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ERIC Number: ED470512
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Who Do You Say I Am? Explaining the Marginalized Status of Pasifika Students' Academic Achievement by Examining the Conflict between Institutional Perceptions and the "Identifying Process."
Nakhid, Camille
This paper looks at how institutional perceptions of marginalized groups of students affect their achievement, and argues that an "identifying process" involving students' own construction of themselves is necessary to academic success. In New Zealand, schools focus on the ethnicity of Pasifika (Pacific Islander) students in terms of low socioeconomic status and poor academic achievement and do not take into account students' own interpretations of their ethnicity. To examine the perceptions of schools and students, a methodology of "mediated dialogue" was developed, in which focus groups of Pasifika students and non-Pasifika teachers were interviewed separately. The mediator relayed comments between the groups, allowing each group the opportunity to hear the perceptions of the others and to respond and clarify its own opinions. The teachers tended to perceive Pasifika students as newly arrived immigrants from the Pacific Islands with poor English skills that restricted their learning. In fact, most of the students had been born in New Zealand and did not think of themselves in socioeconomic terms. If the process by which minority students construct their identity, and the results of it, are not valued by the school, it becomes more difficult for these students to see themselves in the processes and structures of the school and to feel a sense of belonging in the school system. Ways in which the schools might encourage and recognize students' identifying process are discussed. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand