Pasefika Secondary School Pastoral Deans’ Narratives of Working With Pasefika Students Who Have Church Commitments

Filipo, Safotu Penisione Junior
Youngs, Howard
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Master of Educational Leadership
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Auckland University of Technology

Secondary school students have various commitments outside of school that gives them the value of commitment and it helps them understand and self-identify what is important to them. With students and commitments, I analyse this topic from the perspective of Pasefika school pastoral leadership. The aim of this research topic is about understanding Pasefika secondary school deans’ narratives of working with Pasefika students with church commitments. What emerged in the literature is that there are pockets of qualitative data from national reports and academic journals that church was and still is a major commitment for our Pasefika families. Being part of a church irrespective of denomination resembles to our first and second generation families, their connection to their villages back home. A dean’s perspective in secondary school education is able to see and experience what the current generation of Pasefika students are going through with regards to their commitment and dilemmas between church and their school. Understanding what they are going through is also due to Deans’ own lived experiences of these commitment dilemmas when they were students. The talanoa research methodology and methods was used to investigate this research topic. The main finding that emerged is that the participants faced similar dilemmas to how the deans were brought up and those lived experiences have assisted them in how deans apply mentoring and advice to the students they currently serve in their formal space as pastoral leaders of the school. The major conclusion is that the key to helping students with these dilemmas is through understanding what they have gone through and then help them deal with these tensions in an honest and positive way they can share with their families. To do this it is important to build a positive relationship of trust and understanding for students with these commitment tensions in these pastoral middle leader roles.

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