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Juliet Boon-Nanai, Vaoiva Ponton, Ailsa Haxell, Ali Rasheed


Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand


Traditionally, education environments are Eurocentric. They have reinforced “pedagogy of the oppressed” where Western knowledge is reflected in the university curriculum and ways of learning and teaching. Factors influencing success in learning remain an area of strong interest particularly in regard to non-traditional students in learning and teaching settings. This study explores the strategies undertaken by first, second, and third generation Pacific/Pasifika students to overcome challenges whilst studying and utilizing services provided by staff in the Pasifika Learning Village at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. The study adopted a mixed method approach that was adapted by integrating a Pasifika method of talanoa to understand their experiences so that their voices and stories on how they made it through a tertiary environment are heard and valued. Through Pacific/Pasifika lens, a cultural analysis of Pacific/Pasifika students’ knowledge, values, and beliefs highlighted that supplementary cultural spaces, Pacific/Pasifika staff support, and valuing and acknowledging the social space relationships are imperative factors empowering them to succeed in a New Zealand tertiary setting. This paper argues that cultural pedagogies integrated into mainstream revealed successes that warrant recognition as they have demonstrated that traditional models within contemporary settings empower and enhance Pacific/Pasifika students’ success.


Cultural lens, learning village, Pacific/Pasifika, talanoa, tertiary education

Cite this paper

Sociology Study, June 2017, Vol. 7, No. 6, 293-314


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