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Effective teaching for Pacific students

This resource contains a series of videos to support effective teacher practice of Pacific learners. 

Two ākonga seated and working together in a classroom.


  • AudienceTeachers
  • Resource LanguageEnglish

About this resource

Family, community, culture, and collaboration are the essence of Pacific learners. This resource provides information and videos to support effective teaching for Pacific students. 


Effective teaching for Pacific students 

Know your learners 

Effective teaching for Pacific students begins with the learner. Pacific students often respond positively to teachers who take time to get to know them and make an effort to find out their interests. Pacific learners value relationships and often believe that if they can relate to the teacher, they can relate to the learning. 

Effective schools have processes of inquiry that are linked across all school systems and practices. These work together to focus on raising Pacific students’ achievement. 

Each student is unique 

David Faavae explains that within the changing Tongan culture, Tongan boys can be very different, each requiring a different approach when working with them as teachers. 

Know your students  

Jim Halafihi, ICT teacher at Papatoetoe High School, explains how establishing a positive rapport with your Pacific students provides a good starting point for knowing your students. When a teacher knows their students, they are in a better position to respond more appropriately to their needs. 

Strong student connections  

Melaine Sagala, TIC Samoan Language teacher at Avondale College, discusses the benefits of strong student connections for their learning. She also discusses a model for connection that has worked for her in the past.