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Developing Culturally Sensitive Presentations

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Started by Vanessa White 22 Feb 2014 11:50am () Replies (6)

Hi all,

I am in the process of developing a slideshow to be playing at a Pasifika evening this coming week, for the purposes of engaging with the community about gifted education at a local high school. I am also putting together questionnaires and information hand-outs that people can choose to take home. I want to ensure that what I produce is appropriate and as inclusive as possible and would like to do this before this material is seen by anyone else, even for the purposes of checking. 


My quandaries are:

1. For my questionnaire pertaining to identifying values within the community around perceptions of giftedness should I:

  • Create a very general questionnaire based on research around Pasifika conceptions of giftedness?
  • Create multiple questionnaires so that where there has been research conducted I can be more specific in my questions for certain groups, such as Samoan, Tonga etc.?
  • Create one questionnaire for all as in the first suggestion, but make it more comprehensive by entwining the more specific characteristics and values as highlighted through research carried out with specific Pasifika groups?

2. My second question relates to the use of language, music and imagery. I want to include images, music and languages as I believe that this is culturally responsive. However, while I want to be inclusive, I most certainly do not want to offend or exclude anyone. How am I best to approach what I include and how I present these sorts of things, for example as part of an information slideshow? In addition to this, how do I know, for example, with music for the background to the slide, what language a piece of music is in, what is being sung and whether it is culturally appropriate, not just for those who understand the language and relate to the culture from which the song comes, but all Pasifika peoples?? 

Unfortunately I am only visiting the school and as such do not have relationships built which would allow me to ask such questions within the context of the school community, or I would be asking there. Hopefully there might be someone here who has some words of wisdom for me. :) 





  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 22 Feb 2014 12:12pm ()

    Malo lava Ness,

    Speaking from personal experience working in schools collecting data for my Master's research on Pasifika giftedness, the main thing for me is being able articulate clearly to parents what giftedness means and how you want to convey the message.

    There is the danger of trying to do too much in one sitting and especially if you haven't really had a chance to check with the community how they perceive giftedness - then it might be a bit overwhelming or challenging to bridge the divide in one session.

    However in saying that - keep it simple.

    I would use scenarios of the research that shows how different Pasifika nations view giftedness and how the parents were involved in nurturing those gifts into talents.

    How long is the presentation?

    I would highlight a couple of key findings before allowing them discussion time to explore what you share. Facilitating a discussion is more conducive than a lecture where they wouldn't feel a part of the learning process with you.

    Just some initial thoughts for now - but gees how exciting is this opportunity for you and the school?!

    I would say to them - this is only the beginning - see if you can get back in there to develop school-specific identifiers for giftedness.  Generic survey with general characteristics is best - start wide then narrow down. The parents can drill down and refine what those general characteristics can look like for the disaggregated Pasifika groups.

    The key with developing culturally sensitive presentations is being intuitive and letting the audience guide the presentation - checking at some points whether they agree or disagree before moving on with the content. I would also emphasise that it is important to explore Pasifika giftedness as only our communities can develop how and what the criteria looks like in our own contexts - then bring that into school.

    Keep in touch - love your work Ness :-)

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 22 Feb 2014 12:26pm ()

    In terms of question 2:

    Can you specify what songs or music that you will be using? If you don't have access to the translation od the songs, personally i wouldn't use it. If you have access to people who can recommend appraise songs that would be good - otherwise the safe bet would be to use national anthems (you cant't offend someone's sense of national pride!).

    I would also take a thematic approach to the music where possible and use it to illustrate the points I am making in the presentation. Children's songs can be good examples to use too - they would be safe.

    Chat again soon :-)

  • Vanessa White (View all users posts) 22 Feb 2014 3:09pm ()

    Oh gee, thanks Manu! You rock! I am going to go and reflect on all you have said, and will be back again. Any chance you might consider looking over what I put together? I know thats a big ask, so no worries if haven't the time or inclination! I am going to keep it simple as you suggest. Plus, it won't be very long as we only have a short time slot with each group coming through.

    Thank you again!! And I hope you get to have some enjoyable personal time over the weekend and are not just working. :)

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 22 Feb 2014 6:02pm ()

    Malo lava Ness,

    No problem - I would love to see what you put together Laughing

    I'm working on connecting my Master's research with my PhD studies this year.  The problem is that I'm interested in so many areas but need to sort out the discourse first. 

    Keep in touch and this is what this forum is for - testing your ideas, sharing your quandaries and offering each other support Laughing

    p.s. More work over this weekend :-( but hey I enjoy it and it informs my thinking and practice so that's the main thing Cool

  • Vanessa White (View all users posts) 25 Feb 2014 6:54pm ()

    Malo lava Manu. I hope you got some down time over the weekend, but that you enjoyed your work. Good on you getting your doctorate underway. I hope you manage to refine your topic down to something that you are really passionate about. Great to have lots of areas of interst but it can make things tricky at times too!

    I finally managed to get all my documents completed - fairly last minute I know, but we got there in the end. If you are still interested in having a look I would value your feedback. I will email them through to you. Hope thats ok. :)

    Fa'afetai tele!

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Gifted Pasifika Education

Gifted Pasifika Education

Choosing to view Pasifika as gifted students, seeing their cultural strengths and using their strengths to transition into academic success in the classroom