Sharma, S., & Hamilton, C. (2018). Pacific students and pedagogical success [Editorial]. Waikato Journal of Education, 23(1), 3–4. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v23i1.645
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12144
Debates about rates of achievement for Pacific students have been a feature of educational conversations in New Zealand for over three decades. We do not intend rehearsing the substance of them here, as components of them are included in the articles in this special edition. However, two aspects of this ongoing commentary continue to stand out. Points related to the educational underachievement of Pacific students are an enduring feature of these discussions. Secondly, Pacific students are seen to struggle, in particular, in Science, Technology and Maths (STEM) related areas of the New Zealand curriculum. Individual Pacific students can, and do, experience success in New Zealand educational environments including in STEM-related subjects, as Fonua in this edition points out. However, their achievements are considered examples of ‘exceptions that prove the rule’ related to the continuity of a dominant assumption of underachievement. As Chu, also in this edition remarks, “education for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand is a contentious issue” (Chu, C. 2018, p. 5) and the articles in this edition reinforce the strength of this claim.
Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, the University of Waikato
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