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Dusky maiden—noble savage: Pasifika representation in the NCEA drama classroom

Michelle Johansson

Pasifika learners. NCEA, as the nationally endorsed means of measuring achievement, exerts considerable power over what educators teach Pasifika young people is important and of intrinsic value for them as they prepare to take their places in society. This article argues that the NCEA drama texts are culturally charged with stereotypical character and theme types that promote negative constructions of identity in young Pasifika people. These texts also promote misunderstandings about what it means to be Pasifika by non-Pasifika learners. This article also contends that the NCEA drama assessments do not necessitate the use of culturally responsive Pasifika theatre forms, such as the Samoan comic form Fale Aitu. This research recommends that these forms could be a way forward in appropriately addressing the needs of the multicultural classroom

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