Pacific Values Framework – Delivering for Pacific Learners and Contexts

The Pacific Values Framework (PVF) is a resource for all teachers of Pacific learners in NCEA. It is designed to support teachers build their capability to design programmes of learning that are inclusive and relevant to Pacific learners and contexts. It aims to support kaiako to develop local curriculum that incorporates Pacific knowledges, languages, cultures, and identities as inherently valuable to the teaching and learning of respective subjects.

The PVF was developed by the NCEA Pacific Panel in 2020 and intends to provide an anchor on which solutions and strategies can be developed that are reflective of Pacific communities and their aspirations in NCEA. This PVF is intended to complement existing resources such as Tapasā and offers further guidance with a focus on NCEA.

Central to the PVF is the ‘Kumete’ which is Tongan for kava bowl. The practice of sharing in kava is symbolic across the Pacific countries and can be seen as bringing the past into the future and binding them together. The PVF Kumete consists of five key values that characterise Pacific peoples and communities, demonstrated through their customs, practices, and ways of being. In the context of education, the Kumete could also provide a symbol of collective unity, ownership of and responsibility for Pacific learner success.

This Kumete also helps us to centre the needs of Pacific learners in our work. As is the view of Pacific cultures and communities, it is the children or young people that are seen as the future of families so therefore, their wellbeing, development, safety, prosperity, and dignity are concerns for the collectives in which they belong.

The values identified are not meant to be representative of the many values that are held within Pacific communities but rather highlight shared Pacific values as a starting point for discussions.

Pacific Values Framework

Pacific Values Framework

    In Samoan, Alofa means ‘love’. While love is a universal value and underpins much of what people do - in an education context, expressing Alofa also means maintaining high expectations of Pacific learners, their whānau and communities. It is critical that Pacific learners feel that they have a voice in how and what they learn and can participate in decisions which impact them.

    This means upholding the mana of the learner and understanding that teaching and learning should be reciprocal, acknowledging that the knowledges, experiences, skills, and values of Pacific learners, their whānau and communities are inherently valuable to their learning.

    In Hawaii, Kuleana is understood as ‘responsibility’. This value or concept implores us to think about both the individual, and collective responsibility to design programmes of learning in NCEA that are inclusive of Pacific learners and contexts.

    In turn, this will support Pacific learners to then pursue meaningful pathway that enable them to fulfil their own Kuleana to themselves, their whānau, peers, teachers, school, community and wider society.

    Vaka in many Pacific languages means ‘canoe’. The analogy of a Vaka highlights Pacific navigation and way-finding, and the innovation, creativity, and courage of Pacific peoples to determine their own pathways, journeys, and stories. This value encourages us to understand who and where we come from in order to inform how we move today to influence tomorrow.

    It is important to also understand the diverse stories of Pacific peoples and recognize that the diversity of cultures, languages, and identities also need to be reflected in our approaches to teaching and learning of Pacific learners and the many pathways that our young people may pursue.

    is widely understood across New Zealand Pacific communities as ‘Sharing, giving, creating, and navigating space’. speaks to relationships as being of the utmost importance to Pacific learners. Pacific peoples often connect with others “through our hearts before we connect through our heads” (Fitisemanu, 2015) points out. Looking after the is caring for the relationships in our classrooms and communities.

    When applied to teaching and learning, could be applied as a conduit for understanding the differences and similarities within and between individuals and/or groups, shared environments, history, genealogy, and responsibilities – to each other, our environments, families, communities, and ourselves

    In Tongan, Fonua, relates to land and people but traditionally, refers to the placenta as a symbol of birth and safety. As a concept, Fonua highlights the importance of belonging and connectedness to both the people and place of learning, as well as the learner’s own journey as a Pacific person.

    It is important to consider that for many Pacific learners, regardless of where they were raised, a sense of belonging and connectedness is critical to their education. For many Pacific learners, making meaningful connections to one’s culture, language, histories or land is critical in shaping a positive learning experience. Pacific learners should feel a sense of belonging and that they have “a place to stand” where they feel secure, safe, respected and accepted for who they are, where and who they come from, and what they bring.

    Pacific Values Framework - Resources

    PVF Workbook

    This resource workbook encourages kaiako to reflect on their positionality and identify opportunities to strengthen their course design so that it is inclusive of Pacific learners and contexts.

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    PVF Workbook

    Encourages kaiako to reflect on their positionality and identify opportunities to strengthen their course design
    Encourages kaiako to reflect on their positionality and identify opportunities to strengthen their course design

    PVF Learning Area Guides

    To support kaiako bringing Pacific values into their course design, a guide has been provided for each NZC Learning Area that makes connections to each value within the framework and offer examples of what this may look like in practice.

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    PVF Learning Area Guides

    To support kaiako to bring Pacific values into their programme design.
    To support kaiako to bring Pacific values into their programme design.

    PVF Facilitation Guide

    This resource provides high-level guidance to support school staff or subject departments in their planning and designing of teaching and learning.

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    PVF Facilitation Guide

    High-level guidance to support school staff or subject departments in their planning and designing of teaching and learning
    High-level guidance to support school staff or subject departments in their planning and designing of teaching and learning

    Introduction to the Pacific Values Framework

    Pacific Values in Practice

    Pacific experts unpack each value in depth by presenting examples of what they look like within the classroom, and how they have meaningfully woven Pacific knowledges, cultures, languages, identities and contexts into their course design and practice.

    Alofa

    AlofaTeaching with ALOFA means to uphold the deep dignity in each and every learner. It means to teach with understanding and respect for learners, their families and communities, as well as inherently valuing and including Pacific identities, languages and cultures in what and how they teach.

    Kuleana

    KuleanaTeachers who understand the importance of KULEANA will work to instill a sense of individual and collective responsibility in their learners. This responsibility will extend to learners, their families, communities and environments – both in Aotearoa NZ and at home in the Pacific. Teachers will encourage a sense of humility in their learners, aligned to Pacific leadership and service.

    Fonua

    FonuaTeachers who understand the importance of FONUA will hold the different indigenous knowledges of the Pacific at the center of their curriculum and pedagogy. They will create multiple and diverse opportunities for their learners to make connections to their mind, body, soul and environment, as well as land, culture, and identity. They will create spaces where students feel that they belong and are connected to the teacher, school, learning and each other.

    VaTeachers who nurture the VĀ in their classrooms understand that relationships are of the utmost importance to Pacific learners. Teachers will foster understanding of the vā with and amongst their learners. They will work hard to care for the relationships in their classrooms and communities.

    Vaka

    VakaTeachers who understand the importance of VAKA are able to see, appreciate and build the inherent strengths of their Pacific learners.

    They will see their students as master navigators and wayfinders, with collective courage and the ability to dream big and work hard. They will foster high expectation and high relationship in their classroom, where every learner has a place and a role that serves the classroom community as a whole.