Open Conference Systems, ITC 2016 Conference

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PAPER: A School-Based Measure of Culturally Responsive Practices
Mustafa Asil

Building: Pinnacle
Room: 3F-Port of San Francisco
Date: 2016-07-02 03:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Last modified: 2016-05-21


In Aotearoa New Zealand, MÄori students have been identified as priority learner groups because they have lower achievement outcomes, are more likely to leave school earlier without formal qualifications and are less likely to be identified as being gifted and talented than their majority ethnic counterparts. The Ministry of Education has embarked on culturally responsive learning environments strategy for indigenous MÄori.  Research literature indicates that all students benefit from and perform better in a culturally responsive educational setting. However, the achievement gap between MÄori and Non-MÄori has remained large to date. The purpose of this study is to understand schools’ cultural responsiveness practices in relation to MÄori as a possible factor in persistent low achievement.

A new self-report inventory, the Culturally Responsive Practices for MÄori Scale (CRPMS), drawing on Ka Hikitia and Educultural Wheel (Macfarlane, 2004), was designed with a MÄori reference group and school principals. Data were collected from a national sample of 165 school principals in 2014.

CFA and MIMIC modeling were used to establish a robust model, examine differences in schools’ culturally responsive practices for MÄori by location and number of MÄori students, and examine if MÄori students perform better in culturally responsive schools.

Among alternative models tested, a measurement model consistent with Macfarlane’s framework had satisfactory model-data fit. No statistically significant differences were found between north and south island primary schools on CRPMS, although there was a positive relationship between the number of MÄori students within a school and school’s self-reported CRPMS. Complex results were found between achievement and CRPMS.

Educational underachievement of priority learner groups under Western systems is not unique to New Zealand context, but a global challenge. Therefore, the findings of this study are expected to be of interest to educators and researchers in multilingual and multicultural societies.

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