Talanoa: a contribution to the teaching and learning of Tongan Primary School children in New Zealand

Latu, Makelesi
Manu'atu, Linita
Russo, Mary
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Master of Education
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Auckland University of Technology

Tongan migrants migrated to New Zealand with specific purposes in mind. One purpose is for Tongan children to gain the benefits of good education that New Zealand has to offer. However, there is a growing concern for Tongan parents and New Zealand teachers and schools about the quality and impact of education Tongan children receive. The study is titled, “Talanoa: A contribution to the teaching and learning of Tongan Primary School children in New Zealand” centres on Tongan parents who are recent migrants from Tonga and have primary school children. The research focuses on alternative approach in teaching and learning pedagogies of Tongan children in New Zealand. The research approach is drawn from Tongan language and cultural practices called talanoa, a communal act of social, political and critical dialogue for a purpose. The methodology is qualitative in design, drawing extensively from Tongan language and culture to research the koloa (values) of talanoa that Tongan parents practise at home. The method of data collection employed is talanoa (critical dialogue) conducted in groups with Tongan parents to capture their perceptions, views and experiences of talanoa in their various homes. In examining this unique context, data is analysed using the Tongan concept koloa. The values of talanoa when explored from the participant’s perspective are more clearly understood. The findings of the study indicate that Tongan migrants’ home practice of talanoa offers a teaching and learning pedagogy which is valued as a best approach in teaching their children. The findings further indicate that talanoa can be extended beyond the homes and into many classroom environments.

Talanoa , Koloa , Tongan Primary School children in New Zealand
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