Date of Award

10-2012

Embargo Period

11-21-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BA/BTch (Hons)

Faculty

Education & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Phil Fitzsimmons

Second Advisor

Edie Lanphar

Abstract

This qualitative case study aimed to investigate why Pasifika students at one school in New Zealand were exhibiting higher levels of achievement than students in schools nationally were on average. The research was conducted through a variety of data collection methods – interviews, questionnaires, documents, observations and journals. The interviews were conducted with three staff members and three students – two current students and one past student and formed the base for the data collection process. The questionnaire was distributed to the general population of Pasifika students while the observations and journaling formed part of the ‘teacheras- researcher’ aspects of the research. The underlying reason found for the academic achievement of the Pasifika students appeared to be the authentic relationships formed in the school. These relationships extended throughout the school and included the student-teacher, student-student, student-school, student-family and student-self relationships. The small size of the school, the boarding department and the Christian ethos of the school drove these relationships to thrive within the school context. In turn, these relationships based on qualities such as acceptance, belief in each other, care and understanding enable students to belong, be who they are and become more.

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