Feagaiga – relationships. Feagaiga also comes with trust, love, caring and sharing
We all love to hear success stories for all sorts of reasons. Here’s one that I have been privileged to be involved that may be of interest and of benefit to others. I’ll let the teacher (I’ll call her “Teacher A”) explain the genesis of this story:
“[As a teacher in the 80s] I teamed the seniors up with the juniors each morning for reading. This meant every child got heard at least twice a day and then at home at night. The Hoani then told me the concept was Tuakana-Teina (big sister/brother with their younger sibling). What was interesting was that these students had the highest reading scores in that year from our class. There were several factors that could have contributed to this and as teacher inquiry was unheard of in the 80’s I never researched the possibilities.”
Teacher A transformed her professional practice and processes using the Teaching as Inquiry model. She explored her past experiences of implementing the Tuakana-Teina concept by applying it in her class, which included priority junior students who were refugees and spoke English as a second language (ESOL).
The Tuakana-Teina model is a buddy-system model. An older or more expert tuakana (brother, sister or cousin) helps and guides a younger or less expert teina (originally a younger sibling or cousin of the same gender). The teacher at the centre of this story had a high percentage of Pasifika students, and the Tuakana-Teina model is easily transferred as Feagaiga in a Samoan context. This model was effectively used in Teacher A’s class, and reading levels were raised for the priority students as a result of her inquiry into her own practice and the impact of the model.