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Teacher Education

Academics from UOG and University of Oxford had a lengthy discussion on developing Teacher Education in PNG.

DEVELOPING Teacher Education is a key area that needs more attention.

This was the main point of discussion by academics from the University of Oxford and The University of Goroka during a recent Education Seminar held in Goroka.
The seminar, which was held on February 15-19, was part of a collaboration between the two universities which stretches back to 2013.
The team from Oxford that attended the seminar include Professor John Furlong, Dr. Ian Thompson and Dr. Ann Child.
Prof. Ferlong, who is the ex-director of the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Childs discussed the issues of developing Teacher Education and best practices around the world while their counterparts at The University of Goroka presented their experiences and challenges they faced on Teacher Education.
Dr. Childs said the specific issues and challenges raised would be examined.
Over the course of the seminar they looked at the issues and challenges raised, and what kinds of developments Goroka needed and how Oxford could work in collaboration with UOG to help.
“It’s just airing views and issues, challenges in both context and looking for ways forward to develop teacher education in PNG hopefully,” Dr. Childs said.
The seminar discovered that there was a need to do more research in Papua New Guinea on Teacher Education and on Education.
Dr. Childs, who holds a PhD in Chemistry and has worked with the Department of Education in Oxford for over 20 years, pointed out that the structure of the current course could be reviewed to see if it fits the purpose in current day PNG.
A lot of discussion was based on ways the current programme works and if it is working now for the current education system in the country.
Acting Dean of Education Dr. Sam Najike said the seminar was a very useful and informative one where Teacher Education was put under the micro-scope.
“Even though this is collaboration with Oxford, we try to look at how we can improve in our Teacher Education,” Dr. Najike said.
“It is very crucial, very important we must always have input from others outside and elsewhere to improve our practice otherwise we are redundant.
“We cannot do much progress but we are assessing how we are doing things here.”
Dr. Najike said the seminar will help in designing programmes for UOG.
“It is the first time we are having people from outside looking at it (programmes) and not necessarily telling us what to do but they give us a feedback on how to do things. Just ideas like that is very useful for our practice.
“There were a number of comparisons done between UOG and Oxford and across the board theory and practice, how courses are done and so fort. It was done in an environment where it was open discussion on just looking at how it is done.
“The main possible outcome is we have looked at some of our weak areas and we have looked at some of the areas/pathways that we can follow to address many of this concerns in teacher education.”
In 2013 the Director of the Department Education and Dr. Childs came to UOG, as a result of initiative to work between the two universities.
The initial visit looked at what kind of collaboration could exist between The University Goroka and University of Oxford and a two-days workshop was held.
The result of this partnership included a visit to Oxford on May 2014 by a delegate of 20 members that included staff from UOG and other parts of the country.
The delegates spent two weeks of discussion on Teacher Education in PNG and Teacher Education in Oxford, and learn from each other about how to improve both universities Teacher Education.
From that trip it was resolved that four staff from Goroka join in a Masters in Teacher Education in Oxford. The staff joined in September 2014.