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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Unpublished thesis, University of Edinburgh
Title A study of policy and practice in secondary teacher education in Fiji
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.475.1943&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Abstract
Given that education is widely perceived as imperative to social development and
transformation, this thesis examines the discourses surrounding the particular role teacher
education might have in this objective. Of particular interest is the extent to which historical and
current socio-economic global imperatives combine to influence how initial secondary teacher
education in Fiji might be reinterpreting and/or reconstructing dominant paradigms of teacher
education. The study asks questions about the role of teacher education in the reproduction and
transformation of these dominant paradigms, with pedagogy contextualised in social and
political boundaries, hence the interest in ideology and the underlying assumptions that drive
teacher education. An examination is made of the interface between the processes of teacher
education policy and practice at the level of local culture/s of practice and its associated
discourses. The major research question asks: To what extent do globally defined discourses
surrounding education impact on the local culture/s of teacher education practice in the Fiji
context? The fieldwork explores the major discourses of practice evident in the way that
secondary teacher education is organised and implemented in Fiji, and considers whether these
discourses signify a particular paradigm of teacher education.
The findings note that firstly, the current discourses underpinning the organisation and practice
of teacher education in Fiji, tend to suggest the dominance of techno-rational approaches in the
form of discourses of ‘routinised practice’. The second major set of findings indicates
‘competing approaches and visions about teacher education’. Whilst teacher professionalism is
high on the agenda of those closely involved with teacher education in Fiji, there are, however,
indications that any humanistic developments in teacher education that support a more critical
pedagogy may well become submerged and therefore change becomes less likely. The
reproduction of dominant discourses of teacher education will support the maintenance of the
status quo, unless there is a clear and full articulation of the contradictions between the
competing discourses surrounding paradigms of teacher education. This articulation points to the
important role of agency in any transformative process. The thesis concludes by arguing that the
intersection of local and global discourses impacts in profound ways on teacher education,
suggesting significant implications for educational policy and its implementation in Fiji.

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