One of the key messages in this video clip is something that I've always maintained as part of my pedagogy with all students - not just Pasifika students:  every student is capable, the teacher's job is to draw that out of each student.  

I like to look at students as being treasure chests, it's my job as a teacher (or locksmith) to fashion the right key to unlock their full potential.  Even those "difficult" students who present themselves in the class with challenging behaviours who threaten to derail the lesson every time - I would focus on those students, pull them aside and have a serious talk about their learning and ask them to think about how much I want them to learn and succeed in my class.  Most of the time the students who behaved in this way were not experiencing success in other classes, so they used their behaviour to distract the teacher and enable them to get kicked out of class.  





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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika


What can your school do to help Pasifika students 
believe in themselves?

This video clips shows some great insights from Pasifika and Māori teachers of Pasifika learners, senior leaders who have a focus on Pasifika learners, together with the voices of Pasifika learners themselves.  

Key points to remember:

1) In order to build relationships with Pasifika learners, find common links and connections that are the same.
2) Have discussions in class about what is important to them and their families.  By bringing the discourse of home into the classroom, you can very quickly see how you can support the learning of the students with their parents and families
3) Academic achievement cannot hope to proceed without first, building relationships with students first.  The fastest to do this is to be involved in extra-curricular activities with students.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can your school do to help Pasifika students 
believe in themselves?




Valuing Pasifika students by explaining to them that they have the power to be successful, that they are entitled to success, puts them in control, gives them the idea that they can be encouraged to be powerful learners and achieve to their potential.

Some of the key ideas in this video clip also look at the value of dialogue between teachers and students, teachers and parents, parents and students, teachers and senior leaders, students and senior leaders, parents and senior leaders - it doesn't matter how the conversations transpire - but it is crucial that there is dialogue that happens that centre on the learning of the child.

Key questions to consider:
*  What is in the best interests of my Pasifika learners?
*  How does my practice bring out the best in my Pasifika learners?
*  How do I know that my practice is responsible for the positive shift in the success that Pasifika learners are experiencing in my classroom?
*  How can I connect with Pasifika parents to work with me to believe in their children's ability?
*  How can I continue to encourage the Pasifika learners and their parents to champion their own successes as a family, with particular reference to increasing engagement in learning?




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can your school do to value Pasifika cultures, languages and identities of your Pasifika students?






Teokotai Tarai talks about how Pasifika students come to the classroom with their cultural capital.  When teachers provide opportunities for students to share this cultural capital and have it valued in the classroom, we then engage in what I call "cultural currency".  This means that you can encourage students to be the "bankers" of the cultural capital - sharing their knowledge of their cultural identities, languages and cultures.  The strategy is great for sharing their cultural capital with fellow students and also with teachers to increase their cultural responsiveness.


Key questions to consider:

* Do you provide opportunities for students to share who they are?
* Are you able to provide opportunities for Pasifika cultural capital to feature in classroom learning?  
* Are you able to provide opportunities for Pasifika cultural capital to feature in assessment?  


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can your school do to value Pasifika cultures, languages and identities from a curriculum perspective?




There is a growing diversity within the Pasifika cultures.  Pennie highlights this in the fact that those Pasifika students from mixed Pasifika ethnicities will tend to draw on the "stronger" culture in their ethnic background.  This means that Niuean culture is not as strongly supported as it could be.

Pennie Otto talks about how when Vagahau Niue (Niuean language) was offered in school, fluency in the language provided opportunities for students to excel in other subject areas.

Offering credits in Vagahau Niue and using Dance curriculum credits for Polyfest (as I've mentioned in previous blog posts) is still an untapped source of success for our Pasifika learners.

Key question to consider:
* Do you offer any Pasifika languages in your school?  If not, why?  

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can your experiences as a student benefit your teaching?






+Dave Fa'avae talks about how he used "autoethnography" as a research methodology for his master's degree.  He used his own journey as a student, as a Tongan boy growing up, as a pathway to discuss the academic journeys of Tongan boys in his research.


+Dave discusses family expectations for Tongan students and how they are different for all Tongans.  He highlights the factors that contribute to the differences between families and how education plays a huge part in the socio-economic status of a family.



Teachers must be aware of the knowledge that Tongan students bring into the classroom.  If teachers want Pasifika students to achieve, he shares three findings from his master's research:



1) Culture is a changing concept - so not every Pasifika family is the same, even between Tongan boys and other Pasifika boys.  We tend to marginalise students or stereotype the students.  



2) Language fluency - we need to do more inquiry into the cultural capital of the children and their knowledge.



3) Employ pedagogies that build on their experiences 


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can teachers do to create strong student connections with Pasifika learners?





Melaine Sagala-Timoteo passed away in November last year, but we were very fortunate to be able to capture her wisdom and passion for teaching Pasifika learners in this video clip.


Key points to consider as teachers when you talk to Pasifika learners:
* Why do you think it is important for me to connect with you?
* What can I do to make stronger connections with you in terms of your learning?
* How do you learn best?  What can I do in class to highlight your strengths?
* How can other students in the class support your learning? 
* How can you support the learning of others in the class?



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can teachers do to support the learning 
of Pasifika students?




To improve achievement levels of Pasifika learners in your classroom, consider the authentic learning that you provide in your subjects.  

Key questions to consider:
* Are students being given authentic learning tasks in class?
* Are students able to transfer authentic learning to other subject areas (cross-curricula approach/integrated studies approach)
* Whose authentic learning are you focusing on?  Teacher perspective/expectation or student-centred/student voice?
* How can you scaffold more authentic learning between year levels in your department?
* Can Pasifika learners teach you about their authentic learning in their own homes to inform your teaching programmes? 

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can migrant teachers do to support Pasifika students?





Maggie Flavell is an example of how teachers from overseas who now teach in Aotearoa, can find ways to learn about how to connect with Pasifika learners and their parents, families and communities.


She talks about the assumptions that teachers need to get rid of when they think about why Pasifika parents or parents of Pasifika learners may not attend parent teacher evenings.



She also says that schools need to have meaningful dialogue and challenges schools to change their policies and practices so that it can support Pasifika learners and their families.



Maggie also refers to a workshop that she attended lead by +Togi Lemanu at ICOT13.  The "Shifting the minds of Pasifika parents" on the Virtual Learning Network is the group that you can join to gain access to the powerpoint presentation that was delivered at this conference.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can we do as teachers to develop relationships 
with our Pasifika learners?




The fastest way to get to know your Pasifika students has been to understand where they come from and what they bring to your classroom.  Making yourself available as a teacher to co-construct opportunities for learning can only when you have dialogue with students.

Check out +Jim Halafihi talking about how he connects with Pasifika learners in his teaching.


Reflection questions:
  • Do you talk to your Pasifika learners?
  • Have you asked the right questions?
  • How do you know that the way you are currently engaging with Pasifika learners is working?
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What can we do as a school if there are 
no subject teachers for the subjects that Pasifika learners choose?





The Correspondence School (Te Kura) has been in existence for a long time (well, it was around when I was in high school. I learned Sixth Form Latin by correspondence and we're also talking double digits here ha!).  

They provide opportunities for students to engage in curriculum areas that are not offered in their schools because there is no teacher or staff member to teach the subject.

This video clip showcases +Glen Fa'avale Tuala, Pasifika Advisory Officer and the work he does in Te Kura for Pasifika learners.  

If you have any further questions about the services that he can offer your Pasifika learners, contact him at this email address: Glen.Tuala@tekura.school.nz. 




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can we develop Pasifika student voice in our classrooms?





