Pasifika Education

Select keywords and alternatives

  • Pasifika

For Pasifika education topics there are likely to be many different ways to describe the topic you are researching. There are several different terms which have been used to describe Pacific people in New Zealand. This means you may need to repeat your searches using different terms.

Pasifika is largely used in education contexts, and is sometimes spelled as Pasefika or Pacifika.

Pacific Island, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Peoples, Polynesia, Melanesia, or the name of a specific country or island may be used, particularly in other subject disciplines.

In some databases a broader term such as Australasia, Asia-Pacific or Oceania can be useful.

These resources provide background on the use of the term Pasifika:

University of Otago. (n.d.) What does Pasifika mean? Retrieved from

Airini, Anae, M. & Mila-Schaaf, K. (2010). Appendix Two: A working definition of Pasifika Peoples. In Teu le Va—Relationships across research and policy in Pasifika Education (pp.49-51). Wellington: Ministry of Education.

  • Education sectors

Alternative terms for education sectors include:

early childhood, infants, babies, toddlers, preschool, kindergartens

primary, elementary, K-6, (K-12 for primary and secondary together)

intermediate, middle school, junior high

secondary, high school, post-primary

tertiary, higher education, universities, colleges, post-compulsory

  • Key topics

Think of alternative terms for the other aspect of your research topic. For example:

'aiga, fanau, whanau, family, parents, home, community

youth, young people, teenagers, adolescents

achievement, success, improvement

Plan your search using a concept map

List your alternative key terms by concept to systematically construct multiple searches.

For example, if your topic is "the role of family in Pasifika children's literacy development" you might map the key concepts as below.

Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
Pasifika children 'aiga reading
Pasefika children family writing
Pacific children parents literacy

From the table above, you would enter one keyword from each column/concept in different combinations.

Search 1: Pasifika children family literacy

Search 2: Pacific children ‘aiga reading

Full list of databases for Education

Full list of databases for Pacific studies

Full list of databases and websites for Indigenous research

Data and statistics




Teacher resources

Youth mentoring

To find other books from the library catalogue, try: Indigenous research methodologiesPacific research methodology;  culturally responsive research  or search on the name of the specific methodology or framework such as: talanoa methodology, teu le va.

For more articles, refer to the Pacific Studies subject guide: Pacific methodology. Links to conceptual frameworks and methodologies. Or try the terms above in Google Scholar.


A list of exemplary theses completed recently at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.




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Last updated : 31 March 2021
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