Walking between worlds: Critical reflections on navigating and negotiating change for Pacific within secondary schools in Aotearoa
Schools in Aotearoa New Zealand often find it challenging to align Pacific value systems with their own forms of leadership and culture. The education system is being asked to shift its practice when it comes to Pacific learners, families and communities, including the Pacific teaching workforce. This paper aims to offer reflections from two Pacific education leaders who have recently left their schools and are currently working in different areas of the education sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. Specifically, it seeks to outline our experiences, while offering thoughts derived from Pacific epistemologies. Challenging and disrupting the western model that is currently the foundation of how schools operate in this country is critical, particularly as we work to support Pacific teachers and students. As two Cook Islands teachers and researchers located in Waitaha, Canterbury, we have sought to live these shifts in our contexts, focusing on building teacher capacity and changing approaches within the pastoral care system.
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