I'm a staunch advocate of student voice.  It is something that I've endorsed as part of my pedagogical approach (and now andragogical approach as I work mainly with adult learners and mentees in senior leadership teams and teachers/educators across sectors).  Student voice and agency is also one of the major themes for my PhD research which has evolved out of the gifted Pasifika research I did for my Masters.  

I believe that students already hold the key to their success.  Our job as adults is to listen to their ideas about success and construct pathways for them to arrive at their destinations - wherever they may lead.

Teachers/educators and senior leadership teams around Aotearoa have continually asked me - how do I engage our disengaged Pasifika learners?  I always say the same thing.  Ask them.  When students know that their perspectives are being valued and taken on board, this strengthens your relationships with them.  This then leads to engagement in assessment because they trust you to lead them through the work, and this culminates in achievement.

Providing avenues to celebrate their successes - whether they know how to accurately set goals, no matter how small and create touchstones to monitor their progress - we then start to mould their student voice into self-efficacy so that we assist them to be life-long learners and manage themselves to become productive citizens in society.

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

How can we make stronger connections for our Pasifika learners and what they are learning in their subject areas?





When I first taught at Rutherford College in West Auckland, the principal who hired me was very receptive to integrated studies. 
I quickly realised that what he meant was that teachers could integrate learning in a cross-curricula fashion that engaged students more.  I really liked this idea because it fit in quite well with what I was accustomed to in my own learning from my home context, where learning takes the guise of different skills that instead of being taught separately, is part and parcel of the entire experience.  

I have suggested to heads of departments in secondary schools that a thematic approach to the teaching of Pasifika students is critical to their success.  For example, English, History, Classical Studies and Music teachers could collectively work on themes that resonate with their subjects and select texts or resource material that highlight this strongly across their curriculum areas.  

Pasifika learners need to see connections in their learning - much like the artwork you see in traditional tattoos, in the quilt making of tivaevae, in the ie Haamoa and ie toga that is woven - we need to see how things take shape, why they are the way they are and the process of making these connections.

Lafi Peters from AGGS talks about her experiences of cross-curricula and personalised learning in this video clip.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
Can Pasifika learners gain NCEA credits 
for their Polyfest performances?





It's Polyfest season in Aotearoa (well, in Auckland and Christchurch) and if you're a high school teacher who is hoping to offer NCEA Dance credits for your student performers in any Pasifika groups - then it is TOTALLY possible.  You can email me directly - manufaaeasemeatu@gmail.com and we can have a discussion about what you can do to make the process happen in your school.  

Māori kapa haka already gain NCEA credits through the Māori Performing Arts domain.  The sad thing is - there is no direct pathway like this for Pasifika groups.  This is why Pasifika teachers needed to get creative - with the support of their dance teacher colleagues, to use Dance curriculum credits. 

This is the purpose of NCEA - to acknowledge the prior learning of students, celebrate their strengths and gain those NCEA credits in real life, real world learning contexts!

To read from another blogger who is passionate about NCEA credits being made possible for Polyfest (from a parent's perspective too!), check out +Anthony Faitaua's blog "Putting the e in Pasifika"



Let's celebrate the gifts and talents of our students by acknowledging their identities, languages and cultures - through NCEA assessments.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
How do gifted Pasifika learners show the importance of honouring their birthright and representing their families?





Sela Finau talks about how she navigates through her life balancing  her Tongan cultural values with school expectations with her learning.  She realises that if you are motivated, know where you are from and know your purpose, then you are more likely to be successful.

Building respect towards others stems from respect towards parents and can be useful in building relationships with teachers.  She also talks about being a role model to younger Tongan students in the Tongan group during Polyfest, particularly where you are expected to behave as a leader and give prestige to your family through representation.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
How do gifted Pasifika learners show resilience?



Link: Resilience


By using the ten cultural identifiers for giftedness (Faaea-Semeatu, 2011), teachers were able to apply them to the students they taught - as a way to observe what these cultural identifiers looked like in their classrooms.  

Choosing to operate your classroom teaching from the students' strengths is a positive way to move away from deficit pedagogy that generates the tail of underachievement for Pasifika learners.

Having open and honest conversations with students, getting to know what they are good at and how to incorporate those strengths into classroom learning, before transitioning them into culturally responsive assessment - will always value the gifts and talents of Pasifika students.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
How can I support gifted Pasifika learners in my school?


Link: Giftedness


I had the fantastic opportunity to work alongside +Natasha Low when she was the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Epsom Girls' Grammar School (EGGS) as part of the Digi Advisor project in 2013.  She has since moved to another school, but the learning she gained from her role and how she needs to facilitate the identification process for gifted Pasifika learners also helped to contribute to a growth mindset about her own learning and inquiry.


  
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
Do you have any examples of students 
who can talk about what it looks like for them?



Charismata Vili identifies two major cultural identifiers for giftedness that resonates with him - Leadership and Commitment to Excellence. 

A useful exercise would be for teachers to talk to their students about what their perceptions of giftedness is and also talk about what giftedness looks like in their own home and cultural contexts. 

Charismata understands that leadership for him is about being a role model to younger students and his peers in his school.  He sets himself smart goals and high expectations.  He enjoys helping others and guiding others to fulfil their potential as well with the support of other teachers, his friends and networks.  

For commitment to excellence, Charismata understands that even if he does fail, it fuels him to aim higher and to be a leader through perseverance both at home and at school - how he acts as a son at home, how he acts as a leader at school.  Being labelled a gifted Pasifika student for him means that he is humble and able to be an example to others to also excel.




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

What does Pasifika giftedness look like?  
Do you have any examples of what to look for?




+Geraint Tagaloa explains how we can explore other ways to identify gifted Pasifika students.  He explains how having high expectations of the students still remains, particularly for low achieving students - as these types of students are often left out of the identification process.  This means that gifted Pasifika students may not be recognised through cognitive domains - but through their cultural giftedness which is not overtly recognised in schools.

The three main cultural identifiers that resonated with the project conducted at St. Paul's College included Leadership, Commitment to Excellence and Church Affiliation.  Geraint recognises that the giftedness of the students may not be present in school, but it has an opportunity to be more prevalent in their home environments, which is consistent with the research I conducted (Faaea-Semeatu, 2011).

Geraint goes on to explain how he presented his findings with +Nua Silipa from student interviews that explored the concepts of Leadership, Commitment to Excellence and Church Affiliation at the Virtual Professional Learning Development (VPLD) Conference held in Auckland in May 2013.  

Key questions:
  • Have you asked your Pasifika parent communities at your school, what they consider giftedness to look like in their respective cultures?
  • Are there other ways of identifying gifted Pasifika students in your school?
  • What is your understanding of giftedness?  What are the various definitions and what does this look like in the New Zealand context - in your own national context?
  • What policy documents are available to support giftedness in your country?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

  What does assessment look like for 
Māori and Pasifika learners?  
How can our assessments become more culturally responsive?




Thanks to +Hazel Owen for this lovely write-up of a webinar on culturally responsive assessment that +Nadell Karatea-Kokiri and I presented in May 2014. 

The themes still resonate today with teachers in schools and I hope that you take the time to access the webinar and listen to the points that we make.  

The questions that Hazel outlines are useful tools for staff to consider asking themselves when creating/designing assessments tasks for our Māori and Pasifika children.  

We must always bear in mind - what would we like them to learn?  How can we access their prior knowledge and explore this knowledge in our assessments?  How can we find out more information to increase our own understanding of incorporating Māori and Pasifika values in assessments?

