Working Session: Schools in the Pacific
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?
Along with discussing the general role of schools in their communities, this session will look at some of the school policy changes throughout the Pacific over the past decade. Some of these changes include: “fee free” education, switch from outcome based to standard based education, beginning or
ending schooling in local languages, and the introduction of technology into the classrooms. In this
session, I hope to examine the effects of these changes in places where they have been implemented.
We met as an informal session in 2017 and had a lively discussion exploring these issues. In 2018, we plan to give specific feedback on paper ideas and abstracts and ideally move to a formal symposium in 2019. 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 in the Pacific.
The current lineup is:
Rachel Hicks, University of California–San Diego <firstname.lastname@example.org>