Jeanne Teisina

Jeanne Teisina

Manager, Akoteu Kato Kakala Early Childhood Education Centre
Doctor of Education student
Master of Education
Master of Educational Leadership

Enrolling in the Doctor of Education felt like the natural next step, says Jeanne Teisina.

“I’m committed to building success in Tongan early childhood education in New Zealand. I already have two master’s degrees, and doctoral study will support my mission to contribute to the body of knowledge for our Tongan children to grow up and refer to.

“AUT encourages me to be strong in my own sense of identity, and extend my thinking and learning through the support and guidance of some amazing philosophers and teachers.”

Research that matters
For her doctoral research, Jeanne is drawing on her experience as a manager of a Tongan language nest.

“My research aims to investigate the notion of subjectivity in Tongan thinking and in New Zealand early childhood education by theorising, critiquing and linking notions of ‘self’ in official documents on the one hand, and the understandings of Tongans in New Zealand on the other.

“Supervised by Professor Nesta Devine, Associate Professor Andrew Gibbons and Associate Professor Georgina Stewart, my research will add to the emancipatory work of Tongan and Pacific researchers from a poststructuralist indigenous position, presented for a broader audience.”

She loves that AUT has created a space to share her voice through her research, and she feels a strong of sense of belonging at AUT, Jeanne says.

An excellent support system
The support system in the Doctor of Education is very strong, Jeanne says.

“It’s not a lonely journey because we meet up in the block courses to share our journey and knowledge, and inspire and motivate each other in the team.

“As a working mum it’s hard to find the time and space to do my writing. Fortunately, AUT has created a beautiful space for us doctoral students at the South Campus that can be accessed 24 hours a day. In this space, we have our own desks and computers where we’re encouraged to do our studies, and this has helped me a lot in my study journey.”

Her advice for other students is to never give up on pursuing your dreams and aspirations.

“You can do it with the help of the right people, right place, right mindset and at the right time. It’s always about the journey and the process. I think choosing the right university will enable you to head towards your dreams. I found exactly that in AUT.”