Leadership in ECE: Cultural intelligence (Part 4 of 5)


Ruta and Lima Magele, experienced Early Learning Facilitators, focus on the proverb -  “Ia su’i tonu le mata o le niu” which means to pierce the right eye of the coconut. The proverb describes the notion of leadership – to go about an undertaking in the proper way- leading the right way.

In Q3 of this series Ruta  discusses the four factor model of cultural intelligence. The first factor is motivational cultural intelligence- this is about showing an interest, confidence and drive to adapt cross culturally.

The second factor is cognitive cultural intelligence It’s  about understanding cross cultural issues and differences.

The third factor is metacognitive cultural intelligence-it’s about strategizing and making sense of culturally diverse experiences. It includes awareness, planning and checking

The fourth factor is behavioural  which refers to a leader’s ability to act appropriately when interacting cross culturally both verbally and non verbally.


  • This is the first time that the Ministry of Education has offered professional development on Pasifika leadership. In the past leadership pedagogies from the Western world were predominantly used to upskill ece teachers who were/are in leadership positions. 
  • Due to the vast growth of Pasifika families and children attending ece services in both mainstream and Pasifika services the Ministry is interested in developing Pasifika leadership pedagogies to ensure that teachers and leaders who are working with Pasifika families/fanau and communities are demonstrating an understanding of  Pasifika theories and practice in their services. The Pasifika Education Plan puts Pasifika learners, families and communities at the centre, so that all activities are responding to the identities, languages and cultures of each Pasifika group.
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