Launch of Tapasā to help teachers work better with Pacific learners

Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa has today launched a cultural competency tool for teachers working with Pacific learners at Otahuhu Primary School in South Auckland.

“We heard the need for more support for teachers working with Pacific learners and I am pleased that Tapasā is now in action,” says Jenny Salesa.

Tapasā is a teaching resource for early learning and school teachers that was developed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with a Pacific Experts Panel. It aims to better support Pacific learners and enable teachers to have a better understanding of their world.

“Tapasā will build teachers’ confidence in engaging with Pacific learners, as well as their parents, families and communities. Through Tapasā we want to help make the biggest difference in a child’s educational success,” says Jenny Salesa.

“Tapasā is designed primarily to support non-Pacific leaders, teachers and boards to engage with Pacific learners in culturally responsive ways.

“It contains a variety of helpful information such as case studies of successful teaching practices and practical ideas that teachers can use to incorporate Pacific perspectives into their teaching practices.”

Work on an implementation plan is due to start soon to support the rollout of Tapasā. The Education Council will lead this work in collaboration with expert teachers and leaders that form the Tapasā Expert Teacher Group.

“The Expert Teacher Group will work with the Education Council to ensure the concepts and best practices outlined in Tapasā are effectively communicated and used to inform teaching practices,” says Jenny Salesa.

“I encourage all leaders and teachers to use this tool alongside other resources to support Pacific learners.

“Tapasā is fundamental to achieving a culturally responsive education system with the aim of ensuring all New Zealand’s children and young people have access to excellent education.”

You can access a copy of Tapasā using the link below:

Notes to editors

Members of the Pacific Experts Panel

The following education experts provided input to the development of Tapasā:

  • Jason Swann, Principal, Otahuhu Primary School
  • Tagaloatele Professor Margaret (Peggy) Fairbarin-Dunlop, Foundation Professor Pacific Studies, Auckland University of Technology
  • Dr Timote Vaioleti, Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato

The Tapasā Expert Teacher Group

The Education Council, as the professional body for teachers, will lead the implementation of Tapasā. A group of expert teachers and leaders will form the Tapasā Expert Teacher Group and collaborate with the Education Council to:

  •       Consider what might be needed to make a cohesive suite of professional learning resources to give life to Tapasā
  •       Develop strategies for socialising the framework in a way that is engaging, meaningful and digestible
  •       Look at how Tapasā can be embedded into Our Code, Our Standards, and inform teaching practice and appraisal processes.