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How the Tivaevae Model can be Used as an Indigenous Methodology in Cook Islands Education Settings

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Abstract

This paper explores an Indigenous research methodology, the tivaevae model, and its application within the Cook Islands education system. The article will argue that the cultural values embedded within its framework allow for the successful implementation of this Indigenous methodology. The model draws from tivaevae , or artistic quilting, and is both an applique process and a product of the Cook Islands. It is unique to the Cook Islands and plays an important part in the lives of Cook Islanders. The tivaevae model will be explained in detail, describing how patchwork creative pieces come together to create a story and can be used as a metaphor of the past, present and future integration of social, historical, spiritual, religious, economic and political representations of Cook Island culture. Further, the paper will then make links with the model to teaching and learning, by exploring secondary schools’ health and physical education policy and practices. Finally, the efficacy of the model in this context and its research implications will then be discussed.
The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education
page 1 of 7 CThe Author(s) 2018 doi 10.1017/jie.2018.9
How the
Tivaevae
Model can be Used as an
Indigenous Methodology in Cook Islands
Education Settings
Aue Te Ava1and Angela Page2
1
College of Indigenous Studies, Education and Research, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Queensland,
Australia
2
School of Education, University of New England, Armidale 2351, New South Wales, Australia
This paper explores an Indigenous research methodology, the
tivaevae
model, and its application within the
Cook Islands education system. The article will argue that the cultural values embedded within its framework
allow for the successful implementation of this Indigenous methodology. The model draws from
tivaevae,
or artistic quilting, and is both an applique process and a product of the Cook Islands. It is unique to the
Cook Islands and plays an important part in the lives of Cook Islanders. The
tivaevae
model will be explained
in detail, describing how patchwork creative pieces come together to create a story and can be used as a
metaphor of the past, present and future integration of social, historical, spiritual, religious, economic and
political representations of Cook Island culture. Further, the paper will then make links with the model to
teaching and learning, by exploring secondary schools’ health and physical education policy and practices.
Finally, the efficacy of the model in this context and its research implications will then be discussed.
Keywords: culturally responsive pedagogy,
tivaevae
model, Indigenous research methodologies, Cook
Islands cultural values, education
For more than a decade, Pacific Indigenous research
methodology has been promoted as an alternative
paradigm for research that involves Indigenous people’s
issues (Airini, Anae, & Mila-Schaaf, 2010;Anae,2007;
Otu’nuku, 2011). Pacific research refers to Indigenous
research methodology as ‘the production of Indigenous
knowledge [that] helps construct conditions that allow for
Indigenous self-sufficiency while learning from the vast
storehouse of Indigenous knowledge that provide com-
pelling insights into all domains of human endeavour’
(Kincheloe & Steinberg, 2008,p.12).Inchallengingtra-
ditional western ways of knowing and researching, Smith
(1999) called for both the decolonization of methodolo-
gies and a new agenda for Indigenous research. These
methodologies complement developments of research in
the Cook Islands education context, making space for
Indigenous concepts such as tapu (the sacred) and vaerua
ora (the spiritually uplifting) to emerge in research prac-
tices. In this way, new research practices and under-
standing of knowledge become apparent. Kincheloe and
Steinberg (2008) showed how research might focus on
Indigenous people’s unique attributes and the relevance
of cultural values and rituals in their own right. Jonassen
(2003) reiterated that Indigenous knowledge also refers to
the cultural values and stories that Cook Islands Elders
contribute to research, and how this ensures credibility
and reliability. As Smith (1999) argued, decolonisation in
research is concerned with having ‘a more critical under-
standing of the underlying assumptions, motivations and
cultural values that inform research practices’ (p. 214).
Understanding and valuing multiple assumptions, moti-
vations and cultural values is an important part of research
that can allow the creation of opportunities for Indige-
nous people researching about their own people. The aim
of this paper is to explore how the tivaevae model can
be used as an Indigenous methodology in Cook Islands
education research. The findings show that the tivaevae
model was able to guide research that sought to explore a
cultural pedagogy that was expressed within Cook Islands
education. The research was conducted in three phases
that describe various patterns and protocols of the values
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Aue Te Ava, College of Indigenous
Studies, Education and Research, University of Southern
Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Queensland, Australia.
