Culturally responsive pedagogy

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Title slide: Culturally responsive pedagogy

Meleheta Perez, Teacher, Matiti Akoga Kamata, Naenae, facing camera

Together we incorporate Te Whāriki along with our ‘inati’ values to guide our curriculum every day. We have six core values of our ‘inati’.

Images and posters depicting inati on the wall of the centre

We have our ‘o la hokotaga’ which is Relationship. ‘o la kaho kata Kilihitiano’: Christianity. We have our ‘o la fakaaloalo’: Respect. ‘o la laututuha’: Equity. Contribution: ‘o la whakahoa’, Contribution and ‘o la alowha’ that's Compassionate.

Looking at these core values of inati to me, that those are the six core values that signifies everything about me as a Tokelau.

‘O la whakahoa’, that’s Contribution. As a teacher, we contribute our knowledge and the curriculum in the learning, about the curriculum. That's our contribution to our tamariki. And so if we do involve our community and whānau and parents. When they come in and contribute their knowledge as Tokelauans or as Māori, and as Samoan, Tongans; that’s their contribution to our, you know, to the learning of the child.

Teachers and children interacting in the centre

For alowha, that's also part of our Christian values is alowha, we shall love every day. You know and that's one of the major things about us Tokelauans and Pacific and maybe everyone. You know alowha is a natural thing that just makes you feel the way you are.

I think for Equity it's very important that we distribute our learning and be equal you know, teaching to everyone regardless of your ethnicity or your religion, background. And pretty much equal teaching within our centre. And also in the way that we acknowledge our tamariki, our different ethnicity.

Their cultural week celebration we do celebrate with them. And we do a lot of, we invite our Māori parents, our Samoan parents or Tongan parents even, and Vietnamese and Africans to be part of those special days when they have those celebrations. ’Hokotaga’: that Relationship; very important that we have that strong relationship with our whānau, our parents especially, and our community. That's our backbone.

This video is about culturally responsive pedagogy. The Tokelauan teacher in the video shares how they use the Pacific values to guide the curriculum in her early childhood setting. Core Pacific values also guide responsive pedagogy through cultural relationships that include families and communities and connect their learners to the school environment. Rooted in culture and spiritual principles, culturally responsive pedagogy aims to link content to practice.

Relevant turu
  • Turu 3

Reflections for individual teachers

Culturally responsive pedagogy is grounded in cultural relationships.

  • Think of conversations you have had about your own culturally responsive practices? Have they helped you reflect on your perspectives and biases?
  • Being culturally responsive encourages learners to feel a sense of belonging and helps create a safe space where they feel respected, heard, and challenged. How are you responding to the diverse needs of your learners?
  • As you prepare and deliver lessons, what can you do to ensure that your classroom is a culturally responsive setting? Think about how you can gain insights about your learners in a culturally responsive way and how to uncover their learning needs.
  • How can you encourage your learners to devise a cultural education campaign that champions their favourite cause, and give them the opportunity to present their project to class and discuss the role culture plays in societal change?


Reflections for staff or departments

  • Do you have a Pacific plan for your school? If yes, how is the plan encouraging Pacific parents to participate in decision making and shaping the future direction of your school? If no, is your school planning to create a Pacific plan in partnership with parents?
  • Think about how your school includes Pacific cultural references in all aspects of reshaping the curriculum. How has your school acknowledged Pacific voices?
  • Does your school deliver different forms of content? For example, could your school invite guest speakers/ role models to share cultural and historical knowledge to capture student interest? This could help your staff who are struggling to engage with Pacific learners, and is more effective than lessons or storytelling.