Pasifika Early Childhood Education

Publication Details

This scoping report was commissioned with the inter-relationship between children’s language acquisition, their cognitive development, and quality teaching in immersion and bilingual settings as the broad topic area for investigation. The report is comprised of three components: the first compiles of a profile of immersion and bilingual Pasifika early childhood education in 2001; the second reports on a consultation exercise with key stakeholders; and lastly an essay on bilingualism and second language acquisition in early childhood.

Author(s): Anne Meade, Hellen PuhiPuhi, Susan Foster-Cohen, Anne Meade Associates Wellington.

Date Published: January 2003


Ni sa bula, talofa lava, kia orana, malo e lelei, fakaalofa atu, taloha ni, greetings.

The Pasifika Early Childhood Education Profiles and Scoping Project was commissioned in early 2002 to compile a picture of Pasifika early childhood education (ECE) in Aotearoa New Zealand pursuant to the Pasifika Education Plan (Ministry of Education, 2001) and the Early Childhood Education Strategic Plan working group's Report to the Minister of Education (2001). The project team is Dr Anne Meade and Hellen PuhiPuhi (both members of the ECE strategic plan working group), and Dr Susan Foster-Cohen, linguist. They report to the Bilingual and Immersion Education Theme Team and the Pasifika Education team, via the Research Division of the Ministry of Education.

The purpose of the project is:

  1. To build a profile of Pasifika ECE in Aotearoa in 2002;
  2. To provide preliminary guidance on the role of immersion and bilingual education in ECE (and transition to school) for Pasifika students' language acquisition and cognitive development;
  3. To coordinate research and evaluation reports on Pasifika ECE; and/or
  4. To scope and suggest research priorities vis-à-vis Pasifika bilingual and immersion ECE.

This report contains three main parts:

  • Part A: Pasifika early childhood education services profile;
  • Part B: Scoping priorities for Pasifika early childhood education research;
  • Part C: Review essay and guidance on immersion and bilingual early education.

The appendices include fuller statistics and a brief annotated bibliography.

Part A is a compilation of information about policy and provision for and participation in Pasifika ECE in Aotearoa New Zealand, including some trend data (when relevant) for the past few years. It summarises information from several sources within the Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office, and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. Part B, in its draft form, was forwarded to the Ministry of Education in early April 2002. It indicates the priorities for Pasifika ECE research distilled from a scan of relevant literature and consultation with a range of officials and interested parties in the community. Part C is the work of Dr Susan Foster-Cohen and focuses on issues related to bilingual and immersion education for young children.

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