Email: ateava572@gmail.com
1
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Aue Te Ava and Angela Page
and beliefs that are interwoven into educational pedagogy.
The paper further explains the contributing processes of
the tivaevae model as a culturally responsive methodology
and how this links to a way forward for research within
Cook Islands education.
Salmond (1983) argued that western research brings
with it a particular set of values and conceptualizations
of time, space, subjectivity, gender relations and knowl-
edge. Colonial (western) power continues to evolve and
to marginalise Indigenous groups (Wilson, 2001; Wood,
2006). Building on these themes, Smith (1999)com-
mented that Indigenous research needs to consider how
the Indigenous ‘worldviews’ may (re)inscribe the domi-
nant discourse of what counts as knowledge. An appre-
ciation of Indigenous epistemology holds transformative
possibilities for research, in general, and Pacific research,
in particular.
As Indigenous models for research are becoming val-
ued in education, Pacific research methods in education
have been developing and considered as culturally appro-
priate research methods (Airini, Anae, & Mila-Schaaf,
2010; Health Research Council, 2004; Mara, 2008; Maua-
Hodges, 2003; Sasau & Sue, 1993;Thaman,2003;Samu&
Siteine, 2006). Although western research paradigms have
influenced Pasifika communitiesin var ious projects, Anae,
Anderson, Benseman and Coxon (2002) argued that the
goal for Pacific research must be to ‘identify and promote a
Pacific world view’ (p. 12). Significantly, Anae (2007) sug-
gested that research should be ‘owned, driven and directed
by Pacific peoples’ (p. 13). Advantages of Pacific research
include the integration of advanced knowledge of cultural
values and language relevant to the research, and the way
these values are distributed and produced in networking
and protocols (Airini, Anae, & Mila-Schaaf, 2010).
Pacific values are integral to Pacific education research.
Some researchers suggest that Pacific research approaches
should have values expressed within an appropriate philo-
sophical framework, such as Sanga and Niroa (2004), who
argued that ‘Indigenous Pacific research is based on a phi-
losophy of human nature’ (p. 42). They proposed that
‘Pacific researchers develop Pacific research within their
own philosophical orientation’ (p. 42), because this is
how Pacific research credibility is determined. For Sanga
and Niroa (2004), research on or by Pacific people must
use ‘strategies that are Pacific in nature’ (p. 48). Simi-
larly, Lima (2004) invited researchers to identify ways that
Pacific knowledge and values might best be integrated
into research values and practices that were meaningful to
Pacific people.
Models of Pacific research methodology, many inten-
tionally ethnic specific, have been developed (Tamasese,
Peteru, Waldegrave, & Bush, 2005). With a particular con-
cern for Pacific research in the health sector, Tamasese,
Peteru, Waldegrave and Bush (2005) argued that the devel-
opment of Pacific-specific research methodologies would
avoid ‘the danger of Western interpretation and enable an
authentic Pacific-based approach through an exploration
of the experiences of Cook Islands people and the mean-
ings they construct around critical mental health issues
and definitions’ (p. 301). Further, the authors stated that
the purpose of Pacific research was to provide a rigorous
research method that would be ‘relevant and acceptable
in a Pacific context’ (p. 301). From a Tongan perspective,
Thaman (2003) drew on the practice of making kakala
as a culturally appropriate approach to research. She pro-
posed that the three key processes involved in the making
of kakala are as follows: the toil (gathering of the kakala),
tui (the making or weaving of the kakala)andluva (the
giving away of the kakala). These processes, she suggested,
were congruent to local research. These approaches to
research show that, as a whole, Pacific research method-
ologies embrace existing Pacific values of respect, cul-
tural competency,meaningful eng agement and reciprocity
(Anae, Coxon, Mara, Wendt-Samu, & Finau, 2001; Health
Research Council, 2004).
