Aiming for student achievement: How teachers can understand and better meet the needs of Māori and Pacific Island students

by Jan Hill and Kay Hawk


What is considered to be valid achievement for students is a value-laden issue and its effective measurement is a very complex business. This is especially true for students who come from poor communities and attend low-decile schools.

This 1998 article in SET: Research Information for Teachers, examines the development of the AimHi project and research. Although this research is now older it still has relevance for schools. The research explores the links between the world(s) of the student, the world(s) of home, and the world(s) of school, and how the collision of these worlds can impact on student learning and achievement.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • Thinking about your own school, consider the different worlds that students operate in. How might these worlds conflict with each other? Do they influence your school’s culture?
  • What strategies could your school put in place to bridge the gaps between the worlds?
  • Could you represent, diagrammatically, the notion of a child growing up in many worlds? Try to link that to the world of the school, from a principal’s perspective.

Further reading

Te Kōtahitanga: The Experiences of Year 9 and 10 Māori Students in Mainstream Classrooms.

Pasifika Education Plan: Monitoring Report


Hill, J., & Hawk, K. (1998). set: Research Information for Teachers, 2, item 4.

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