Teaching practices that support high achievement in the education of Pacific boys

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Evans, Brian
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Unitec Institute of Technology
Miller, Melanie
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand secondary education
achievement in school
male students
Pasifika Islanders
Pasifika students
Pasifika academic achievement
New Zealand
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Evans, B. (2011). Teaching practices that support high achievement in the education of Pacific boys. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Management and Leadership, Unitec Institute of Technology.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1: What teaching practices and strategies do Pacific boys best respond to? 2: What factors within the classroom hinder or enhance good teaching and learning practices? 3: How can schools best facilitate more effective teaching practices? This study explored the most effective methods of supporting Pacific boys in their secondary education and investigated what teaching practices lead to success. The research specifically sought to identify what causes achievement in the classroom, as opposed to why Pacific boys might be failing in comparison to other groups. A qualitative methodology was employed for this research, focusing on one New Zealand secondary school. The primary sources of data were a student questionnaire and focus group interview, and interviews with three highly successful teachers of Pacific boys. This methodology was appropriate for this research, as while there is much research around the education experiences of Maori and Pacific students there is limited data available specifically around Pacific boys as a group. The major findings from this study indicate that there are a number of pedagogical practices that successful teachers of Pacific boys use that have led to high achievement. Although these teaching practices are not exclusive to the teaching of Pacific boys, they do form an important part of educational strategy that has led to an improvement in learning outcomes of Pacific boys. The main themes established in these findings were focused on the following practices: creating a positive learning environment; establishing explicit learning intentions; thorough planning and feedback; setting high expectations; regular contact with home; and teaching with a positive attitude. The findings imply that these practices, the establishment of good classroom relationships with students and recognition of cultural diversity, could lead to levels of achievement for Pacific boys that match that of any other ethnic group.
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