ECE Resources

Embedding Samoan indigenous philosophy in ECE

This panel discussion is based upon a two-year TLRI (Teaching and Learning Research Initiative) study that aims to develop New Zealand’s first Samoan Indigenous framework for Samoan infant and toddler pedagogy in early childhood education. 

In this session, Dr Jacoba Matapo from The University of Auckland, Dr Salā Faasaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota, Principal Analyst (Researcher) in the Ministry of Pacific People and former Chair and Director of SAASIA (Samoan ECE Association in NZ) for 12 years, and Dr Tafili Utumapu-McBride from AUT discuss Samoan conceptualisations of Pepe Meamea (infants and toddlers) as part of the research findings. Through deeply rooted Samoan collective ontologies, this research mobilises Samoan Indigenous knowledge systems to engage all teachers of Samoan Pepe Meamea in transforming practice, generating and contributing to ECE communities in the context of infant and toddler pedagogy. 

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article

Topics discussed in this webinar: 

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video 

5.13Why is an indigenous framework for Samoan infants and toddlers needed? 
11.55How Samoan Pepe Meamea is different from Western notions of the ‘infant and toddler’ 
19.45Drawing on indigneous knowledge systems to reconceptualise infant and toddler care 
28.20How teachers can use this research  
33.51How the Pepe Meamea framework connects with Tapasā (the competencies framework for teachers of Pasifika learners) 
38.02Will the Pepe Meamea framework and philosophy be useful for all children (including non-Samoan children)? 
40.49 The future of the project and planned publications 
42.39Place of alofa (love) in the Pepe Meamea framework 
45.45Key insights of this research so far 

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar 

What does it mean to use a cultural lens (such as a Samoan philosophical lens) for teaching and learning in your centre? How might it enrich and expand practice? 

How might the use of Samoan concepts for infant and toddler care and education challenge some of the practices that are familiar to you? 

What is your image of the infant or toddler? How aware are you of different cultural lenses for the infant and toddler? 

Further reading 

Read about the TLRI project here

Access Tapasā, the cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pasifika learners, here.  

Please see our 2022 webinar Samoan indigenous philosophy and practice in ECE here.

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