Using the Meke Meter to understand rangatahi hauora in the Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school context
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Citation:Armstrong, D. (2022). Using the Meke Meter to understand rangatahi hauora in the Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school context. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Health Science). Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5779
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5779
BACKGROUND In Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), many rangatahi (adolescents) are not experiencing good quality of life (QoL), which negatively impacts their wellbeing. Wellbeing affects adolescents’ engagement with learning, social and emotional behaviour, and overall satisfaction with life and with school. In the NZ tertiary education setting, the Meke Meter™ was found to be a quick and simple tool that benefited both students and educators through increased awareness and knowledge of the student’s wellbeing and the various aspects that contribute to it. The Meke Meter™ is an indigenous, holistic self-reflection tool that has minimal text and does not require the user to write but instead score themselves for various aspects that contribute to their overall health and wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to answer the question: Is the Meke Meter™ an appropriate tool for capturing the self-evaluated wellbeing status of rangatahi in a secondary school setting? This overarching question has been broken into three sub-questions: 1. Is the online and/or paper version of the Meke Meter™ a suitable and user-friendly interface for rangatahi to use to self-evaluate their wellbeing? 2. Do classroom teachers feel that the Meke Meter™ can be effectively applied in the curriculum around wellbeing? 3. Are there any existing QoL or wellbeing tools suitable for use in the NZ secondary school context? METHODS A case study approach was undertaken to answer sub-questions 1 and 2 with the Meke Meter™ being trialled in a mainstream secondary school and an alternative secondary education setting. At the mainstream secondary school, 12 kaiako (teachers) offered the paper version of the Meke Meter™ to their Whānau group and a total of 85 out of 97 (87.6 %) enrolled rangatahi gave consent to participate by completing their Meke Meter™. The Lead Facilitator of the alternative education programme used the digital format of the Meke Meter™ and at the time this case study took place, there were five rangatahi enrolled, of which four agreed to participate. After regular use of the Meke Meter™, the participating teachers and students provided feedback about the use of the Meke Meter™ via Google Forms. The qualitative data was analysed using an inductive thematic analysis and the appreciate inquiry framework was used to critically analyse and discuss the findings. A systematic literature review was undertaken to answer sub-question 3. The review comprised of four stages. The COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) tool and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) flowchart were used to facilitate the selection of articles with appropriate instruments. The characteristics of the eligible QoL and or wellbeing instruments were determined, and the instruments were assessed for suitability in the NZ secondary school classroom setting. FINDINGS In the case studies, both kaiako and rangatahi found the Meke Meter™, regardless of format, quick and easy to use requiring very little teacher instructional input. Rangatahi acknowledged that using the Meke Meter™ promoted self-awareness and allowed them to set goals and track progress. The kaiako found the Meke Meter™ to fit well with the current focus on student wellbeing and its use could support the school curriculum. The Meke Meter™ appeared to allow kaiako to gain insight into the lived experiences of rangatahi, which could enable them to alter their teaching pedagogy to better cater pastorally to their students’ needs. The comments from some kaiako suggested that the development of student and teacher resources would support the use of the Meke Meter™ in the classroom. The digital version of the Meke MeterTM appeared to have some administrative and data collection advantages over the paper version. In the systematic review, the titles and abstracts of 6,613 articles were screened to determine eligibility. After the initial screening, 89 articles were retrieved for full-text screening. From these, eight articles (n = 8) were included in the study and five instruments were identified for assessment. The instruments identified were insufficiently aligned to Māori understandings of wellbeing and in addition, most were unsuitable for teachers to administer during class time, nor were they fit for purpose for rangatahi, in particular rangatahi Māori. CONCLUSION In the absence of an existing adolescent QoL or wellbeing tool suitable for use in the NZ secondary school education settings, there is scope for the development of such a tool. This research study has begun to explore the applications of the Meke Meter™ in the secondary education sector. A continued journey of co-design that engages with Government, communities, whānau and rangatahi is needed. This is to ensure that the Meke Meter™ is not just a tool for promoting self-reflection of life, goal setting and progress tracking, but instead an entire wrap-around system of monitoring and resources to equip and empower rangatahi to live their best possible lives with a focus on thriving and flourishing to enhance wellbeing.