|Drawii, Judy Tatu
|Drawii, J. T. (2008). Cult on the rise? Students’ perspectives on cult issues in secondary and national high schools in Papua New Guinea (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2239
|In the last five years there has been a dramatic increase in perceived levels of
antisocial behaviour amongst students in Secondary and National High schools
in Papua New Guinea. Certain events have caught the public's attention, such
as the burning down of school buildings and reports of Satanic worship.
Despite widespread concern, there seems to be little understanding of why such
problems are occurring and no systematic studies to estimate the exact extent of
such behaviours or their underlying cause.
The main objective of this study was to collect information about the
students' perspectives on the nature and extent of these perceived problems. For
ethical reasons, and with regard to ease of access to participants within the time
frame of the study, data were collected from the first year student teachers at
Madang Teachers' College, Papua New Guinea, who had been
Secondary/National High school students only a few months previously. As this
was an exploratory investigation, and it was not known whether participants
would feel more at ease talking one-on-one with the researcher or in groups,
two methodologies were used: focus group discussions and individual
interviews. The research was conducted over a period of three weeks in June
2007, and involved a total of 21 participants (three focus groups of five, five
and six people respectively, and six individual interviewees, one of whom also
joined a group).
The main findings to emerge from these discussions were as follows.
First, the participants explained their own and other students' behaviour in terms
of exploring old and new traditions of school life. Second, although several
participants reported knowledge of supernatural practices, many of the group
activities described in the discussions were normal activities among peer cliques
that provided a sense of belonging and positive support for school achievement.
There were no major differences in the stories told by male and female
participants, and no obvious differences in the type of information provided
under different research conditions.
There was some disagreement among participants as to whether or not school
authorities should take strong action to eliminate the possibility of cult
The findings are interpreted with reference to both Western
psychological ideas about the nature of adolescence, and to local traditions,
practices, and understandings of lifespan development. In particular, the notion
of 'searching for identity' stands out in these accounts of student behaviour.
This was an exploratory study and not designed to yield results that
provide an overall picture of the situation in the Secondary/National High
schools of Papua New Guinea. Nevertheless, participants' reports did relate to
events experienced in the majority of PNG Secondary and National High
schools, and some recommendations are tentatively offered.
|The University of Waikato
|All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
|Papua New Guinea
|national high schools
|Cult on the rise? Students' perspectives on cult issues in secondary and national high schools in Papua New Guinea
|University of Waikato
|Master of Education (MEd)
|Hamilton, New Zealand