If you happen to be in Auckland around September 11th this year, I will be hosting a CORE Breakfast Seminar and workshop entitled "Assessment with a Pasifika lens".  Check out the schedule here for more information.  Registrations are now open and it would be great to see you there!





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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

  What does it mean to be successful?





At a PPTA Pasifika Conference last year, I had the great pleasure of being a keynote speaker alongside Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.  She is currently the Vice Chancellor 

She spoke about the how Pasifika families need to be supported if their children are to succeed. 

Key questions to ask yourself teachers:
  • What types of information or support are you offering to parents?
  • Do Pasifika parents understand how NCEA works in your school?  How do you know, that they know?
  • Are Pasifika students well supported to pursue higher education?
  • What does your department do specifically, to ensure that support is given to Pasifika parents or parents of Pasifika learners?


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

  How can I engage with the Pasifika Education Plan?





This video clips reminds teachers about how they can use the Pasifika Education Plan to inform their unit planning, syndicate or department planning, right across to its inclusion into a school-wide approach.  

The goals, targets and actions of the Pasifika Education Plan are sector-specific so teachers need to be looking at what sector they are teaching in to access the appropriate levels:
  • early learning sector (early childhood education)
  • schooling sector (primary, intermediate and secondary)
  • tertiary sector (post-secondary, tertiary institutions, university).

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

  What resources and literature are available to teachers and students of Pacific literature?




Just to break up the video clips, here's a bit of reading that you might like to check out.  Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh poses this important question in Marsh (2010) that I often get when talking to teachers about Pacific literature, particularly the selection of texts that might appeal to Pasifika learners or trying to select Pasifika texts that teachers feel would benefit the entire class in high school. 

Some advice I also give to teachers is that they don't need to be experts about Pasifika content in Pasifika literature.  All they need to do is be willing to explore what the themes are in Pasifika literature and think about how they can appeal to all learners in their classes.   

Key questions teachers can ask themselves about how to teach Pacific literature would be:
  • What values do my class have?  What do my students believe is important for them to live by in their own lives? (I would conduct a survey as a great icebreaker for the beginning of the year)
  • What are the important themes in the literature? (something that you do for yourself first in your planning, before conducting the same exercise with the students in class)
  • How can I connect my student beliefs with the important themes? (another great class exercise to be used as a formative assessment in class)
  • Do I want to align the student beliefs with these important themes or do I want to challenge the student beliefs with these important themes?  Will I do both?  (great summative task that you can convert into an assessment)
Students appreciate assessments that help to connect what is relevant or what is a strength to them (covers their values and convictions) to bring them across the bridge of the content that you want them to learn.





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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

       Where can I go to network online with other teachers?






This video clip shows Geraint Tagaloa of St. Paul's College in Auckland talking about the benefits of creating a home page for your own school on the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) - an online community for teachers to share ideas, resources, ask for assistance and network with other teachers from all levels and all curriculum areas.  It's like Facebook for teachers but WAY better, because it's a useful resource to help with your professional practice.

I have quite a few Pasifika pages I look after with +Togi Lemanu  and +Anthony Faitaua so I strongly encourage you to check those pages out.  You will not be disappointed!

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika

                    How can we combine assessment and e-learning                         for our Pasifika learners?








This video clip is a great example of how teachers can adjust the modes of assessment by giving students the autonomy to film speeches in their own time.  

Some key questions to consider would be:
  • How can you modify the modes of your assessments to allow students to have more autonomy of their learning?
  • Would you consider creating flipped assessments?  
  • Would students creating their own YouTube channel and sharing their work with you be a useful way to view their work?  
  • Would this be a useful way to gather evidence? 
Imagine how easy it would be for you to mark their work as well.  You could probably save time in the classroom recording assessments - they could do it at home in their own time, away from the pressure in the classroom.  I would definitely make this an option for students.  They could record their research seminars, do some formative assessment work talking through their thinking processes and even conduct an interview with a fellow student.     As Fisher-Price says, 'the possibilities are endless :-)



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika





Can you show me some videos or visual evidence that I can watch to help support my teaching of Pasifika learners?

Welcome to the TKI Pasifika Media Gallery.  TKI stands for Te Kete Ipurangi and it is the online source for all Pasifika content that is commissioned by the New Zealand Government. It was only one of the many pages on the TKI Pasifika site.  I have talked about this before in previous blog posts, but it's always good to look into things in more detail.

I will be taking a look at all of the videos that are in the media gallery and giving some points about what I think are the important things for you to remember :-)

If you are in Aotearoa, all the best for the first week back at work in your schools/kura.  Everywhere else around the world, enjoy watching the videos and reading about the teaching and learning of Pasifika students in Aotearoa.  You might have some Pacific Island students in your schools or other ethnic minority students that you feel would benefit from the voices of these teachers of Pasifika learners and Pasifika students themselves.  

This is a screenshot of what the media gallery looks like.
Check out the site here. Take a look around for yourself first :-)
Feel free to share the link with your colleagues and wider network!




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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika





I'm going to focus on Pasifika learners this year as part of my inquiry - do you have any tips for me?



This video clip is a 20 minute edited presentation that I delivered at the Creative New Zealand National Conference 
on 25th June 2013 in Auckland, Aotearoa.  


I discuss the cultural identifiers for giftedness, (see also the "home" section of this blog where these identifiers are discussed through songs, November 2013).

I also cover a range of strategies and explore concepts of cultures and identities experienced by diaspora communities of Pasifika learners in Aotearoa.  

The ten cultural identifiers for Pasifika giftedness are:
1. Adaptability 
2. Memory 
3. Church affiliation
4. Commitment to Excellence
5. Relationships
6. Resilience
7. Lineage/Birthright
8. Language Fluency
9. Leadership
10. Representation

Question: Can you see these identifiers in the Pasifika students in your classroom?

The cultural DON'Ts are:
Deflate - don't deflate our children
Overload - don't overload our children
Negate - don't negate our children
Tactless - don't be tactless with our children - be aware of what you are saying when you teach.  Your words have power; they have the power to make or break students.  So think about how you empower, rather than overpower students in their learning pathways.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika





How can I inspire secondary school Pasifika learners in Science?

Using interactive materials is the best way to engage Pasifika learners in Science.  I've recently come across the TEDEd Periodic videos and I think it is a great resource to be used either as a flipped classroom approach or modifying the lessons to suit the needs of your students in-class.  


                                 1. First watch the video


2. Think about the answers to the questions posed

3. Hone their inquiry skills by digging deeper for more info

4. Interact with others by joining a discussion forum


It is important to note here that you can adapt the content to suit your purpose.  I just think it's a great way that the periodic table is made possible for students to explore and interact with the elements - by doing the activities at home or creating their own versions of what the content could be.  The possibilities are endless.

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Can you please share some examples of Pasifika teacher voice and Pasifika student voice that shows me what they think about themselves?  I want to understand more about their worlds.



Luisa Magasiva - Pasifika Academic Dean at Kelston Girls' College shares her journey that breaks stereotypes of Pasifika peoples.  She has championed the cause for Pasifika students at her school, been a positive role model who continues to push Pasifika students to embrace their identities, languages and cultures.  Her mission is to ensure that it is everybody's responsibility to raise the academic achievement of Pasifika learners in her school.

Watch her journey as it will be useful to show your colleagues and your own Pasifika students in your school.





Students from Kelston Girls' College were motivated to approach  Pasifika student leaders from other West Auckland schools in a bid to profile their perspectives about the stereotypes they find themselves in.  An email was sent from Kelston Girls' College principal Linda Fox to other West Auckland secondary school principals.  Liston College heeded the call and wanted to include their deputy head boy as their contribution to the student voice video.