The Cook Islands Context
The Cook Islands is located in the South Pacific Ocean in
free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands
whose total land mass is 240 square kilometres (92.7 square
miles); however, the Cook Islands covers 1,800,000 square
kilometres (690.000 square miles) of ocean. The resident
population of the Cook Islands is 14,974 thousand peo-
ple (Ministry of Finance & Economic Management, 2012).
Cook Islands education research followsa western research
framework and fails to take into account Cook Islands val-
ues and cultural identity. This notion is supported by the
work of Te Ava, Airini and Rubie-Davies (2011), illustrat-
ing how Cook Islanders maintains the levels of success, and
that new ways of attaining knowledge are needed through
education research.
In the Cook Islands context, there is also relevance to
the development of a framework that is responsive to Cook
Islands education research, and Maua-Hodges (2003)has
contributed to such a framework in early childhood which
reflects connections to Cook Islands cultural practices and
values by developing the tivaevae model. In this paper, we
have used this model to demonstrate education research
in Cook Islands setting. The values reflected in the tivaevae
model were used to research a culturally responsive peda-
gogy in the Cook Islands (Te Ava, Rubie-Davies, Airini, &
Ovens, 2013). With these goals in mind, this paper pro-
poses a research methodology drawn from Cook Islands
knowledge, values and practices of the tivaevae.Thetivae-
vae model draws from various aspects of the study such
as planning (first phase), sewing of the patterns of the
tivaevae together (second phase) and reflecting the out-
come of the tivaevae (third phase). Of particular inter-
est, the relationship between the tivaevae model and a
culturally responsive pedagogy will be demonstrated. Fur-
ther, the relevance to research and education policy in the
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How the
Tivaevae
Model can be Used as an Indigenous Methodology
Cook Islands context will be highlighted. In this paper,
we explore the significance of the tivaevae model in three
phases of the study that mirrors the three phases of tivaevae
making. By drawing on the comparisons of the tivaevae
process in order to illustrate its application to educational
research, the paper presents the findings of research with
physical education (PE) teachers who explain the under-
pinning processes of using the tivaevae model in teaching
culturally responsive pedagogy.
The Tivaevae
The tivaevae model is based on the tivaevae,acanvas
decorated with an array of cloth of different designs and
patterns with the aim of making a picture or telling a
story. Many early Europeans showed interest in the tivae-
vae when visiting the Cook Islands and report it to be
an intricate and fascinating process (Crocombe & Cro-
combe, 2003). Rongokea (2001) explained that there are
two basic methods of sewing a tivaevae:patchworkor
piecework, and appliqu´
e. Further, there are four differ-
ent styles: tivaevae Taorei (piecework/patchwork), tivaevae
Manu (appliqu´
e), tivaevae Tataura (appliqu´
eandembroi-
dery) and tivaevae Tuitui Tataura (embroidered squares
of fabric joined together with either crocheting or lace
borders). Tivaevae is sewn by women and supported by
the men in preparation of activities such as funerals, wed-
dings, twenty-first birthdays, traditional hair cutting and
graduation.
The tivaevae reflects how culturally responsive practice
conveys teaching and learning of Cook Island daily prac-
tices. It depicts the past, present and future and how these
values are integral to the social, cultural, historical, spiri-
tual and religious, economic and political representation
of Cook Island culture. The tivaevae patterns have many
meanings and inspire how Cook Islands people function
in their environment (Rongokea, 2001). The tivaevae also
mirrors how the various Cook Island communities collec-
tively come together to help one another to develop and
grow into a better nation (Sissons, 1999).
The making of the tivaevae also represents the teaching
and learning of our papa’anga (genealogy) and knowledge.
