Pasifika teachers in secondary education: Issues, possibilities and strategies

Funding year: 
1 year
University of Waikato
School sector
Project start date: 
January 2005
Project end date: 
January 2006
Principal investigator(s): 
Tony Brown
Research team members: 
Nesta Devine and Emilie Sila’ila’i University of Waikato
Research partners: 
Elsie Leslie, Hamilton Boys High School; Margaret Paiti, Pasifika Liason Officer, MOE; Sandra Umaki, Forest View High School; Jay Williams, Gisborne Boys High School

Project Description

The study outlined the characteristics that Pasifika people assign to themselves and how these are challenged within educational  contexts and at interfaces with other New Zealand cultures. It examined how schools assist and resist the accommodation of new Pasifika teachers. It surveyed the rationales for building Pasifika representation within the teaching force and how they shape the expectations and experience of new Pasifika teachers. Through examining how notions of Pasifika cultural identity for individuals are held in place between community ties, genealogical roots, and oral histories, the study asked how such identities might be seen as reaching out to possible futures within the context of mainstream secondary education within New Zealand. In the light of the analysis, the study examined how future priorities might be formulated and offers preliminary advice on how and where future initiatives might be targeted to bring more Pasifika teachers into the profession and to improve the retention of these teachers.