This will be a useful exercise for teachers to use with their Pasifika learners, particularly in finding out how they view themselves within school and in society at large.


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



Can you please share some insights into how we can get to know our Pasifika learners?


1. Personality Test
It might sound silly, but it's definitely a great way to engage your Pasifika learners (all learners for that matter) to discover things about themselves.  I would get them to take the Maya Briggs personality test on www.16personalities.com.  I would use this activity with high school students as a way for them to learn more about themselves, what personality traits they have and how they approach their learning.

I would factor this activity into the beginning of the year - so that it sets the tone for the learning and achievement for the rest of the year.

I have completed the test myself and it has given me some greater understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses.  You can also use this as a great activity with your department, syndicate or staff as a whole.  The possibilities for using this are endless.


2. Personality Types
Once you've completed the test you might want to check out the information about your personality type.  I'm an ENFP - my role is a 'diplomat' and I'm assertive.   

Knowing the characteristics of your own personality and matching it up with your peers (or not matching!) will give you some insight into how to work well with others.  

I worked on the test as a team and we had fun discovering and affirming traits about ourselves.  Of course not everything is 100% accurate - there were things that said what we were, but we felt we were the complete opposite, so I wasn't sure if it's because we haven't displayed those traits yet or if they were just completely wrong.  In any case - it's still a fun exercise to go through.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



 Can you share some resources that are useful for 

Pasifika parents or have been informed by Pasifika parents?

1. Effective governance - Supporting Pasifika success There are some brief case studies and some useful strategies for Boards of Trustees to consider when making decisions that benefit Pasifika learners, their parents, families and communities.

This information is useful for Pasifika parents who might consider joining their local Board of Trustees.






You might not be aware of this section on the website - but this is a great resource to share with Pasifika parents.  It has been used successfully in Māori and Pasifika parent group meetings - with particular reference to the brochures unpacking NCEA in the different Pasifika languages.

If you are going to use this in a Pasifika parent meeting, it might be useful to have the parents logged into school computers to access the site and explore it with teachers around to generate some discussion, to create understanding.






Research report released July 2013 with key findings of the perspectives that inform us about Pasifika community engagement with SE services in early childhood and primary school-aged children.  

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



 How can we celebrate diversity in our schools?


I wanted to share some video clips that I think illustrate key examples of diversity.


Lindsay Rutherford takes us through an exploration of cultural diversity by showing us that "we're not alone."  

The thing that I loved most about classroom teaching was the opportunity to teach students "life lessons" in class - as I had the best teachers do the same thing with me as I grew up as a student.
You might have the odd student ask "What does this have to do with our learning?".

This is my standard answer:
Providing opportunities for students to understand their own cultural backgrounds and learning about each other's is vitally important not only for your own learning in the classroom, but useful for when you transition into further study and earn money as workers.  But most of all - we must understand each other - rather than making assumptions, perpetuating stereotypes and erasing ignorance.



Staff at Rowandale School in Manurewa performed a dance for their school assembly in honour of the Diwali Festival.  

What I loved most about this clip was the opportunity that staff took to perform a dance that would've been foreign for some of them but symbolises their acceptance of diversity within the school.

I believe the fastest way to cultivate cultural diversity in a school - is for staff to model it.
Note the enthusiasm of the students when their new principal +Karl Vasau encourages them to join in the dance routine.

I would challenge staff members at all schools to consider following this approach and giving cultural dances a go!



+Asta Philpot has produced a fantastic video that highlights all of the different, multiples layers of diversity (not just cultural).

It is important for students to understand that diversity comes in many shapes and forms and that they must learn to accept it as part of their daily life - especially in how they treat others.

You can share this video clip with staff in staff meetings to illustrate some points about our attitudes towards people who are different to us.  

It's a beautiful light hearted video with some great examples of discrimination that are common in society.   If you don't want to kiss anyone's ass - at least take heed of the key messages.



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#tkipasifika



 Can you please share some writing resources that help reluctant Pasifika writers?



In a workshop with a primary (elementary) school earlier this year, I shared this fantastic resource created by the MAGICAL +Anne Kenneally who I have the privilege of working alongside virtually - (as she lives at the other end of New Zealand from me) but we're still good mates :-)

A great resource that can be used in primary/elementary schools right up to high school level students as the strategies are useful for all levels of language learners.  

How I used this particular crowd-sourced resource was to go through the powerpoint and highlight particular slides that I knew would be useful for Pasifika learners.  Try it out today if you haven't already had the chance.  You will not be disappointed.



This infographic highlights the six main focus areas that shows us how Pasifika learners can achieve success as Pasifika.  Even though this infographic is from the adult community education sector - but I firmly believe that it is highly relevant for our Pasifika language learners of English in schools.  I'm not talking specifically about ESOL students - but all Pasifika students in our schools/kura.

I strongly recommend that you also download the full report from the above subheading as it explains in detail the findings from the Pasifika research team who conducted the report.

This is the first report of its kind - Pasifika-written about Pasifika notions of literacy - EVER.
This is important when we are considering how Pasifika people view their own success.
It will most definitely be relevant for Pasifika learners in your context.  Local and global :-)

There are six areas:
1. Reading and Writing
2. Oral and Non-Verbal Communication
3. Strength in Identity
4. Processing and living out a shared Pasifika Values Base
5. The Arts
6. Digital and Information Technology



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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#cenz14 #ce14



 You've done some research about Pasifika giftedness.

How do Pasifika definitions of giftedness differ from the Western concepts of giftedness?

1. We need to understand what Pasifika peoples value as gifts and talents
Every Pasifika culture will have their own concepts of what they define as gifts and talents.
For Pasifika peoples, giftedness and the talents that develop from those gifts are a direct result of the grounding in one's culture, language and identity.  Pasifika learners with multiple ethnic backgrounds deal with multiple cultures, languages and identities.

Asking Pasifika peoples the right questions about what they value within their cultures. languages and identities will ensure that you will be able to craft programmes that provide appropriate levels of support.

A good starting point to know what Pasifika peoples value as gifts and talents would be to look at the Pasifika Values that are in the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017.  You can create questions using the values as the basis to elicit responses.

2. The cultural identifiers for Pasifika giftedness stems from the community NOT the school
In my experience as a facilitator and researcher in schools, I still come across the fact that Pasifika parents are still not as present or visible at the school.  There can be many reasons for this:
* negative experiences at school so they don't want a relationship with the school
* parents working multiple shifts so don't have the time to come in to school for meetings
* Pasifika children are living with other family members during the week and only go home on the weekends
* parents lack the confidence to be proactive and become champions of their children's learning (funnily enough, one of the goals for the Parents, Families and Communities section of the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017).

Teachers, administrators and senior leaders talk about the issue that they still struggle to connect with the parents of Pasifika learners. 

Asking the parents to share their views about what giftedness is could be one avenue to explore to further improve connections with parents, families and communities.  

Gagne's (2008) Differentiated Model for Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) outlines culture as an environmental catalyst.  In my Master's research I talk about how culture for Pasifika people is more than an environmental catalyst - it is a gift.  With the right development process, aspects of Pasifika peoples' cultures can be evidenced into talents that reflect the Pasifika notions of giftedness.  For further discussion, you can follow me on Twitter @ManuMuso and I would be happy to discuss these ideas further.  I am happy to say that the process I developed for creating cultural identifiers for Pasifika giftedness is currently being used to identify gifted Pasifika students in Aotearoa.

3. Pasifika parents, families and communities must TRUST the facilitator
Being able to trust the facilitator who is leading the process for creating cultural identifiers that are important to Pasifika parents, families and communities in your schools - cannot be emphasised enough.  