Papa’anga refers to the genealogy of the family unit whose
knowledge of the past is handed down from generation
to generation. The sharing of knowledge has been handed
down by our ui-tupuna (ancestors) throughout the cen-
turies and constituted a valuable educational process. The
wisdom of the past was transferred through cultural prac-
tices such as songs, music, arts and crafts, chants, legends
and karioi (traditional dance). The metua tane and metua
vaine (elders and higher authorities) recognise that the
more people involved in the teaching and learning process,
the more Cook Islanders understand their cultural her-
itage and ui-tupuna (ancestors) (Rongokea, 2001). Inas-
much as teaching and learning is conveyed within the
community, for these reasons, the tivaevae remains a very
important social phenomenon.
Tivaevae
as an Indigenous Research
Methodology
The tivaevae model (Maua-Hodges, 2003) was the key
theoretical framework that underpinned this research.
It provided a holistic model which could be used to
guide the multiple components of research in culturally
responsive ways. Just as the pieces of the tivaevae create a
collective whole, research using the tivaevae model could
likewise explore secondary schools’ health and physical
education (PE) policy and practices. The similarities were
considered to be useful in supporting teachers to better
plan and evaluate their own levels of culturally responsive
pedagogy.
The application of the tivaevae as a research model
was hoped to centre Cook Islands people’s understand-
ing of values as has been the case when other Indige-
nous research methods have been employed (Wilson,
2001). Smith (1997) argued that by placing Indigenous
paradigms and people at the centre, research methodology
practices and outcomes are better situated meaningfully
to ‘[c]ontinually speak to the people . . . in ways which the
peopleunderstand...Itmustkeepmeaning alive. It must
have meaning to the people in terms of their lived reality.
Praxis must involve the people reflecting on their reality’
(p. 164). For New Zealand M¯
aori, these practices have
been interpreted as language integration, knowledge and
culture concerns on the one hand with economic, political
and social (e.g. education, health and justice) concerns on
the other. Such intentions are envisaged as an important
part of education research in the Cook Islands.
With a view to supporting educational achievement in
the Cook Islands, three key dimensions of tivaevae mak-
ing were embedded in Maua-Hodges tivaevae research
model: koikoi, tuitui and akairianga.Thekoikoi referred
to the gathering of the patterns needed for the making of
the tivaevae (Maua-Hodges, 2003). Patterns were picked
and readied for discussion before being sewn together.
The koikoi process required knowledge and experience in
planning, gathering the appropriate materials at the right
time and at the right place and ensuring that the pattern
tells a story of Cook Islands history. These stories are tapu
(sacred), central to the values of Cook Islands cultural
practice and made ready for crafting into a tivaevae.The
significance of this phase is that Cook Islanders learn to
create their own way of understanding of the world in
which they live. They, in effect, bring their own knowl-
edge and investigate how the ‘patterns’ fit together and
then are evaluated for success. In this research, the ‘pat-
terns’ represented the experiences of the teachers, students
and pa metua (Elders) shared with each other. The nature,
degree, direction, pathway, place and time were circum-
spectly determined by the participants in their immediate
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Aue Te Ava and Angela Page
surroundings, and shaped by their world views. This was
a dynamic interaction of storytelling, debating, reflecting
and sharing knowledge of genealogies, along with food and
other necessities. Again, the tivaevae model was chosen
because it underpins Cook Islands culture and is appreci-
ated within and across the relationships of the pa metua,
schools, teachers and students.
The second aspect of the tivaevae model is tuitui, the
sewing or stitching of the pattern on the blank canvas.
Tui t u i refers to the actual making of the tivaevae. This
process requires special knowledge and skills of differ-
ent types of ‘patterns’ depending on the occasion or the
individual who would be using the tivaevae for decora-
tion. A further key aspect of the tivaevae model is making
connections. When Cook Islanders come together dur-
ing tuitui to make the tivaevae, they made connections
with each other and began developing relationships. Both
English and Te reo Maori Kuki Airani were also signifi-
cant where relationships are progressively established as
well as acquaintances shared. It was the development of
friendship and relationship was a crucial component for
the tuitui part of tivaevae because the strength of those
relationships, positions and connections determines the
beauty and complexity of the finished tivaevae.Thus,in
terms of research and the relationships which were part
of the study, the degree of honesty and transparency in
sharing information, opinion and attitudes was well iden-
tified. Making connections and developing relationships
with the PE teachers and the school over a period of time
were therefore an important part of the study design.
