Symposium: Schooling in the Pacific
Organizer: Rachel Emerine Hicks
At the 2018 meetings, we had twelve people in attendance leading to a lively discussion around issues of schooling in the Pacific. Some of the topics discussed included westernization as a threat to traditional culture, schools as sites of socialization and transformation, the role of schools in reconciling differences and keeping the peace, and the influences of schooling on youth identities. Six people (Mary Good, Rachel Hicks, Helen Lee, David Oakeshott, and Jordan Prokosch) presented papers at various stages of the drafting process and received excellent feedback to strengthen the papers. From this, a few people decided to move to independent publication within the next year. Many people expressed interest in continuing the conversation and joining it in New Zealand. For this reason, the rest of the group decided to convene as a formal symposium in Auckland in 2019. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the 2019 meetings, please express your interest to Rachel Hicks as soon as possible; and send an abstract by October 31st firstname.lastname@example.org.
This session seeks to renew the conversation on schooling systems within the Pacific Islands, particularly at the primary and secondary levels (although tertiary level contributions are also welcome). Whether from personal experience at schools or from research about the schooling systems, in this session, we plan to discuss how schools throughout the Pacific become sites of both cultural preservation and cultural change. Some of the questions we will explore are: How does schooling prepare (or not) students for entering the workplace or returning to their village? How does schooling change students' understanding of their home cultures, languages, and villages? How is the access to technology in urban centers and schools changing the way students learn and interact with their traditional values?
We met as an informal session in 2017 and a working session in 2018. We currently have contributions from research in the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea. We would love to have others join the conversation and share the research they are doing on schooling throughout the Pacific.
Rachel Hicks, University of California–San Diego <email@example.com>