You will not be able to create programmes of provision for Pasifika learners without first establishing a relationship by getting to know the parents and caregivers.  Being open, honest and showing that you care about Pasifika learners - show parents, families and communities that you have a vested interest in their child(ren)'s future.  

The top 5 qualities that Pasifika parents, families and communities appreciate based on my experience as a practitioner and researcher in a teacher:

1. Being explicit about the strengths that their child has
2. Emphasising the learning rather than the behaviour of students
3. Asking about the gifts that their children display at home and in their extended communities
4. Encouraging them to be involved in sharing their cultural strengths within the gifted programme
5. Understanding that they have every right to demand and expect the best education for their child.  

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)
#cenz14 #ulearn14



 How can we create culturally responsive assessments for our Pasifika learners?


1. Think critically about the purpose of your assessment
You may think - this is a given and it's what children come to school for - to be assessed.
Personally for me, it's about the learning first and then creating assessment tasks that show a clear connection and seamless transition between this learning and the evidence of this learning.

So assessment is all about really - the evidence of learning.
We can often get bogged down about the assessment by classifying its delivery (or design) prematurely.  The question to then ask yourself - how can we create something that best reflects what the child has learned?

If the learning intentions and learning outcomes do not clearly align with the achievement criteria - we must keep checking.  It is not enough to teach the same material year in, year out, without adjusting it to the needs of your current students.  

2. Pasifika content vs. Pasifika pedagogy assessment tasks
I have often had teachers say to me - it is hard to find Pasifika content in their curriculum areas.

Some subjects lean themselves to being more conducive to the inclusion of Pasifika material - such as the performing arts, English, Social Studies and History.  

Subjects like Maths, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology may struggle to find Pasifika-specific content for their lessons, but in saying that - it is not entirely impossible.  You just need to know where to look.  

For a recent thesis which explored student perceptions and what works - check out this thesis by Siliva Balenivalu from the University of Waikato.

The key point in this research focuses on the use of effective group work when solving mathematic equations.  

You can also check out the work of Bobbie Hunter whose students affectionately call her work "Bobbie Maths" thanks to her ability to connect Pasifika learners with Maths.

3.  Not everyone is a fan of National Standards - but what it says about assessment is BRILLIANT.

Assessment that is fit for purpose
Assessment in relation to National Standards must follow the characteristics of effective assessment as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum:
  • Benefits students
  • Involves students
  • Supports teaching and learning goals
  • Is planned and communicated
  • Is suited to the purpose




For specific concerns about Pasifika content and Pasifika pedagogy in your classrooms - 

please email me: manufaaeasemeatu@gmail.com.

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)


How do I help Pasifika students if they're not at school?


1. Educate students and families about acceptable excuses for non-attendance  
At my last school, we had a Pasifika parent group meeting where I invited the school's attendance officer to speak to the parents about the acceptable excuses for non-attendance that have been approved by the Ministry of Education.  

Going to the airport to meet or farewell family members, going to the hospital to stay with relatives or staying home to look after sick siblings are not considered acceptable excuses.  However, parents of Pasifika students should be encouraged to speak with the dean of their child's year level (secondary school) or classroom teacher (primary school) about any situations at home that can impact on their child's learning.  Of course - this can only happen if the teachers have developed a solid relationship with the parents to ensure that there is a home-school partnership.

2. Pre-plan for non-attendance
Letting parents of Pasifika students know that if they are going to be away from school for an extended period of time, or something is happening in their home life that may warrant time away from school - that they can talk with the school to find a way for students to continue to submit work or arrange for homework to be collected through family friends so that learning can continue.

3. Open communication
In secondary schools, students should be encouraged to use their school emails to keep in touch with their subject teachers and deans.  It will take time for the students to develop self-efficacy and manage their own learning - but this is one of the key competencies that we can help to develop.  Most schools already use Google Drive or Office 365 as their student management system.

We must continue to have high expectations and draw analogies that if they continue to miss school, they would not be able to keep a job, as they would be fired for non-attendance.


Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)


I work in a kura kaupapa (Māori immersion primary school) / whare kura (Māori immersion senior secondary school)  and we have students who are part Pasifika, or have some sort of Pasifika heritage.  What can I do as a kaiako (teacher) to support these learners in my kura (school) considering that we are all about tikanga Māori (Māori protocols) 

and te ao Māori (the Māori world)?

1. Te Aho Matua principles and values are similar to the Pasifika Values in the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017
To understand the Pasifika values of the Pasifika learners in your schools, compare the Pasifika values in the Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) 2013-2017 as found in the Pasifika Success Compass, with the principles of Te Aho Matua.  In a keynote address to Māori kaiako and teachers of Māori and Pasifika learners in Kaikohe recently, I invited kaiako to explore the connection between Māori values in Te Aho Matua and the Pasifika Values in the PEP.  Teachers can also access Tātaiako, the Māori Cultural Competency Framework that is currently used alongside Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success in mainstream schools using the same principles to make connections. 



To find out more information about Te Aho Matua - check out this link:

https://nzccs.wikispaces.com/file/view/Supplement_TeAho32Feb08.pdf 


2. Incorporate the search and validation of their Pasifika ancestry in the classroom
As young people, students are not responsible for the choices made by their parents - particularly when it comes to the early stages of a child's development in terms of their identity.
If the Pasifika parent is absent from a child's life for whatever reason, or the Pasifika grandparent has passed away - there is often no physical connection to a human resource that would help to explain or develop a balanced Pasifika identity, or at least recognise this and value it for the child.

As teachers, we can find pathways to carefully broach the subject with the students by incorporating the search for identity as part of classroom assessment, as an extension of the foundation of the Te Aho Matua principles that the students are already familiar with.

To be dynamic in your pedagogy, you must continue to find pathways to make ever-increasing connections.  This does not mean that you need to understand the Pasifika cultures of every Pacific Island nation that may be represented in fragments in your students - but it does mean that teachers must be able to at least - facilitate - this process.  This will also students to engage in the AKO process of reciprocal relationships.  In order for students to learn about themselves - teachers must be willing to facilitate this exploration process in the classroom - to ensure that students are valued and able to contribute effectively to their own learning and achievement.

3. Empathy - what if the situation was reversed?
One question I asked kaiako in Kaikohe was - if your Māori learners attended a Samoan immersion school and were told that they would not be able to explore or learn about their Māori heritage, because it was not a focus of the school's attention in terms of its values and mission - how would the students feel there?  What if the situation was reversed?

As teachers we have the responsibility to continue to foster a sense of learning, to create understanding, to promote tolerance, all of the good things that we want our students to learn and embody.  I encourage you to check out the Rutherford College Values song on one of these pages (I suspect it's on the "Music and Me" page) and listen to the values on there.  This is a prime example of what students can think about - to sing about - and live in their daily lives as learners. as individuals, as people.

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)


Early childhood focus today :-)


We are a small early childhood home-based service in a small region.
We want to engage with Pasifika parents, families and communities in our service but we are finding that they are reluctant to engage with us.  Can you please give us some tips or strategies for how to connect with Pasifika parents?

1. Do some reconnaissance 
In order to take action, we need to do some careful planning and observe where the Pasifika parents are congregating in your region.  If we can ascertain what their reasons are for not using your service, then we can start to make some plans about how to engage them.  Have you considered that maybe  they maybe aren't aware of what being involved with your service would mean?  Or in particular, what types of learning you provide in your service?

