Ms Meripa Toso
MEd (hons),BEd, DipTchg
Vaovasamanaia Meripa Toso is a lecturer in Kainga Pasifika, in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. She is of Samoan decent and was educated in Samoa and Aotearoa New Zealand. Vaovasamanaia has worked in a range of early childhood education environments with over ten years teaching experience. She enjoys a wide range of experiences from the Fine Arts, Music, Arts, Social Sciences as well as the pure Sciences respectively. A strong belief upheld is that within teaching and learning, supporting students is paramount though service and leadership. Vaovasamanaia is part of a large family from Manono Island Samoa and maintains continous affiliations with aiga nationally and internationally. Her quest in education is to support all learners as all have potential to be effective leaders of tomorrow.
Research | Current
Research areas are the Holistic curriculum within early childhood education and adult learning and education. Vaovasamanaia has presented in international and national conferences disseminating her research. This work is highly innovative and is bringing forward holistic notions in mentoring and fostering Pasifika research for the future. Vaovasamania has published in high-level international journals. Recent focus is the exploration of Pasifika critical pedagogies, in particular how discourse of culture both construct and reconstruct learning for very young children and teachers. These issues have not been explored in any depth yet in the field of early childhood education. This is bringing forward holistic notions of mentoring and fostering Pasifika research for the future.
The Va and Spirituality within early childhood education using a dialogic approach as research methodology; Pasifika critical pedagogy for teachers. Focus is specifically on Pasifika critical pedagogies. Both areas are drawn on an inter-disciplinary area of research, including early childhood education to provide a complex, multifaceted critical analysis of culturally inclusive responsive practice for early childhood education, the conflicts and tensions and reconceptualising this area. Technology Education is also a research focus about perceptions of students within Initial Teacher Education programmes with special focus on Pasifika students.
Teaching | Current
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood Education - Pasifika specialisation
- EDCURPK121 Moi olaola -Holistic Development
- EDCURPK 322 Moui fakaagaga i lot he tau Aoga Fanau Iliiki he Pasifika - Spirituality
- EDCURRPK 120 Na i vakarau ni vuli ka ena Pasifika (Te Whariki the early childhood education curriculum)
- EDCURRPK 111 Nga ue’aki e Tekinolosia (Experiencing Technology)
- EDCURRPK 115 Apii taieni I nga mataiti mua (Science in the Early Years)
- EDCURRPK 212 Fika ‘i he Fanau liki (Mathematics in the Early Years)
- EDCURRPK 210 Aoaoga o fanau laiti (Infant and toddler pedagogies)
- EDUC 321 Politics, Philosophy and Education
- EDUC 118 History of Education
- EDCURRPK 353 Language Aquisition and learning
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood Education specialisation
- EDCURRIC 111: Technology
- EDCURRIC 112 Hauora: Early Years Movement (flexi and face-to-face)
- EDPROFST 101 Hauora: Early Years Wellbeing
- EDUC 321 Politics, Philosophy and Education
- EDCURRIC 115 Science in the early years
- EDCURRIC 211 Music in the early years
- EDUC 118 History of Education
- EDCURRIC 634 Hauora (flexi)
- EDPROFST 355 The Politics of Education (flexi)
- EDPROFST 220 Introduction to Samoan Language for Teaching (TESSOL)
Liberal Arts Programme
- EDUC 381 Adult Learning and Education
- Issues in Pacific Education
Master's of Profssional Studies student. - co- supervisor
Special Commendation in Equal Opportunities: Pasifika ECE Specialisation Programme – New Equity Initiatives, 20 June 2007
Awarded AKO AOTEAROA Scholarship for 2017.
