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Māori and Pacific secondary student and parent perspectives on achievement, motivation and NCEA

Author(s): 
James Graham, Luanna H. Meyer, Lynanne McKenzie, John McClure, and Kirsty F. Weir

New Zealand’s previous examination-based secondary assessment system can be viewed as encompassing cultural values presenting unfair challenges for indigenous and other nonmajority students. The standards-based National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) incorporates enhanced flexibility, student choice and grading practices independent of comparisons with others. These features may be a better match for the educational aspirations of collectivist cultures, yet little is known about the views of Māori and Pacific students and their parents on NCEA. In this study, Māori and Pacific students and parents were interviewed about NCEA and its impact on  motivation and achievement. Participants reported valuing the opportunities and outcomes associated with NCEA while emphasising where further work is needed. The implications of these findings are discussed for policy and practice within the NCEA framework.

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James Graham

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