"The experience is the outcome" : a journey for Pāsifika teachers through culturally responsive in-service professional learning in mathematics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The objective of this study is to unpack the complexities involved for Pāsifika teachers undertaking in-service professional learning in mathematics (ISPL). In particular, the following research question is addressed: How do Pāsifika teachers experience culturally responsive in-service professional learning for mathematics? This study also aims to illuminate the sophisticated nature of teaching and learning of mathematics for Pāsifika teachers to support the development of a personal awareness and open wider discussion and action around the unaccounted nuances involved in mathematics pedagogy for Pāsifika teachers. This study was proposed to and humbly and graciously agreed to by nine brave, dedicated Pāsifika practitioners of varying teaching experience within an urban Auckland high school setting. The participants engaged in ISPL centred around Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) in mathematics. The research participants comprised of two groups. The first group consisted of seven teachers of Pāsifika culture and heritage. None of the participants in this group are 'specialist' maths teachers. This primary group of teachers are involved in the day-to-day implementation and participation in the professional learning. The second group comprised of two Pāsifika teachers who were members of the senior leadership team. This study uses fa'afaletui, which is a Pacific research methodology that utilises indigenous philosophy, knowledge circles and promotes a holistic approach to research. Data were collected via talanoa promoting holism, validating indigenous knowledge systems allowing for in this case, data and accounts of Pāsifika worldviews to be systematically gathered and formulated. Thematic analysis of the data revealed three key findings: the value society places on mathematics and specifically Pāsifika cultures; the systemic design of ‘school mathematics’ and its tradition as a ‘gatekeeper’ which influences pedagogy and subsequent design of and engagement with professional learning; and how the human condition is often not factored into the equation when designing or revising curriculum and informing ISPL in mathematics.