Woodhill Park Retreat - http://www.woodhillpark.com
Involving Aiga in achieving successful educational outcomes for Pasifika learners.
Dr Jens Hansen and Rose Penn
Rose Penn and Dr Jens Hansen have collaborated to ensure that the central importance of iaga (family) is clearly understood across all levels of education. 
By Dr Jens Hansen and Rose Penn
Published on 07/8/2010

My mother tells me I’m brilliant so why don’t you involve her at your centre?

Rose Penn, MIT
Dr. Jens J. Hansen, Woodhill Park Research Retreat 

In a thesis about factors which aid and hinder successful completions for New Zealand born Samoans, it was discovered that aiga/family is paramount in promoting educational success.  A further discovery was that New Zealand born Samoans retain cultural affiliations so that their lifestyle shows deep regard for Fa’a Samoan identity.  These affiliations are evident in relationships which are fundamentally vital for Samoan people.  They include kin and the wider Samoan community and each form highlights that aiga are the principal impetus to achieving educational success.  Educational frameworks must, therefore, embrace relationships with aiga/family because aiga are the cornerstone for Samoans.  Engaging with Early childhood educators to help them fully understand the role of relationship building transforms their appreciation of the value of aiga.  This means power must be shared within centres.  Staff development must, therefore, be designed and co-delivered by Samoans so that meaningful understandings of Samoan concepts and frameworks become nurtured.  Only when Early Childhood Education fully involve Samoan and Pasifika families in such processes will they be able to honour learners in culturally inclusive communities of practice. 



Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. New York: Cambridge University Press 

Click here to see the powerpoint presentation that accompanies this abstract.