Respect for culture

This module offers suggestions about ways schools can acknowledge and affirm students’ different cultures and backgrounds.

Focus questions
  1. Did the “Respect for culture” sub-aspect data suggest any next steps for your school?
  2. Do you have other school data about this area of school practice? What does this tell you?

Key ideas about respect for culture

Statistics show that Māori students have less academic success at school, and are disproportionately represented in early leaving, stand-down and suspension statistics.  Pacific males are also over-represented in many of these statistics. Therefore the needs of Māori and Pacific students are an important focus for schools.  Researchers suggest that schools need to consider how they can use culturally-responsive approaches to strengthen relationships and develop caring schools and classrooms, as well as think about and manage student behaviour. A range of student outcomes can be enhanced when schools use culturally-responsive approaches.


Reflective question(s)

To what extent do we draw on the diverse cultural backgrounds of students to strengthen practice at this school? What are the range of ways we show this? 

Ways of working could include

Focusing on culturally-responsive practices


Improving consultation and partnership processes (see the Community partnerships module)

  • Ensuring parents and whānau of students from the main cultural groups attending your school are included on teams that work to improve student health and wellbeing.
  • Consulting whānau and iwi about their aspirations and goals for their young people and their views on how to work together to enhance students’ wellbeing.
  • Consulting with other parent groups who represent the students at your school (e.g., Pacific parents and their community organisations) about their aspirations and views about how to enhance students’ wellbeing.