- Director and coordinator for EDCURRPK 322 Moui fakaagaga i loto he tau Aoga Fanau Ikiiki he Pasifika (Spirituality)
- Director and coordinator for EDCURRPK 121 Moui olaola (Holistic Development)
- Director and coordinator for EDCURRPK 210 Aoaoga o fanau laiti (Infant and toddler pedagogies)
- Director and coordinator for EDCURRPK 111 Nga ue’aki e Tekinolosia (Experiencing Technology)
- Director and coordinator for EDCURRPK 115 Apii taieni I nga mataiti mua (Science in the Early Years)
- Director and coordinator for EDPROFST 355 The Politics of Education
- Director and coordinator for EDUC 309 Issues in Pacific Education
Areas of expertise
- Holistic curriculum of infant and toddler pedagogies
- Science in early years
- Science Education
- Language acquisition and learning
- Technology in early years
- Pasifika pedagogies for very young children
- Adult learning and education
- Spirituality - philosophy, critical spiritual pedagogy, spirituality in education and what this means, reconceptualising spirituality as a philosophy of practice for the 21st century
- The Va in early childhood education using a chronotopic analysis
- Giftedness and talents, a cultural framework to assist learning and teaching
- Post graduate Committee in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland
- Member of Kainga Pasifika in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland
- Member of Research Unit for Pacific Island Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland (RUPIE)
- Member of Samoan Aoga Amata in Aotearoa Association (SAASIA)
- Member of Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescolaire International Association (OMEP)
- Member of Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescolaire Auckland Chapter (OMEP)
- Member of Pacific Island Early Childhood Education Teachers Association (PIECETA)
- Member of NZARE Pasifika Association
- Member of FAGASA – Association for Samoan Teachers within Aotearoa
- Member of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)
- Executive member Ulimasao -portfolio: Early Childhood Laison
- Executive member Oceania Biblical Studies Association: president (OBSA) 2015-2017
- Member of Dialogic Pedagogy Journal Community (DPJ)
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Lee, K., Courtney, M., McGlashan, A., Toso, M., & Neveldsen, P. (2017). In-order to know where you are going you need to know where you are. A large sample case study, investigating initial teacher education students’ understandings of technology and technology education. Paper presented at TENZ/ICTE Conference Technology: An Holistic Approach to Education, St Margaret's College, Christchurch, New Zealand. 9 October - 11 October 2017.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kerry Lee, Ann McGlashan, Paul Neveldsen
- White, E. J., Gradovski, M., Toso, M., & Morgen, R. (2017). Heteroglossic dialogues in and between diverse learning contexts with 'other': A boiling cauldron of potentialities. Paper presented at The 16th International Bakhtin Conference, Shanghai, China. 6 September - 10 September 2017. Bakhtin in the Post-Revolutionary Era.
- Toso, M. (2017). My research journey and how Ako Aotearoa scholarship has assisted my research portfolio and professional development. Paper presented at Association of Pasifika Staff in Tertiary Education (APSTE) Conference 2017, Wellington, New Zealand. 13 July - 14 July 2017.
- Toso, M. (2017). What does Spirituality in Education mean?. Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. 15 May - 15 May 2017. Related URL.
- Toso, M. (2017). O le aiga o le fale ma le fatu: Family is the home and heart of all things. Paper presented at Oceania Biblical Studies Association (OBSA 2017), Trinity Methodist Theological College, Meadowbank, Auckland. 21 April - 22 April 2017. Related URL.
- Courtney, M., Lee, K., Courtney, K., McGlashan, A., Toso, M., & Neveldsen, P. (2017). Initial teacher education students’ conceptions of creativity in technology and science education: A large-scale New Zealand study. Australasian Journal of Technology Education10.15663/ajte.v4i1.44
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ann McGlashan, Kerry Lee, Paul Neveldsen
- Toso, M. (2016). O le faatauina o le Va i totonu of Aoga Amata: The Va within the context of Early Childhood Education. Paper presented at Second Pasifika International early childhood education conference, University of Auckland, Faculty of Education. 3 October - 7 October 2016. Related URL.
- Trinick, R., & Toso, M. (2016). Ta pepese faatasi: Pese as a vehicle of sustaining language and culture for early childhood education environments. Paper presented at Second International Pasfika ECE Conference (IPECE2), University of Auckland, Auckland. 3 October - 7 October 2016.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robyn Trinick