2. Identify key Pasifika figures in your local community
Once you have found out where Pasifika parents, families and communities are congregating in your region - try to pinpoint a key Pasifika figure who would help to facilitate and broker relationships with your reluctant Pasifika parents.  Try your local sports clubs, churches, check community noticeboards and supermarket noticeboards - even the local newspaper.


Being able to present some information at your local Pasifika community group would be possible, if you built relationships with these key figures who would help to encourage Pasifika parents to use your service.



3. Approach the local primary schools


Rather than targeting those Pasifika parents who aren't engaging in your service, you could look at approaching the local primary schools in your area who would be able to shed light on some families that would benefit from using your service.  This would be a mutual benefit for the school because they would then have access to accurate records of a child's progress from their early learning to when they are new entrants into a primary school.  There could even be potential for a partnership or some kind of connection between your service and the school to do activities together.

Greater participation of Pasifika parents engaging in early learning home-based services can happen when there is clear communication about what your expectations are, what support you can offer and how you can offer it.  


Being open, friendly and explicit will ensure that Pasifika parents have the relevant and necessary information to make informed decisions about improving their engagement with early childhood home-based services.


For more information about early childhood home-based services in your region in Aotearoa - check out the following website:

http://www.hbca.org.nz/provider-directory




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

I know that there are distinct Pacific Island cultures (e.g. Tongan, Cook Island, Niuean, Fijian, Samoan, Tokelauan and Tuvaluan to name a few).  What should I do when Pasifika students say for example. that they identify as Samoan, but they don't "feel" Samoan because they don't speak the language?

1. Ask students to self-define
This is a common statement that Pasifika students can make.

Reasons for this may vary:
i) their own parents may not have access to learning the language either by choice or circumstance
ii) there are no opportunities for the students to learn and practice their language i.e. not taught in their school as a subject choice 
iii) the students aren't involved in activities and places where the language is spoken such as church and extended family situations.

It is important to ask the students to define for themselves what their identity is.

Students sometimes confuse the concepts of 'ethnicity' and 'identity'.
1. Ethnicity is the reference to the biological characteristics of a group of people, particularly tied to that of race.  
2. Identity is the social construct where a group of people practice sets of cultural values and norms. 

2. Talk them through a process
The PEP Plan Vision refers to the idea that "five out of five Pasifika learners" will feel confident about their identities, languages and cultures so that they will become productive citizens through supporting the, in their social, cultural and economic well-being.

The distinction is clear here - between identities, languages and cultures.

It is therefore our duty as educators, as the professionals, as the adults - to help Pasifika learners to navigate their way through their learning journey, to understand how they can positively influence their own perception of themselves.

I have often shared with students in the past, that if they are given harsh criticism or judged unfairly because of their ethnicity or identity - they can react either one of two ways:
1) Believe what has been said about them and cry in the corner of the classroom or
2) Think hard about what has been said, be angry and channel that anger to prove people wrong.

The bottom line - regardless of how Pasifika students feel about their Pasifika identities - it is critical that we provide safe spaces for them to be able to explain their thoughts and feelings about who they are, why they think the way that they think so that we can understand them as people first.

As educators - we cannot hope to model learning to our students, 
if we are not prepared to learn as much as we can from them.

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. Are there are any specific online forums or networks that I can join, to engage with teachers of Pasifika learners?  Where can I go to check things out and get some quality resources?

1.  VIRTUAL LEARNING NETWORK (VLN) http://www.vln.school.nz/ 
The Virtual Learning Network or VLN is like Facebook for educators.
It is an online network for teachers from all over New Zealand to check out and connect with other teachers.  Like Facebook, teachers can join "groups" and participate in online discussions by posing questions or reading responses and ideas from other educators.  There are online facilitators who moderate each group and provide links to resources that are useful to assist in enhancing pedagogical principles and endorsing best practice.
Some groups with a Pasifika focus that you could join include:
* Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017
* Gifted Pasifika Education
* Learning with Digital Technologies for Māori and Pasifika learners
* Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents.
It is super easy to join so follow the instructions to create your own profile and be prepared to add your colleagues as "friends" when they register to join as well.



2.  TE KETE IPURANGI (TKI) PASIFIKA http://pasifika.tki.org.nz/ 
This website is the official "go to" page for all things Pasifika for teachers.
It is moderated and curated by the Ministry of Education to provide teachers with resources and information to assist with the implementation of the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017.  
Pasifika Language Weeks, research publications and a media gallery of videos are just some of the highlights on this site.  Take the time to browse and familiarise yourself with the contents.  



3. COCONET TV http://www.thecoconet.tv/ 
For an entertaining, light-hearted yet very informative look at Pasifika pop culture and traditional forms of identities, languages and cultures, look no further than Coconet TV.  This site is truly interactive and is like Pasifika's/Polynesia's answer to YouTube.  Contributors are able to post their own video clips and comments in online forums.  This site is truly an online Pasifika community that showcases the diaspora journeys of Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa and beyond the Pacific.



Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASIFIKA LANGUAGES AT RISK 




As a Samoan, born in NZ, I have always felt that it is important to support our fellow Pasifika aiga/famili/anau with their cultural identities, heritages - and most importantly languages.

It was important to me as an educator in secondary schools because I was faced with Pasifika students with mixed Pasifika heritages and other ethnic groups as well.

Being a confident Samoan, staunch in your own culture, language and identity should then help us to lend support and champion those of our Pacific neighbours.


In the work that I do - we are constantly looking at ways to validate and celebrate our Pasifika heritages within NZ - so that our kids grow up knowing that they are important, they have every right to success because they're entitled to it - basically letting our young people know - that we encourage them to fulfil their potential despite society's negative assumptions and stereotypes that they are failures.

I would be keen to know what you think about the idea that - yes - Pasifika nations are separate and distinct - but that those of us from the larger Pasifika nations - have a duty to support our smaller Pasifika siblings, in order to maintain our distinctive heritage languages, cultures and identities. We are the same but different, we are different but the same. . .



http://pacificguardians.org/2014/08/21/pacific-languages-most-at-risk-niuean-tokelauan-cook-islands-maori/.html


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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. I want to call home to speak to a Pasifika parent, but the student says if I do - 
they will get a hiding.  Is that true?  What should I do?

1. Assess the home situation
Let's be real and find out what the home situation is like.
If you teach in a secondary/high school, talk to the year level dean and the school guidance counsellor. 
Find out what information (if any) that they have about the student's family to suggest that a hiding taking place, would be the outcome of contacting home.  There is a difference between domestic abuse and physical violence towards children - and spanking them for discipline (although we have anti-smacking in NZ now).  

If you teach in a primary school, talk to your syndicate leader, senior manager.
Depending on the age of the student - you can also find out if they have older or younger siblings within the school.  Find out what information you can about the home situation.

The flip side is - the student says this in order to dissuade you from contacting their parents, because they have been misbehaving in your class, or not completed class work - which would mean that they would get in trouble for disobeying their teacher.  

The way to deal with this - is to have a class policy where you will clearly outline to students that as their teacher - you like to have regular contact with parents.  Make it clear to the students that you will contact their parents, not just to report "bad" behaviour - but to genuinely share "good news" about their progress and achievement.  Pasifika students need to understand that it is AMAZING when their parents receive a phone call from their teacher.  It should be something that they look forward to hearing about when they get home.

In my experience as a teacher - when I have cultivated this culture of open communication - the students are proud of themselves, because when I speak to their parents, I will gush to them about how much their child has improved, the pleasant surprises of what they achieved in class, the small miracles, the funny moments, how we overcome challenges and what their parents can do at home to sustain the progress - this is all part of building relationships with their parents as well.  

