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Inclusion and Pacific Island Countries

Armstrong, Ann C. and Armstrong, Derrick (2020) Inclusion and Pacific Island Countries. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press, UK. ISBN TBC

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Abstract

The Pacific island countries occupy over 1000 islands in the world’s largest ocean. Their histories and traditions have created bonds between nations that run deep in the cultures of the region. Yet, across this vast ocean, the cultures of the region also differ significantly. The introduction of Western forms of education have often ignored these cultures. Currently, “inclusive education” programs are being promoted in the region, particularly by outside agencies and funding bodies. The disability-inclusion model that underpins many of these initiatives comes from outside the region, and attempts to engage with the cultures of the region in promoting these initiatives have tended to be very limited. Often the initiatives promote an agenda that draws its direction and purpose from the donor countries rather than those of aid-recipient countries. Interaction between cultures over different perspectives and priorities is very healthy but the process of implementation can also easily be detached from the experience and worldviews of the recipients of these programs. Engaging with cultures and the social experience of the citizens of the island countries of the Pacific should be the starting point for the development of educational policy and practice so that the disempowerment of external imposition is avoided. In this chapter we argue that the inclusive education narrative of the Pacific island countries is often subsumed by, and therefore becomes ‘lost’ within, the broader context of the Asia-Pacific which is much larger and includes the world’s most populous countries. We conclude by advocating that research needs to be conducted on issues and cultures in the Pacific region that can contribute to the development of more meaningful and contextual approaches to inclusive education.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.1200
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE)
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2021 14:38
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2021 14:38
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/12638
UNSPECIFIED

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