Manumalo: a study of factors which facilitate success for New Zealand-born Samoan students at university

Penn, Rosemarie
Jenkin, Christine
Utumapu-McBride, Tafili
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Master of Education
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis is about factors which aid and hinder successful completions for New Zealand-born Samoans. The thesis explores the proposition that educational marginalisation of minority students will be perpetuated until AUT adopts policies and procedures which enable culturally responsive educational pedagogies and practices which honour indigenous minorities. The thesis asked New Zealand-born Samoan students, what is the nature of their aiga (family) and cultural support frameworks (structures), and, further, to what extent and how and why do these students engage with such networks (processes)? This study used a qualitative approach within which six New Zealand-born Samoan students were interviewed using a semi-structured approach to gathering data. The interview data were transcribed and a thematic analysis was manually completed both within and across the six cases. The turnaround time in gaining ethics approval impacted upon the capacity of the investigator to conduct this research in what she considered to be a culturally appropriate manner and the cautious vigilance of the final ethics committee approval was perceived as a barrier to making culturally appropriate contact. It was discovered that Samoan structures, especially family, are paramount in supporting educational success because of the Fa’a Samoa processes which they engender. A further discovery was that New Zealand-born Samoans retain cultural affiliations so their lifestyle shows deep regard for Fa’a Samoa identity. Through these affiliations, meaningful life metaphors become applied. It was concluded that transforming staff so that they understand Pasifika peoples is crucial to growing Pasifika educational success. Staff development must, therefore, be planned so that meaningful understandings of Pasifika concepts and frameworks become nurtured and that is a challenge which AUT must embrace and action.

New Zealand-born , Tertiary education
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