2. Ask other teachers 
For high school teachers, it's always good to talk to other teachers who also teach the same students - other subject teachers.  Are students not pulling their weight in other subjects - or just yours? Have the students said the same thing about hiding to other subject teachers?  We need to establish patterns of behaviour so that we can understand how to best support the needs and concerns (if verified, in terms of physical violence) and ultimately the safety and well being of our students.

For primary and intermediate school teachers, keep the conversations going with your colleagues.
Ask them what they would do in this situation, but ultimately think how about how in a primary school or intermediate school - there is a greater scope to instil family values and a warm community.

3. Think very carefully about what you are going to say
If you do have to call a parent and talk about something serious, calling them to arrange a face-to-face meeting is the best option.  Talking about creating an action plan together to deal with an issue is the best thing, because working together is what will make the greatest changes moving beyond.  It is also important not to play the "blame game" - whose fault is it that the problem has come about?  

This isn't important.

What is important is finding solutions and making sure that everyone works together for the success of the child.  Therefore using positive language is important, but we must also remember - we need to real and completely honest.  The sooner that issues arise in your class - you MUST tell the parents straight away.  In my experience - Pasifika parents or parents of Pasifika children go straight away into defensive when they feel that you should have contacted them sooner.

As my father always says quite sagely in his broken English - "prevention is better than cure."

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 

phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. How do you engage Pasifika boys in English who are reluctant writers?

1. Engage in oral language first - then transfer to writing
If you haven't already tried this - then read on.
Pasifika learners who struggle with writing, may often find that it is easier to record themselves talking through a concept or discussing their learning in response to a task.

Students use their cameras on their phone to film themselves or a class iPad so that the teacher can keep a copy of this for formative assessment purposes.  This is also a really good way for students to be able to see their own progress in their work and feel some satisfaction and level of success by completing work in stages.  When the students are happy with what they have recorded, they can transcribe their own work into writing.

Once Pasifika learners are familiar with maintaining a steady and consistent pattern in their learning that keeps them focused - they will thrive and they will succeed.  

2. Effective group work
A strategy that I passed onto an English teacher of a Tongan student here in Auckland on a rugby scholarship was to use group work effectively to connect the student with writing.

The student was not keen on writing and would not attempt assessment tasks that involved writing.
The teacher had also given up on asking for homework from this student as he would not produce any work. 

I suggested to the teacher that if the student had a friend in the class that he liked talking to - that they would write for each other.  I explained to the teacher that Pasifika learners like to work in groups because they are familiar with this way of working in their cultural backgrounds that places heavy emphasis on communal settings.  I also explained to the teacher that Pasifika learners have a sense of loyalty where they don't like to let their friends down in a group setting - so it is important that teachers are able to build learning opportunities that value what students value.

The teacher emailed today and reported back that the student and his friend enjoyed this strategy and approach to their work.  They were able to write responses to four questions in class.  Thats four more responses than usual!

Paul Nation, one of the leading experts on vocabulary, literacy and ESOL strategies and he also talks about group work as a way to connect Pasifika learners with their learning. 

Check out his publications to date - there are some gems that you must explore if you haven't already:

 http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/staff/paul-nation-pubsdate

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. What is the PEP Implementation Plan?

1. It is separate to - but used in conjunction with the PEP Plan 2013-2017
The long anticipated PEP Implementation Plan has been waiting to be officially released since January 2013.  NOW IT'S HERE!  

The current Pasifika Education Plan (PEP) 2013-2017 was released in 2012.  
For the want of a better acronym for the purposes of this post, I will call the Pasifika Education Implementation Plan - PEIP.  Otherwise the word 'plan' appears twice - and that's not a great plan :-p

2. It tells us who the other education partner agencies are
The purpose of the PEIP is to inform its readers about who the other education partner agencies are working alongside the Ministry of Education to support the implementation of the PEP Plan.  
As well as telling us specifically who these agencies are - the PEIP also tells us what type of work these education partner agencies carry out in the different sectors.  This gives you a clear picture of the types of initiatives are currently out and what the government has chosen to prioritise in terms of Pasifika Education.

3. How can I use it for my school?
You could look at the specific initiatives that pertain to your sector - and then check the last column which shows you the contact person in charge of that particular initiative.  
What this information allows you to do - is to get some greater clarity around the specific support that these initiatives can offer in YOUR area.  



The PEP Implementation Plan 2013-2017 is available #tkipasifika #pep #pasifikaeducation http://pasifika.tki.org.nz/Pasifika-Education-Plan

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. How do I encourage Pasifika parents or parents of Pasifika learners to have their say in their child's education at my school?

1. Develop relationships with Pasifika parents
Contact with home is a critical factor in raising achievement for Pasifika learners.  When I first started teaching I would call parents of Pasifika students at home or at work, explaining the great things their child had achieved in class that day.  I called these positive phone calls.  Parents were initially surprised to hear about the progress their child was making - as they were accustomed to hearing about disruptive behaviour in class.  Doing this process also helped to entice the parents to attend parent-teacher conferences, because you made the effort to call home and share what their child was learning in your class and how far they have come.  I have already mentioned this information in one of my earlier posts.

2. Encourage parents to be on your school's Board of Trustees 
Pasifika parents and parents of Pasifika learners often worry that they don't have the necessary skills or ability to be an effective member of a school's Board of Trustees.  They need to be encouraged and be informed about why it is important for them to have their say about their child's education in a way that allows them to help shape what that looks like - with their support and vision for learning.  

The following link takes you to a section on the Education Review Office (ERO) website entitled "Asking the right questions at school".  It is aimed at parents and it is something that teachers should be sharing with their parents.  Download the reports and have a look at how you can be empowered to make a difference in your child's education.  I can't stress enough, how important it is for teachers to share these resources with parents.  Including it in the school's newsletter would be one way!
Everyone knows - the more engaged parents are with the school - the better achievement outcomes and success stories that we can create featuring our Pasifika learners.  Remember - it's all about the kids :-)




Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. How do I engage Pasifika girls in my senior classes?
  
1. Identify family connections
In Pasifika families, girls have a lot of responsibility in terms of caring for younger siblings, responsibility for "holding down the fort" while parents work (often parents are working double shifts or not at home because of extended family commitments or church activities).  

I would find out information about the role of the Pasifika student in their home life.
What responsibilities they have, what skills they feel that they have developed from being an "adult" in terms of looking after younger siblings and what they feel that they contribute to the daily life of their family.  Depending on your relationship with your student - they may be either forthcoming or reluctant to share information.  If you come across reluctance - you can share your own experience of family life - model the conversation and the type of input that you want the student to share with you - because you want to say to the student - in order for you to excel in my class, I need to understand the level of support you will have at home, how much time and space you are getting to support you on your learning and what I can do as your teacher to support you and your family.  

Pasifika girls will develop trust with you much quicker and more easily if you share appropriate levels of vulnerability with them.

2.  Identify interests and ambitions
It is often more difficult for Pasifika girls to share their ambitions about career aspirations - especially if you teach in a co-educational school where Pasifika boys will traditionally dominate the teacher's time (and distract you with bad behaviour so that they can get sent out of class to avoid doing work in your class) but that's only some Pasifika learners - not all.  

Find out what makes them "tick".  Explore what I call "life themes" with your students and figure out how you can incorporate their Pasifika values in your curriculum content.  But in saying that - once you've developed those relationships to a point where they trust you - challenge them to explore and become active independent learners in their pursuit of life-long learning.  

My favourite quote that my female students always laugh about that I share with anyone who will listen:  Don't be vain, fill your brain :-)

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs
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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. How do I engage Pasifika boys in my senior classes?  

1. Personal experience
Speaking from personal experience growing up in a household full of boys, I can recall incidents where I have seen my brothers be really engaged in their learning.  

One of my older brothers was really engaged in senior English class because the teacher used what we would probably call "graphic novels" now of the classics in English literature.  I remember my brother coming home inspired to read Turn of the screw, Great Expectations and Jane Eyre.  I wonder if they still have these in print today?  

As a teacher - sharing your personal experiences of learning, especially about the difficulties that you had with things that you didn't like to do or how you were expected to learn - helps Pasifika boys understand why you are teaching the subject matter the way that you teach it.

2. Competition
This may sound like a generalisation but Pasifika boys love to compete in class.
If you can turn a lesson into a game - first to finish wins, first to have the most detailed answers, the best presentation wins, but you need to build it in and create that culture of competition right throughout the unit of work.  Competitions need to be planned out very well in advance, you can't keep changing the rules all the time (consistency is key) and there needs to be consequences for the rule breakers (points deduction, you know the drill).  The only downside is that you might not have the energy to sustain it - but trust me - this works.

3. Teamwork
Pasifika boys always find it hard to let down other people but are quite happy to let themselves down.  Finding ways to connect the boys with their sense of doing things as a team - to transfer that over into doing things for themselves as individuals - must be explicitly taught.  As teachers we may think that it's straightforward and it's common sense - but Pasifika boys must be explicitly told that if they are to place a huge emphasis on team sports, the code of support for their fellow team members - they need to think about their school work and education pathway in the same manner - that they will not be able to succeed if they let themselves down - and that if they do, they are letting their real team - their family down, by not fulfilling their potential.

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs

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PASFAQs (Pasifika Frequently Asked Questions) 
phonetic spelling "pass-facks"(American pronunciation)

1. Why do we need to focus on Pasifika learners?  
2. Aren't we supposed to treat all students the same?

1. Sheer numbers
In Aotearoa, there is a need to focus on Pasifika learners because one in four children are Pasifika.  
The population of Pasifika peoples are growing, they have more babies than other ethnic groups, in essence they are becoming a critical mass.  Rather than seeing this as a negative consequence (let's face it, the more babies people are having, the demand for teachers will always remain and we will have a thriving society of people - the circle of life, you see where this is going).

2. Diversity
As more and more Pasifika peoples are having more babies than everyone in the population, they are also falling in love with not just Pasifika peoples - but peoples from other cultures as well.  This means that when these babies are born - they will have diverse ethnic backgrounds that need to be identified by teachers, so that they can in turn understand how to connect with them in their classrooms.  Ethnic groups have their own distinct cultural specific values and beliefs systems - but also in terms of identity - that fact that identity is a social construction - parents and Pasifika learners - will have distinct views and beliefs about how they construct their identify from their ethnic identity. Never assume - you must ask.  

Tune in next time for some more PASFAQs


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Tales of a travelling itinerant music teacher


I spent the day today with a few teachers and a combined Year 11 Music class.
Spending time with teachers, talking about what they wanted to do with their learners is some of the best time I can imagine spending, it is definitely time well spent.

I also enjoyed spending time with the Year 11 music class, talking about the elements of music - melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, form, dynamics, timbre, as well as the compositional devices.

Tip for today: Learning styles - know the learning styles to shape learning activities
As well as the students being able to write down the definitions of the specialist terminology in class, we also looked at creating our own musical sign language that helped the students to remember the definitions.

I suggest looking up the infographic on www.edudemic.com for a closer look at the different learning styles and coming up with multiple ways to consolidate the information that the students are learning.  Doing this approach is actually called universal design for learning (UDL).

Challenge for teachers:
Do you engage your students by presenting the material in a multitude of ways - so that all students with different learning styles - can access, understand and produce their learning?
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I have often been asked:
Whose responsibility is it to raise the achievement of Pasifika learners in schools?

The answer is simple - EVERYONE.

But how do we engage Pasifika learners so that they are 'hooked' into learning, hunger for success because they understand how important achievement is for themselves as people, rather than as for  statistical data?

In a recent presentation, I answered the question Who has the power to engage the disengaged?

EVERYBODY
NURTURES
GREATER
ACHIEVEMENT 
GROWING
EXPONENTIALLY

We must nurture the growth of achievement by understanding how our Pasifika learners:

1) LEARN BEST
Can you incorporate styles of learning that engage them?  Is there an appropriate level of challenge in your classroom work?  Sometimes 'bad behaviour' surfaces because the work does not trigger a sense of wonderment or curiosity that explores the 'what ifs' of the world.

2) EXPECT TO BE TREATED WELL IN CLASS
Pasifika learners value consistency and routines that allow for social justice.
If you disciplined them a certain way one day, you must ensure that you dish out the same punishment to another student if they misbehave in class too.  However, discipline in this way will not be necessary, classroom management will be easier to handle, if you have created a culture of excellence in your class.  High expectations of your students works every time, because you are asking them to give their best - just as you will give your best as their teacher.  Mutual respect is key.

3) VALUE LEARNING IN THE HOME 
Contact with home is a critical factor in raising achievement for Pasifika learners.  When I first started teaching I would call parents of Pasifika students at home or at work, explaining the great things their child had achieved in class that day.  I called these positive phone calls.  Parents were initially surprised to hear about the progress their child was making - as they were accustomed to hearing about disruptive behaviour in class.  Doing this process also helped to entice the parents to attend parent-teacher conferences, because you made the effort to call home and share what their child was learning in your class and how far they have come.

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If I had three quick tips that you needed to know to engage Pasifika learners in your classrooms - they would be:

1. TALK TO YOUR STUDENTS
Sounds simple doesn't it.  And it is.  Talking to your students requires you to have a handle on the 'art of conversation'.  Even the most reluctant talkers will be able to share things about themselves once you show a keen and genuine interest in their lives.  Talking to your students takes time, takes careful questioning, really great questioning skills and the right balance between listening and pushing for information.  You're not going to go all 'interrogator' on them, but well-timed and well-placed questions are the key to unlocking some meaningful talk from our students #realtalk.

2. STUDENT VOICE IS CRITICAL
Asking students about their learning and what helps them to learn best to achieve to their potential is critical.  The only way you can get to "know your learner" is by getting to know them as individuals as every single student in your class is unique.  Don't make assumptions, don't lump them altogether - make time to get to know your students and hear what they have to say.  Don't expect to have them chomping at the bit to share EVERYTHING with you, especially if you haven't spent hard yards trying to understand who they are, where they come from and how you can support them in their learning and achievement.  Pasifika students need to like you, in order to trust you, in order to learn from you.

3. WORK WITH THEIR STRENGTHS, NOT THEIR WEAKNESSES
Pasifika students/learners are good at a lot of stuff.  Heck, all kids are good at something.
Teachers need to be able to understand what their students are good at, so that they are able to design units of learning and assessment tasks that provide opportunities for student to experience success - based on the strengths of the Pasifika students.  The idea of building up students to enjoy the learning process by feeling a sense of achievement is instrumental in raising achievement in the weaker areas of learning.  Working with their strengths, allows the space for students to convert their weaknesses into strengths, building resilience and providing the emotional, social and intellectual capacity to solve their own problems, make informed and critical decisions to lead productive lives in society.  How are you preparing your students to use their strengths?


This page is an opportunity for me to share my thoughts and experiences as a Pasifika (Pacific Island) high school teacher, head of department and cultural advisor will be explored on this page.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas that you want to share, this is the page to visit.