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Reconceptualising inclusive education in the Pacific

Armstrong, Ann C. and Fua, Seu'ula J. and Armstrong, Derrick (2021) Reconceptualising inclusive education in the Pacific. International Journal of Inclusive Education, - . pp. 1-15. ISSN 1360-3116

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The Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) 2018–2030 proposes an ambitious agenda for a transformative and sustainable educational intervention across 15 countries. This paper discusses an approach to inclusive education in the countries of the Pacific islands as they begin to engage with this educational framework. We argue that inclusive education has been heavily influenced by ideas from outside the Pacific. Pacific cultural understandings of community relationships and responsibilities in particular are often overshadowed by imported ideas from outside the region. The influence of ‘outsider’ perspectives and practices reflect continuing colonial domination, weakening local capacity-building within teacher education institutions in the region. The Pacific Island countries (PICs) are highly dependent on donor partners and this dependency is frequently informed by deficit views. The idea of inclusive education begs the question of ‘Inclusion into what?’ The dominance of Western ideas may ignore the relational context of Pacific cultures, reinforcing ideas of cultural deficit. This paper reviews inclusive education in the Pacific within the context of policy borrowing and cultural tensions between Pacific and Western frameworks. It also considers the experience of teacher educators working within an institutional context that itself is heavily influenced by imported structures and ideas.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Institute of Education
Depositing User: Afuafu Kautoke
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2021 03:59
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 02:09

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