Tepora Pukepuke - Doctor of Education

Social worker Tepora's Doctor of Education research focuses on developing the academic skills of Māori postgraduate students.

Tepora Pukepuke
Tepora Pukepuke

"I was drawn by the opportunity to study with other Māori at doctoral level. The quality of the staff available to support me at the University is top notch, and since being here I have come to know and value the work of the administrators to help students succeed.

“For years I have been involved in student support services. Study is hard work, so I was interested in helping students in their academic progress.

“For my doctoral research I focused on the strategies Māori postgraduate students use to develop their academic skills. I blended my professional experience as a social worker with the aspirations of Māori to succeed in their learning. I’m using a technique where students and teaching staff dialogue about a piece of literature they have all agreed to read.

Participants draw on their life experiences, the learning from the literature and the shared interpretations of the reading. Their voices are given equal weight. This technique fits very nicely with Māori concepts of hui (meetings) and whanaungatanga (complex connections) enabling Māori students to engage deeply with study material and then ’really get it’.

“I enjoy studying on the more contained campus of Epsom. I have made good friends and feel that I’m part of a supportive community while I continue to pursue my doctorate.

“My goal is to continue to research the area of marginalised populations and to bring about transformative change.”