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Fijian Indian students' perceptions towards group work in New Zealand classrooms

Alvin Chand

A wide research base in general Pacific education literature supports active learning activities that encourage students to work collaboratively. Many schools engage Pacific students in group-based learning together with other pedagogies to increase their achievement. Despite this, the education of Pacific origin students in Aotearoa New Zealand is not delivering equitable results and requires revision. Fijian Indian students are a relatively unexplored population within the Pacific education umbrella, and attention to their learning is not well represented in literature. This research used talanoa, a Pacific research method, to explore the perception of Fijian Indian students regarding group work. The findings revealed that students perceived both benefits and limitations related to engagement in collaborative learning. This discussion of group work plays a part in addressing New Zealand’s education system’s inequities for Pacific students, and it encourages teachers to consider what effective group work means for Fijian Indian students from the lived experiences of the students themselves.

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