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Our philosophy

The Samoan proverb highlights the value of this research, by reminding us that: (O tu, aganu'u, ma agaifanua, a le tamatiti o lea lē mafai ona ulufale atu i le potuaoga sei vagana ua fa'atauaina ma fa'aulufaleina muamua i le loto ma le agaga o le faiaoga) "the culture of the child cannot enter the classroom until it has first entered the consciousness of the teacher" In the spirit of this proverb, our philosophy is grounded upon Samoan indigenous knowledge systems to engage all teachers of Samoan tamaiti in transforming and sustaining culturally inclusive practice. Our service aims to generate and contribute to Early Childhood Education communities and scholarship in the context of Samoan philosophy and pedagogy. 

We are based in Aoteroa New Zealand and are experts in Samoan transnational aoga amata research, curriculum design and pedagogy. Our most recent project is Pepe Meamea - a funded project (TLRI) that seeks to develop New Zealand's first Samoan infant and toddler pedagogical framework. 

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Aoga Amata Transnational Aotearoa Ltd offers the comprehensive capabilities in Samoan early childhood education philosophy and pedagogy. We offer expertise in early childhood education curriculum design, leadership and research. Our collective approach ensures Samoan ways of being and knowing are integrated into all aspects of co-design, partnership and transformation. We offer the following:

* Research informed curriculum design and pedagogy

* Cultural consultation

* ECE Leadership development

* Teacher development

* Gagana Samoa and Pedagogical development

Want to experience the expertise of Aoga Amata Transnational Aotearoa Ltd for yourself? Give us a call today and let’s discuss what we can do for you.

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Get to Know Us

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Dr Tafili Utumapu-McBride is as an experienced academic in ECE initial teacher education and has expertise in mainstream and Pasifika ECE curriculum and pedagogy. She is fluent in gagana Samoa. Tafili has a PhD in Education from the University of Auckland (1998). Her doctoral research was one of the first in Pacific ECE, where she examined the impact of Samoan women's roles in 21 Samoan Language Nests in Auckland (supervised by Professor Stuart McNaughton). Her research focused on documenting how Samoan communities have evolved and how they maintained their cultural identity. This is her 29th year teaching in the tertiary sector, with humble beginnings as a postgraduate student who provided tutoring and mentoring for Māori and Pacific Island students at the University of Auckland.

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Salā has a PhD cultural transition from AUT (2017). The focus of her research explores factors that contribute to Samoan children's cultural and language identity and wellbeing. Her research specialises in ECE transition, from the Aoga Amata context to Samoan primary bilingual classrooms in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has significant experience in organisational leadership and management at executive and governance levels within tertiary institutions. With practitioner grounded research experience, Sala has trained different Pacific research assistants across the Pacific region (Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Samoa). More recently, she has conducted professional development in the topic' effective bilingual Pacific ECE' for 35 Pacific ECE centres in Mangere and Otara.

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Jacoba has more than 14 years' experience in educational leadership, ranging from ITE leadership across institutions through to ECE centre management and leadership  Jacoba has lead several funded Pasifika education-focused research projects targeted at grounding Pacific philosophy in education for the success of Pasifika peoples in education.  Jacoba has expertise in digital design to facilitate research collaboration; an example of such is the wayfinding Pasifika success website developed to support ongoing transformation in teaching practice within the University of Auckland  Jacoba is a fully registered teacher, has a BEd (ECE), MEdL, EdD, Jacoba has published and presented extensively in Pasifika education including ECE internationally.

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Thanks for reaching out. We’ll get back to you soon.

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Auckland New Zealand


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