Thefinalaspectisakairianga. This is the evaluating and
offering of the tivaevae to the community or to individuals
as a gift. In the Cook Islands culture, the tivaevae repre-
sents a symbolical token of two Cook Islands values, aroa
(love) and tu akangateitei (respect). Once the tivaevae is
completed, it is blessed for the special occasion.
The benefit of the symbolic pattern in tivaevae mak-
ing integrating Cook Islands culture into the education
research ensures valuable meaning to be realised. Edu-
cational research in the Cook Islands is thus perfectly
positioned to explore Cook Islands theories of knowl-
edge in practice. Further, tivaevae making supports a range
of cognitive, physical, cultural, interpersonal (social) and
intrapersonal (emotional, moral, aesthetic and spiritual)
aspects and lends itself well to the PE curriculum frame-
work. How the methodology was applied across the three
phases is described in the following section.
Incorporating the
Tivaevae
Model in the
Research
The main reason for using the tivaevae model as a research
process was its establishment of validity and acceptance
among Cook Islanders. Aligned with the tivaevae process,
the research study exploring culturally responsive peda-
gogy was conducted in three phases:
Phase one (preparing a tivaevae pedagogical model)
Phase two (sewing the tivaevae patterns together)
Phase three (reflecting on the tivaevae —studentper-
ceptions)
Phase One — Preparing a
Tivaevae
Pedagogical Model
The study elicited a new research approach based on the
values identified in Phase one. Pa metua were interviewed
and agreement was sought regarding the values of taueue,
angaanga taokotai,akatano,angaanga oire kapiti,te reo
Maori Kuki Airani and auora that were needed in PE
classes as they were an important part of the tivaevae pro-
cess. According to interviews with the teachers involved,
such changes to content, structure, language and context
in lesson plans should accommodate students’ engage-
ment and alertness to their responsibility toward learning;
moreover, these amendments should explicitly empha-
sise Cook Islands values which identified students within
cultural contexts.
Phase Two — Sewing the
Tivaevae
Patterns Together
After the process of embedding Cook Islands values in
PE teaching planning (Phase one), the teachers found the
task of implementing these new approaches (Phase two)
challenging. Teachers reported difficulties in improvising
lessons as it provided a very different perspective to learn-
ing. The teachers, however, were motivated and received
encouragement and practical advice to support the inte-
gration of cultural knowledge within their PE contexts.
In turn, students in Phase two reported the Cook Islands
relevant PE activities rewarding, in terms of enjoyment
and expanded knowledge. However, others indicated they
did not enjoy the experience because it was traditional
and focused on cultural activities. The question remained,
however, of how students perceived the relative merits
of teaching infused with Cook Islands activities and val-
ues compared with those based on western models and
content.
Additionally in Phase two, teachers experienced
improvements in their teaching skills in terms of cul-
turally responsive practices and students became more
independently responsible for their own learning. This
created a significantly different learning environment.
Subsequently, the emphasis on the Cook Islands values in
teaching not only increased teachers’ confidence in being
culturally responsive, but also enabled students to take
up leadership roles and to participate in more positive
ways. Developing competence in implementing a cultur-
ally responsive pedagogy in the Cook Islands PE curricu-
lum was evident as a result of the study. This was an
important outcome from using the tivaevae methodol-
ogy. Teachers, for example, acquired a basic knowledge of
Cook Islands culture and language and were able to utilise
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How the
Tivaevae
Model can be Used as an Indigenous Methodology
these and associated values within teaching and learning
contexts. The recommendation of the values initiated in
the tivaevae model led to the implementation of changes
to the Cook Islands PE curriculum for the first time. Con-
sequently, teachers took ownership of these values and
enacted them within curriculum documents and policy
frameworks through partnership with communities and
other Pasifika educators.
