Tapasā: Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pacific learners


Early Learning services were invited to participate in a Ministry of Education funded (SELO) professional learning and development (PLD) opportunity with Kaitakawaenga/Facilitators from Tātai Angitū, Massey University. This opportunity was aimed to support teachers to improve their teaching and learning practices by engaging with theories of effective practice drawn from Tapasā: Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pacific learners. The entire PLD was to be carried out through a blend of in-centre visits, regional cluster hui and Google classroom online support.

Key Outcomes

Tātai Angitu will support teachers, kaiako and/or educators to improve their teaching practices, so that they can confidently:
● demonstrate awareness of the diverse and ethnic-specific identities, languages and cultures of Pacific learners;
● establish and maintain collaborative and respectful relationships and professional behaviours that enhance learning and wellbeing for Pacific learners;
● implement pedagogical approaches that are effective for Pacific learners.

Delivery Modes

Blended delivery model, including cluster hui, individual early learning centre visits, professional growth sessions via Zoom.

Shifts in Practice

Assisting in teacher reflection – for teachers to understand their own distinctiveness, identity, and culture in deep and meaningful ways to genuinely engage and respond to the distinctive identities, languages, and cultures of learners. It is also to understand one’s own biases, prejudices, and actions of privileging.

Understanding culturally appropriate pedagogy – for teachers to understand the importance of the connection between culturally appropriate pedagogy for Pacific learners, local curriculum, community engagement and Tapasā. 

Creating relationships with learners and whānau – for understanding their cultural knowledge, languages, and experiences.

Offering practical suggestions – in the classroom environment that visually show the connection between culture, language and identity and environments, eg ideas around the creation of murals, cultural gardens, stories/ narratives, with an emphasis on integration of Pacific culture, language and identity.

Inquiry Focus – supporting teachers in their Inquiry Focus/Internal Evaluations which would include aspects of Tapasā.

Connection to Tapasā – providing strategies for inclusion of Tapasā in the annual, strategic and governance documentation of early learning centres.