A strength-based approach to develop Pāsifika students' cultural identites and mathematical dispositions : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Psychology at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
This study examines cultural identity and mathematical disposition development
of Pāsifika students aged 11-13 years from a strengths-based perspective. It
builds on previous work that advocates for culturally responsive mathematics
teaching in collaborative learning environments built around Pāsifika values.
Current research also urges pedagogical actions of promoting students’ use of
home languages and connecting students’ “lived” lives to the mathematics
classroom. These teaching practices have been described to affirm student
identities as well as foster stronger relationships with mathematics.
A case study approach utilizing qualitative design from a socio-cultural
perspective was implemented. Data was collected through group interviews with
students and individual interviews with students and teachers. The Year 8
students and their teachers within the study were from two urban Auckland
schools that have participated in professional development and learning
opportunities focused on culturally responsive inquiry classrooms. Coded
analysis of interview transcripts was used to uncover the perspectives of
students and teachers and formulated the findings of this research.
Findings revealed that home language use, connecting cultural contexts to the
mathematics class, drawing on Pāsifika values to promote mathematical
practices and social norms, and the role of the responsive and caring teacher
validated students’ cultural identities and supported the development of positive
mathematical dispositions. The findings provide insights into how culturally
responsive mathematics teaching can draw upon the cultural languages and
values of Pāsifika students to affirm their identities and mathematical