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Teacher education in Papua New Guinea : policy and practice 1946-1996


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Quartermaine, Pamela Anne 2001 , 'Teacher education in Papua New Guinea : policy and practice 1946-1996', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This was a study in Papua New Guinea (PNG) of the planning and implementation of a
new three-year teacher education programme, the Diploma in Teaching (Primary). What
the indigenous staff in the nine residential colleges did to introduce the programme
between 1991 and 1993, was seen at the outset by the writer to be an important
culmination of all that preceded the innovation. The context, therefore, is detailed
historically for the 50 years from 1946 to 1996, indicating teacher training and teacher
education policy development, the process of staff localisation (indigenisation) and college
programme evolution.
The pioneering work of indigenous PNG school teachers was a significant contribution to
the country's development, consequently the way they were prepared for their work and
roles was a useful investigation. The need for education was apparent as the training and
employment of indigenous people accelerated at all levels in the workforce. Political
Independence in 1975 heralded withdrawal of many Australian Public Servants. Papua
New Guinea's contacts with the wider world were assisted by those proficient in the
English language and modernisation demanded 'international standards', a term used by a
Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan. All of the changes over fifty years required a person to
be educated differently than before.
The study involved collecting data through multi-site and multi-method means as follows:
Observations and interviews of lecturers in colleges and a survey with administrators at
the end of the first year of the Diploma implementation; an analysis of staff reports,
which had been written in each of the three years, and an examination of the responses to
a questionnaire sent to colleges at the time of the graduation of their first Diploma cohort.
The instruments were designed for this study. The historical data were located in a range
of official and private documents, and secondary sources, as well as conversations with
people who earlier served in PNG (and personal experience). The analysis fitted together
the story of teacher education in Papua and New Guinea. It is written mainly from a
government policy perspective although data included material from college staff,
Christian church agencies, universities and involved national, provincial and international
groups and individuals. Limitations to the study may be partly associated with paucity of
access to official records and transient key actors due to a 'developing country' situation.
In terms of findings of the study data show that new policies need to be clear if they are to be implemented as planned and adopted not adapted; the possibility in a joint working
relationship of tensions between Church agency goals and Government objectives and
responsibilities; cross-cultural communication is a requirement and can never be assumed
to be effective; assistance for a young country needs to start from where it sees itself;
dissonant events and timing between host country and donor agency require nonthreatening
processes for adjustment and timing of intervention is important; the fragility
of modem structures needs to be taken into account when planning change; ownership is
crucial to meaningful participation by a developing country; a vision for change needs to
be clarified with the teacher before commencement as failure to do so results in
interpretation and action even more varied than normal; in a culture where criticism is not
normally in public or the classroom, educational research documents, even if
constructively critical, may not be read and there is a need for understanding continuity,
overall policy formulation and coordination of implementation.
The thesis may assist volunteer staff agencies recruiting for a developing country setting,
teacher educators, policy-makers, external funding agencies, indigenous leaders and

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Quartermaine, Pamela Anne
Keywords: Teachers, Papua New Guinea, 1946-1996
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2001 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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