McGee, C. & Rodie, P. (2011). The Solomon Islands School of Education Partnership: Aspirations, context and design in educational change. Waikato Journal of Education, 16(2), 7-19.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6123
This article provides a background and context for a project that linked the School of Education in Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SOE) with an external partner to work together on institutional and educational change. The four and a half year Partnership was funded by the New Zealand Aid Programmei. Pre-service teacher education in Solomon Islands is mainly provided by the School of Education. For a number of years the school has faced many challenges in its attempt to offer quality pre-service teacher education. Some challenges were external, such as political instability and ethnic unrest, and some were internal, such as a need to address the school's aims, design of programmes, quality of teaching, learning and assessment and the professional development of academic staff. We explain how the partnership responded to challenges and evolved in a way that recognised the input of the School of Education staff and avoided the imposition of solutions by the external partner. The major aspirations and intentions of the Partnership are described along with indications of positive changes that led to an extension of the project. A major change in the school was the inclusion of a teacher education programme for some of the many untrained practising teachers in the Solomon Islands. It is pointed out, however, that there were risks and challenges that faced the Partnership over its duration. Some were outside the control of the partners and others could be addressed and improvements made, especially within the school using a collaborative approach. It is argued that issues remain and further impetus is needed to effect more lasting change.
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
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