Tapasā: cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pacific learners is a resource for teachers of Pacific learners.
The Ministry of Education has developed Tapasā through consultation with Pacific teachers, academics, experts, families and communities as part of the Pasifika Education Plan intention to realise the full potential of Pacific learners. The Teaching Council led the implementation of Tapasā, alongside an Expert Teacher Group.
Tapasā is written around three turu, or competencies that form the basis of a framework.
Turu 1: Identities, languages and cultures
Demonstrates awareness of the diverse and ethnic-specific identities, languages and cultures of Pacific learners.
Turu 2: Collaborative and respectful relationships and professional behaviours
Establishes and maintains collaborative and respectful relationships and professional behaviours that enhance learning and wellbeing for Pacific learners.
Turu 3: Effective pedagogies for Pacific learners
Implements pedagogical approaches that are effective for Pacific learners.
Within each turu, progressive indicators describe competencies across the stages of a teacher’s career. These are aligned to Standards for the Teaching Profession and Tātaiako.
The Standards for the Teaching Profession (Our Standards) describe effective teaching practices across all education settings. It is expected that in each setting, teachers and professional leaders will work together to interpret, contextualise and refine their own understandings of what each standard looks like as quality practices in their place. For many teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand, Tapasā will be a key resource for this process by providing a Pacific learner lens to Our Standards.
The Code of Professional Responsibility (Our Code) outlines the expectations for every teacher as a member of this profession. It also identifies teachers’ commitments to the profession, learners, families and whānau and society. Tapasā can support teachers to understand and explain Our Code commitments in support of Pacific learners, their families, whānau and communities.
Tapasā concentrates on effective teaching practice for Pacific learners whereas Tātaiako outlines effective teaching practice for Māori learners. Both Tapasā and Tātaiako are designed to support culturally responsive practice beneficial to all learners.
Tapasā could be used in professional growth processes when teachers have Pacific learners. It could inform teachers’ work around the development and implementation of their goals or inquiries. It could also be used to inform evidence based professional growth conversations to deepen teachers’ and professional leaders’ understandings about the relationship between teaching practices and outcomes for Pacific learners.
The turu of Tapasā could be explored collegially to strengthen teachers’ understanding, skills and knowledge when teaching Pacific learners.
We have created a suite of resources and professional learning opportunities that can assist in integrating Tapasā into teaching practice.