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Akoaga: efficacy, agency, achievement and success in the tertiary sector focus on students and parents from pasifika communities

Marat, Deepa and Evangelia, Papoutsaki and Savae, Latu and Linda, Aumua and Malia , Talakai and Kang, Sun Akoaga: efficacy, agency, achievement and success in the tertiary sector focus on students and parents from pasifika communities. Unitec ePress, New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-473-20492-1

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“Success in Tongan terms is all about Tongan notions of agency; it is about making one's way in the world, giving, taking, and above all, being an affective human being” (Evans, 2001, p. 161). This research project is situated in Unitec Institute of Technology, a tertiary institution in New Zealand catering to the needs of a large and diverse student population enrolled in courses ranging from certificate level to doctoral programmes. The institution has its main campus in the suburb of Mount Albert in Auckland and satellite campuses in Waitakere and North Shore districts. For the present research we focused on students from Mount Albert and Waitakere campuses. Annual summative evaluations of achievement of students reveal ethnicity based disparities in the rate of success and retention of undergraduate students, with Pasifika students positioned in the lower levels as compared to mainstream and Maori students in both Unitec campuses. In this research project, the reasons underpinning this disparity is assessed from the context of efficacy and agency of students, two constructs which correlate with academic achievement. Led by a research design famed by Kaupapa Maori, Pasifika, mainstream methodologies and ancient philosophies, the findings are reported mainly from the perspective of student and parent participants from Pasifika communities. The central aim of the research was to unravel some of the challenges faced by participants from the Pasifika community which precluded optimal achievement. Students from indigenous, Pacific, mainstream and diverse ethnic orientations were invited to participate. Pasifika parents with teenagers enrolled in secondary schools or/ and with children in the tertiary sector were also invited to participate in focus groups to share their perspectives on higher education, and how they coped with emerging challenges. Unitec’s Pacific Centre for Learning, Teaching & Research approved Tertiary Education Commission funding for this research project. A mixed-methods approach was used to assess self-efficacy, agency, and student perceptions of success. Findings reveal students reporting high levels of efficacy, their level of agency and perception of success are collective in nature, with a sense of responsibility towards oneself and one’s family acting as agentic forces to succeed in the tertiary sector. Students also expressed intent to setting goals, using learning strategies, taking responsibility for their learning and attaining their goals. The findings also capture the critical role of family, teachers, support staff, and peers in student achievement and success in a bicultural and multi-cultural tertiary education context.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Land Management and Development
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 28 May 2014 02:01
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 02:01

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