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Anticipating how Pasifika parents think . . . what can we ask them?

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Started by Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu 05 Nov 2014 12:28pm () Replies (6)

Often in parent teacher evenings, we think about discussing a child's progress with the parent.

I remember when I was a student, my parents were only concerned with my behaviour at school.  The perception back then was that as long as I behaved well in class and I was respectful to my teachers, there was no cause for concern.  My parents relied on my older siblings who were also in school, to talk me through anything (i.e. reading my books for homework) and 

As teachers - do you think it would be a useful exercise to have some prepared questions on hand to share with parents, so that they can consider what types of information that they're entitled to know about their child's learning and achievement in your classroom?

Some great examples for questions that Pasifika parents could ask teachers at parent evenings:

1. How does my child learn best in your class?

2. What are some of the challenges that my child has faced learning in your class?

3. Would you like to know how my child learns at home? 

4. Can you give me practical suggestions for the type of support that I can offer as a parent?

Pasifika parents need to be able to have the right questions to ask, because they might find it difficult to ask questions.  2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Pasifika parents would have a higher level of confidence to ask questions having gone through the education system in Aotearoa themselves - but in saying that, we must be mindful about forearming Pasifika parents and parents of Pasifika learners, because 

1) they might have had negative schooling experiences themselves and 

2) they're not aware of how much input they can have as parents within the schooling system.

Please share your thoughts!


  • Phoebe Fabricius (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2014 10:54am ()

    I have found this, but this was MPIA's work

    http://www.mpia.govt.nz/pacific-achievers-2/ which I have used.


  • Togi Lemanu (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2014 10:53am ()

    Talanoa Ako - this is the ministry site and they had the last edition where it had parents talking about being involved in the PowerUp initiative and how it had helped them support their children's learning.  I had a quick look at they have not put up the latest edition. Even if you google PowerUP you might find some stories there.


  • Phoebe Fabricius (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2014 10:44am ()

    Togi can you give me the powerup page as I get nothing about parent stories


  • Togi Lemanu (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2014 10:40am ()

    Talofa lava

    Some really great suggestions here.  Another way of supporting your Pasifika parents is going through the PowerUp online page.  There are some good tips to working with Pasifika parents, families and communities.  There are stories from Pasifika parents that you could share as exemplars when discussing with your teachers and parents.  

  • Phoebe Fabricius (View all users posts) 05 Nov 2014 8:18pm ()

    Hi Manu

    You're so right, we need to have these discussions with our parents, giving them a voice.  I have started my Light the Fire group here in Wellington and we're going to discuss ways to inform parents about being comfortable to ask us the difficult questions, especially when they want the same as any parent for their children, and that is to be a successful member of society.

    How about a question like - what can I do to help you understand what I do to help your child learn in class? 

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Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

Shifting the minds of our Pasifika parents

We look forward to hearing from you about any burning questions that you have so we can work together in order to raise the achievement of our Pasifika learners