Transformations from within: Rethinking Pacific Education Initiative. The development of a movement for social justice and equity

Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, PhD


The paper reports on an initiative undertaken by a group of Pacific
educators – “insiders”who have undertaken various activities and work
of embedding Indigenous graduate attributes into teacher education
courses, in leadership training of young and emerging young Pacific
leaders and in communities, research that takes into account indigenous
knowledge systems. This is at the University of the South Pacific and
a number of other universities and colleges of education in the region
including Victoria University in NZ. The effort of the Rethinking Pacific
Education Initiative (RPEIPP) hence provides the background to the
development and implementation of holistic Indigenous graduate
attributes. The approaches taken by the RPEIPP Pacific wide in the
rethinking and redefining of education and other courses in schools as
well as universities and colleges in the region, ensure that aspects of
indigenous peoples cultures and related worldviews and life values and
philosophies inform the work of educators. This is besides the normal
provision of global knowledge, skills and values that dominate schooling
and higher education in particular.
RPEIPP is highly transformative and with the assistance of NZAid, is
almost totally internally driven, implemented and progressively evaluated.
While the first ten years of the initiative focused on teacher education,
leadership, research and publications, the future should perhaps move to
other parts of the Pacific region, most notably Micronesia and the North
Western Pacific. Another dimension could also engage in comparative
studies or researches of systems and curricula.

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