Teu Le Va: Relationships across research and policy in Pasifika education

Publication Details

Teu le va is a tool primarily for educational researchers, to help them plan and implement research that contributes to the development of effective policy and practice in respect of Pasifika students in our schools.

Teu le va emphasises a number of principles or practices, including the need for: researchers to directly involve Pasifika learners, their families, and communities, and teachers as practitioners, in the development of research proposals or plans; ongoing collaboration between researchers and policy-makers; collaboration among researchers from different organisations and groups in order to build a sound knowledge base; ensuring that any research undertaken is relevant for a range of audiences (eg, parents, communities, teachers, policy-makers); all research, development and policy-making in Pasifika education to have a firm focus on student success: realising potential and identifying opportunities.

Author(s): Airini, Melani Anae and Karlo Mila-Schaaf with Eve Coxon, Diane Mara & Kabini Sanga

Date Published: July 2010

Section 6: Action

Teu le va - the approach, and its philosophical and methodological base - must be incorporated in future relationships across research and policy in Pasifika education. In saying this, there are a number of actions that need to occur for the necessary transformational change to address Pasifika education priorities. On the basis of previous research findings (Coxon et al, 2002) and proposals put forward by participants at the joint NZARE/Ministry of Education symposium Is Your Research Making a Difference to Pasifika Education?, held in November, 2007, possible actions include:

  • a meta-analysis focused on improved Pasifika education outcomes and what has happened since the original (2001) Pasifika Education Plan was implemented: What research and evaluation has been carried out? What educational policies have been developed? What is the extent to which policy has informed research and vice versa in the raising of Pasifika learner achievement? This should be assessed critically;
  • a stocktake and gaps analysis of Pasifika education research undertaken since the Coxon et al (2002) report, plus a compilation of research over the same period which is relevant to the goals and sub-goals of The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012, and other Pasifika educational priorities;
  • development of a strategic national research plan for Pasifika education research, to be based on the meta-analysis and the stock-take and gaps analysis, and collaboration between the research communities, government and other stakeholders;
  • forming an action group which is focused on relationships nationwide across research and policy, and developing and implementing a strategic plan aligned with The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012. This plan should include opportunities to explore and apply Teu le va in practice and should focus on the three overarching, interacting principles;
  • establishing a centre for excellence in Pasifika research and policy;
  • developing and putting into practice a nationwide plan for growth in talent, expertise and leadership in Pasifika education research and policy-making;
  • undertaking research to identify cases in which Pasifika education research has influenced policy and developing case studies of good practice;
  • professional development opportunities for Pasifika education researchers and policy-makers in: applying the Pasifika success focus across research and policy-making; how to teu le va to nurture the relationships across research and policy; and how to ensure research becomes evidence-based policy (see Boyd, 2007; Crewe and Young, 2002).
Table 4: Possible outcomes from enhanced research-policy links through the Teu le va approach  (Action areas to address Pasifika education priorities)
Action Area: A Pasifika success focus across research and policy-making
Goals: Research and policy outcomes we see in 5 years
Undertake a stocktake and gaps analysis of Pasifika education research relevant to the Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012 goals and sub-goals.
From the stocktake and gaps analysis develop a collaborative research plan nationwide among the research community, government and other stakeholders.
Research gaps in strategic Pasifika education research are identified; research is undertaken to address the gaps and evidence-based changes are made to policy to address goals in the Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012 and beyond.
   
There is an increased pool of research that is relevant to outcomes identified in the Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012, such as improved systems and practice.
Action Area: Apply Teu le va to collaborative relationships across research and policy-making
Goals: Research and policy outcomes we see in 5 years
Form an action group focused on relationships across research and policy, and develop and implement a strategic plan for research and policy collaboration that is aligned with the Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012.
   
Include opportunities in this strategic plan to explore and apply Teu le va in practice; there should be a focus on the three overarching, interacting principles throughout this process.
   
Develop and action a nationwide plan (eg, through establishing a centre for excellence) for bringing about growth in talent, expertise and leadership in Pasifika education research and policy-making. Ensure an overarching focus on achieving excellence in Pasifika research and policy.
Education researchers and policy-makers working together.
   
Incorporation of Pasifika knowledge and engagement of Pasifika peoples in education research and policy.
   
A shared research and policy agenda aligned with the Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012.
   
From 2013 onwards each new Pasifika Education Plan will be developed on the basis of a stocktake of current and previous Pasifika education research findings.
   
There will be high quality, relevant research and policy.
   
There will be more Pasifika education researchers and policy-makers.
Action Area: 'Translate' Research into Policy
Goals: Research and policy outcomes we see in 5 years
Undertake research to identify cases in which Pasifika education research has influenced policy; develop case studies of good practice.
   
Ensure professional development for Pasifika education researchers and policy-makers in: applying the Pasifika success focus across research and policy-making; how to teu le va to look at the relationships across research and policy; how to ensure that research leads to evidence-based policy (see Boyd, 2007; Crewe and Young, 2002).
Researchers producing sound, robust Pasifika education research, recognising and addressing the complexities of the Pacific demographics in New Zealand (eg, through use of appropriate methodologies/methods/epistemologies - refer Table 1 earlier in this document for more on this).
   
Researchers successfully linking research to policy.
   
Policy-makers successfully integrating Pasifika knowledge and research into policy.
   
Policy-makers having confidence in the potential of policies for transformation in Pasifika education outcomes.

Outcomes

The principles, relationship approach and actions in Teu le va provide further focus for The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012. The overarching intention is to bring about an acceleration in education success for and with Pasifika peoples.

As also outlined in Table 4, in relation to research and policy-making, the implementation of Teu le va will lead to the following outcomes in future years to address Pasifika education priorities:

  • more informed Pasifika education researchers and policy-makers;
  • increased capacity for Pasifika research and policy;
  • a shared research and policy agenda aligned with The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012;
  • high quality, relevant research and policy for improved education outcomes for Pasifika students;
  • gaps in strategic education research being identified, research undertaken to address the gaps, and evidence-informed changes made to policy to address goals in The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012 and beyond;
  • education researchers and policy-makers working together;
  • an increased pool of research that is relevant to outcomes identified in The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012, such as improved systems and practice;
  • engagement of Pasifika peoples and communities of knowledge in education research and policy;
  • policy-makers successfully integrating Pasifika knowledge and research into policy and the focus of and within policy-making processes becoming longer-term;
  • policy-makers having confidence in the potential of policies for transformation in Pasifika education outcomes;
  • researchers successfully linking research to policy;
  • future Pasifika education planning that is informed by research evidence (see Goal 10 of The Pasifika Education Plan 2009-2012).

Two case studies of the principles and practices described in Teu le va are provided in Appendix five. The cases illustrate ways in which research and policy might work better together for improved Pasifika education outcomes.

Footnotes

  1. As noted earlier, contributions from participants at this symposium were integral to the development of the present document.
  2. Although the Teu le va approach focuses on research it can be applied in monitoring and evaluation roles as well.

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