Classroom Teachers' Perceptions on the Role of Non-verbal Communication When Teaching Mathematics to Pasifika Children

Mauheni, Gaylene
Ka'ai, Tania
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Master of Education
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Auckland University of Technology

This study critically examines classroom teachers' perceptions of the use of non-verbal communication (NVC) by their Pasifika students during the teaching and learning of mathematics. Seven Year 5/6 classroom teachers from the primary school sector participated in this study. They were asked to discuss and reflect on what NVC meant to them when teaching mathematics to Pasifika children, while considering a raft of questions.

How classroom teachers incorporated NVC into their teaching and the benefits for Pasifika children will be discussed. The shared insights of the participants will form the substance of this research and the data obtained through: one-on-one interviews; observations and discussions by the participants of video clips after observing a teacher and his students during the teaching and learning of mathematics; and their reflective diaries.

This research contributes to increasing the effectiveness of teaching and learning experiences and outcomes for Pasifika children in the learning of mathematics in New Zealand primary schools. By working with teachers in a New Zealand context who teach in a school with a high percentage of Pasifika children in mainstream education settings, this research provides, through this collective research effort, some key benefits for Pasifika children and teachers engaged in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

non-verbal communication , mathematics , Pasifika children , teacher reflections
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