Pacific educators speak: Valuing our values by Rimoni, F., Glasgow, A., & Averill, R.

Chelsea Bracefield New Zealand Tertiary College

Book Reviews: Vol 7, No 2 - October 2022

Drawing on research from a four-year study, Fuapepe Rimoni, Ali Glasgow, and Robin Averill (2022) in Pacific educators speak: Valuing our values, share insights into perspectives gifted by over 30 educators from all educational sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand. The excerpts shared were gained from face-to-face interviews; talanoa-style discussions that were transcribed and recorded to capture an understanding of each participant’s perspective of values shared by Pacific people. These contributions are skillfully presented across 11 chapters beginning with an introduction into the authors’ research, which includes a reflection of Pacific voices in education and establishes a link to the ‘Pacific Success Compass’ from Tapasā: Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pacific learners (Ministry of Education, 2019, p. 4). The nine central values of the Pacific Success Compass (belonging, family, love, service, spirituality, reciprocal relationships, respect, leadership and inclusion) are presented in a ‘Pacific Values Compass’. The perspectives and practice of each value is presented by Values Navigators, which is the term given by the researchers to the participants that have examined each value. Each Values Navigator adds meaning to the various ways of knowing, being, and doing for Pacific people. To complement each value, each chapter has been summarised by the authors to highlight key themes from the Values Navigators. This prompts further in-depth reflection and practice for the reader with additional reading links, discussion questions and suggestions for actions to nurture the value in their own practice. The concluding chapter acts as a call for action for educators to promote the wellbeing of Pacific children and their families through engaging in a consistent and value-led learning environment that is “… uplifting, comfortable, and productive for Pacific peoples and are places where they can be themselves” (Rimoni et al., 2022, p. 165). 

Figure 1 Pacific Values Compass (Rimoni et al., 2022, p. 4)

This book is a valuable tool for kaiako to implement and understand the importance and multiformity of what these values mean for Pacific people and how this can support teaching. Values Navigators also share their experiences of learner success and their own belonging in education, while considering how this has been impacted through power imbalances, cultural labour, racism, and stereotypes. The Values Navigators share an insight into how the values can be nurtured by educators through knowing Pacific families and children, through promoting a sense of community between the learners, the educator and the parents. The interconnectedness between the key stakeholders is important for promoting culturally safe outcomes in learning for Pacific children and their families.

The book sets out to inform and share perspectives for educators to acknowledge and respect the diversity of Pacific communities while strengthening the partnership and outcomes for Pacific learners in education settings. The authors acknowledge that values are only one aspect of what it means to be Pacific and that the values shared in this book are deeply held and personally felt by each Values Navigator and should not be generalised for all Pacific people, as a “one size fits all is just not how we work as Pacific people” (Rimoni et al., 2022, p. 23). This is why the authors encourage readers to draw on this book in conjunction with resources such as Tapasā and strengthen their partnership with Pacific learners and their families to find out what is of value for them. This book is well-suited for any educator looking to understand how they can make their learning environment a more inclusive space for Pacific learners and their families through nurturing values held by Pacific people and ways these could be enacted within educational contexts. As explained by a Value Navigator, Pacific people are respectful, humble and often put others in front of themselves: “we don’t ask and we don’t question – we listen and we do” (Rimoni et al., 2022, p. 119). Therefore, the authors put forward a call for action of a deliberate effort from non-Pacific educators to bring Pacific values forward, stating that “everything non-Pacific educators can do to support Pacific children and families is valuable” (p. 1). This book should be read by all kaiako to promote high quality, equitable practices. Copies of this book can be requested from the NZTC Library or purchased from NZCER.

  • Rimoni, F., Glasgow, A., & Averill, R. (2022). Pacific educators speak: Valuing our values. NZCER Press.

How to cite this article

Bracefield, C. (2022, September 27). [Pacific educators speak: Valuing our values by F. Rimoni, A. Glasgow and R. Averill.] He Kupu, 7(2), 70-72.