Ua Aoina le Manogi o le Lolo: Pasifika Schooling Improvement Research - Final Report

Publication Details

The current project focuses on the effectiveness of Schooling Improvement initiatives for Pasifika. The purposes were to identify the practices that work to raise achievement and close the gaps for Pasifika students especially at the classroom, school and cluster levels; to find out how effective existing Schooling Improvement initiatives are in raising achievement for Pasifika students; and to provide information to help existing and new initiatives to improve their effectiveness for Pasifika students.

Author(s): Meaola Amituanai-Toloa, Stuart McNaughton, Mei Kuin Lai, and Airini with Rolf Turner, Deborah Widdowson, Rachel McClue, Selena Hsiao, and Maryanne Pale

Date Published: February 2010

Acknowledgements

This large multi component project was reliant on many people. We use the Samoan metaphor in the title ‘Ua aoina le manogi o le lolo’ (the different fragrances of the oil are deemed gathered) to express what this project had been about – examining the effects of the different layers of the learning community on Pasifika achievement. We therefore wish to acknowledge the substantial contribution that different groups in the practice and learning community have made to the successful completion of the research project. It is hoped that this project will make a productive contribution to the Ministry of Education’s future plans for the achievement of Pasifika students in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

We especially acknowledge the Pasifika students in Focus Cluster and Case Study Schools who contributed their voices to this research. They are the reason why we do what we do and without them we would not have been able to ask and answer the questions.

We warmly acknowledge the Pasifika parents who allowed us into their homes to share their beliefs and ideas in their desire to see their children academically achieve. We were most humbled by their contribution entrusted to us.

Acknowledging the learning community would not be complete without the most important people to whom the community in general has entrusted the education of their children. Hence we acknowledge the teachers, Principals and Literacy Leaders at the schools and in the clusters with whom we worked. Any research conducted in schools has costs in terms of time and resources and the schools have been supportive of our requests for the various forms of data.

We acknowledge the work of To’aiga Su’a Huria in the initial stages of this project.

As part of the learning community due mention is afforded to the Design Team which included representative members of the Pasifika community and Ministry of Education personnel during the scoping phase of this project. In particular, Dr Brian Annan, Susan Warren and Sam Lees who were supportive in ensuring that project delays were not exacerbated. There were also the Ministry of Education Schooling Improvement staff and the Cluster Co-ordinators who provided liaison with the participant clusters.

Other staff members at the Woolf Fisher Research Centre also contributed to the completion of this research project and report: Angela McNicholl, Sasha Farry, Sophie Kercher, Althea Leonard and Binh Tran had particular input. Thank you to the Woolf Fisher Research Centre staff for their advice, practical support and camaraderie.