Phase Three — Reflecting on the
Tivaevae
— Student Perceptions
In Phase three, reflections are made on the outcome of
the implementation of the tivaevae process. The results
indicated that overall, PE was important to students. A
qualitative analyses capture students’ feelings for the fam-
ily, cultural and personal factors relating to PE in schools.
They showed that overall, students valued the inclusion
of cultural activities within PE less than they valued tra-
ditional forms of PE and much less than they perceived
that their families valued PE. It was suggested that the
students were not used to the inclusion of traditional
activities and values in the PE programme and so pre-
ferred what they were used to, that is, western forms of
PE. It should be remembered, however, that of the stu-
dents who placed less value on the inclusion of cultural
activities, the majority saw these activities as enhancing
their experience of PE. Further, students only experienced
four lessons that included cultural activities, and so were
this to become more common place, it is likely that stu-
dent positivity towards the inclusion of cultural activities
in physical education would increase.
Phase three provides a fresh insight into how the inclu-
sion of cultural activities is interconnected with student
learning, given that academic education traditionally has
a higher priority. The results indicate the implications for
students pertaining to future pedagogy in schools. Cul-
tural activities provide students with an opportunity to
explore their social and cultural needs, a balance which
is not merely limited to addressing the academic needs of
students within the school environment. Phase three also
concerned creating wellbeing within learning in a manner
that is more inclusive. The core values which the students
perceive for physical education teaching and learning in
an environment that represents continuity in students’
development of cultural as well as academic understand-
ing were created and maintained. The inclusion of culture
in learning is a reflection of a student’s culture and identity
and as such could become an important factor in students’
achievement in school.
Research Implications of the
Tivaevae
Model
The following discussion briefly describes why the tivae-
vae model has significant implications for Cook Islands
research. Core values for teaching contribute to the tivae-
vae model from discussions with the pa metua.Thiswas
important because it showed links between the Elder-
selders, the model and the teaching. At the initial meeting
with the participants, there were opportunities for intro-
ductions and reflection of past experiences which had
impacted the development of health and physical edu-
cation in the schools. Discussions regarding the purposes
of the research were always open and negotiable. There
were many opportunities for questions, through individ-
ual discussions, and then together, through a collaborative
planning process towards the actual investigation and col-
lecting of research data.
The tivaevae model was shown that it can be used as
a relevant framework when doing research with Cook
Island participants. This has been realised by the Cook
Islands Ministry of Education that applied the process in
the development of a new school being built in Rarotonga
(Davies, 2015). The challenge for Cook Islands researchers
was to prioritise the use of research frameworks that could
be used within a holistic perception of knowledge and
scholarship, appropriate communication styles both oral
and written and which endorse the protocols of consensus
and respect.
The tivaevae model can benefit Cook Islands educa-
tion research through bringing together cultural commu-
nities, scholars, researchers and students to engage in the
critique of the research and knowledge production pro-
cess. The tivaevae model also provides an opportunity to
engage in the cultural traditions of the Indigenous/Cook
Islands knowledge by sharing lived experiences and retain-
ing their authority and ownership of that knowledge
(Te Ava, Airini, & Rubie-Davies, 2011). Bringing research
methodologies and practices in line with the priorities of
Cook Islands peoples is a new effort to identify and address
barriers in research.
Relationship of the Findings to the
Tivaevae
Model
The research outlined in this article contributed to the
tivaevae model by developing a set of values which sup-
ported students in their learning. This provided greater
relevance as a culturally responsive pedagogy. These val-
ues form the flower pattern that is part of the tivaevae.
Samu, Mara, and Siteine (2008) argued that developing
the tu ingangaro (trust and academic achievement) is one
of the many keys in Pasifika education where knowledge
between teacher and student was gradually constructed. To
support this argument, a culturally responsive pedagogy is
recommended for schools to develop strong relative foun-
dations of knowledge establishment between teacher and
student.
Peu puapinga is the values pattern that acknowledges
culturally responsive pedagogy. As a consequence, the
potential to become the corner stone for students’ learn-
ing, as identified by the pa metua, these consistent values
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Aue Te Ava and Angela Page
become clear. These values include the following: t¯
aueue
(participation), angaanga taokotai (cooperation), akatano
(discipline), tu akakoromaki (patience), ngakau akaaka
(humility), tu kauraro (obedience or obey), angaanga oire
kapiti (community involvement), te reo Maori Kuki Airani
(Cook Islands Maori language) and auora (physical and
spiritual wellbeing). From an Indigenous Canadian per-
spective, Sackney and Walker (2006) identified the cen-
trality of values of respect and honour, similar to those
encapsulated in the Cook Islands value of peu puapinga.
This was supported by Ama (2003), who stated that Cook
Islands peu puapinga are essential for the development
of a healthy society and an enriching environment that
prepared a challenging pathway for Cook Islands youth
to achieve goals and objectives in schooling. These val-
ues were all reflected in the thoughts of the pa metua
as important to schooling and wider social practices and
were incorporated into the tivaevae model that arose from
the findings of the research.
The pattern flower akaputuputuanga taokotai was rep-
resentative of a value identified as central to culturally
responsive pedagogy: respect and support for peers. Aka-
putuputuanga taokotai means learning from each stu-
dent and developing students’ confidence as they work
together with their teachers in cultivating student’s talents
through vaerua ora (spirit). Jonassen (2003) argued that
akaputuputuanga taokotai was an element of tu tangata
meaning personality and culture. Accordingly, tu tangata
waskitepakari(wisdom) and aroa (love) are significant to
the student learning environment. Of note, having teach-
ers as the main source of delivery deliberately encour-
aged and inspired students to become versed in their peu
oraanga (cultural identity). The involvement of parents
and communities in this learning process was found to
persuade students to akaputuputuanga taokotai.More-
over, different generations gain opportunities to develop
the abilities to mentor each other. Values are important for
culturally responsive pedagogy and need to be embedded
within the research design to allow for a culturally appro-
priate methodology to occur. Additionally, the principles
of kauraro (respect), tu inangaro (reciprocity), ngutuare
tangata or anau (family), vaka tangata oire (community
experts), putuputuanga vaine tini e te tane tini (women and
men’s community projects), taokotai (cooperation), and
kopu tangata (community workers) need to be considered
and incorporated.
Conclusion
Pasifika research models like the tivaevae outline the
appropriateness of cultural appropriate methodology in
research. The intention and responsibility of Pasifika
researchersistocontinuetoaddressculturalissuesandadd
to its collective wisdom. In order to systematically reveal
the cultural knowledge and social construction of cultural
identity within the discipline of applied research, the tivae-
vae wasusedasamethodologicalresearchmodelinunder-
pinning culturally responsive pedagogy that embraces the
values of the Cook Islands. The tivaevae model offered
a new approach in research where Cook Islands cul-
ture, language and relationships based on akangateitei
(respect), aroa or inangaro (love) and tauturu (service)
bring meaning to both the researcher and participants.
The tivaevae model highlighted the challenges of Cook
Islands research and how this is processed and written
within a Cook Islands context. This provided an open
space and comfortable platform for establishing reciprocal
engagement through dialogue and telling stories, and shar-
ing of cultural and spiritual experiences, throughout the
research.
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About the Authors
Aue Te Ava is a Lecturer in educational technology, instructional design, and adult education. He holds a Doctor
of Philosophy (PhD) focused on health and physical education from the University of Auckland.
Angela Page is originally from New Zealand and has worked as an Inclusive Education advisor to schools and
governments in the Pacific region as well as lecturing in inclusive education and classroom management. She has
a particular interest in the development of inclusive and special education practices for students with disabilities
within new or emerging contexts.
THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF INDIGENOUS EDUCATION 7
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... While sustainable education attempts to redress the imbalance by focusing on preserving the future generations and planning ways forward by providing culturally inclusive education for the future of Pacific communities, nations, and regions (Te Ava & Page, 2018), the question we wish to pose is: what does sustainable education look like in Pacific regions? This paper, therefore, begins with a statement of the problem currently put forward as a global concern. ...
... Further, the paper addresses possibilities for sustainable education to become realised in the Pacific region. Then the paper highlights sustainable education through a sociological understanding of cultural values, pedagogy and culturally responsive pedagogy and, finally, explores how the tivaevae as a Cook Islands framework, underpinned by a culturally responsive pedagogy (Te Ava & Page, 2018), contributes to an inclusive, quality and sustainable education. ...
... While sustainable education attempts to redress the imbalance by focusing on preserving the future generations and planning ways forward by providing culturally inclusive education for the future of Pacific communities, nations, and regions (Te Ava & Page, 2018), the question we wish to pose is: what does sustainable education look like in Pacific regions? This paper, therefore, begins with a statement of the problem currently put forward as a global concern. ...
... Further, the paper addresses possibilities for sustainable education to become realised in the Pacific region. Then the paper highlights sustainable education through a sociological understanding of cultural values, pedagogy and culturally responsive pedagogy and, finally, explores how the tivaevae as a Cook Islands framework, underpinned by a culturally responsive pedagogy (Te Ava & Page, 2018), contributes to an inclusive, quality and sustainable education. ...
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... These constructs were expressed in a range of contexts, including classroom practices and curriculum, and in the wider society through cultural practices such as imene tuki (singing of hymns), raranga (weaving), rutu pau (playing drums), ura (dance), arts and crafts, and food gathering of different kinds of vegetables, fishing, and hunting. These methods were important socially, culturally, historically, and economically (Thompson et al. 2009). Through these, teachers would learn not only what was in the official education curriculum but also what were the values underpinning Cook Islands society. ...
... Defining "Culturally Responsive Pedagogy" Culturally responsive pedagogy is multidimensional in that it encompasses curriculum content, learning, context, classroom climate, student-teacher relationships, teacher professional developments, instructional techniques, and performance assessments (Perso 2012). As such, while being mindful of these dimensions, culturally responsive pedagogy is broadly defined as teaching in purposeful ways that integrate the values and culture in the community (Thompson et al. 2009). In this sense, culturally responsive pedagogy is about the individual and the collective. ...
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Full-text available
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... These constructs were expressed in a range of contexts, including classroom practices and curriculum, and in the wider society through cultural practices such as imene tuki (singing of hymns), raranga (weaving), rutu pau (playing drums), ura (dance), arts and crafts, and food gathering of different kinds of vegetables, fishing, and hunting. These methods were important socially, culturally, historically, and economically (Thompson et al. 2009). Through these, teachers would learn not only what was in the official education curriculum but also what were the values underpinning Cook Islands society. ...
... Defining "Culturally Responsive Pedagogy" Culturally responsive pedagogy is multidimensional in that it encompasses curriculum content, learning, context, classroom climate, student-teacher relationships, teacher professional developments, instructional techniques, and performance assessments (Perso 2012). As such, while being mindful of these dimensions, culturally responsive pedagogy is broadly defined as teaching in purposeful ways that integrate the values and culture in the community (Thompson et al. 2009). In this sense, culturally responsive pedagogy is about the individual and the collective. ...
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... Vä-kä methodology is our contribution to the exciting literature wave of Indigenous methodologies that have emerged from the Moana (see Campbell, 2019;Fa'avae, 2016;Hau'ofa, 2008;Johansson-Fua, 2014;Lee, 2008;L. T. Smith, 1999;Te Ava & Page, 2018). We choose here to use the term Moana or Moana-nui-a-Kiwa to shift the focus from a Western-applied naming of the "Pacific Ocean" and bring forth the familiar sounds of our Moana languages. ...
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