School of Education

SOED

Regional Early Childhood Education and Care in the Pacific Talanoa Symposium

 

Ensuring inclusive and quality early childhood care and education in the Pacific through teacher education reforms

23 -25 October 2019

Tanoa International Hotel -Nadi-Fiji

Overview
This symposium builds on the 2017 UNICEF Conference ‘Moving Forward with Sustainable Development Goals for Early Childhood’, but with a specific focus on the role of teacher education in helping to ensure the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 across the Pacific in the context of early childhood education and care (ECEC).  One of the key targets of SDG 4 is to ensure that by 2030 all children have access to quality early childhood care and education and are better prepared for primary education. In addition, SDG 4 clearly identifies the need to substantially increase the number of qualified teachers at the pre-primary level, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states.  This is crucial to achieving long-term sustainable development across Oceania by improving quality of life and access to inclusive education from the beginning to equip our future generation with the knowledge and skills need to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.  A focus on early childhood education is essential to ensure the foundations are well and truly there to successfully launch these young learners on their future education journey.  

Much has already been done across the Pacific in relation to addressing the sustainable development goals, and some progress has been in the context of early childhood teacher education.  The Pacific has actually come a long way in their commitment to ECEC.  The ‘Pasifika Call to Action for Early Childhood Development’, the ‘PacREF 2018-2030’, the Pacific ECEC Quality Framework and the Teacher Competency Framework clearly demonstrate the commitment to, and increasing interest in the ECEC sector.  

How can early childhood educators be better prepared to meet these ambitious goals?  What are the challenges currently faced across Pacific Island Nations in the early childhood education profession?  How can we improve early childhood teacher education and what standards should the Pacific be aspiring to?  How do Pacific Island Nations address the shortage of qualified teachers in this area?  What should be done for in-service teachers to bring them up to speed and ensure they are supported and adequately qualified?  Who is leading in this area and what can be learned from them and from recent research? What are the common themes across the Pacific?  How do we create teacher education programs that support in-service and pre-service educators’ ongoing professionalism that build on Pacific-specific knowledges and practices? These are just some of the issues that will be addressed in this dynamic 3 day event by some of the world’s leading experts in the field.  The talanoa symposium will be hosted by the University of the South Pacific in cooperation with Australia’s Monash University.  

Who should attend?
Teacher educators, Ministry of Education representatives, researchers, early childhood education experts and administrators and other relevant stakeholder representatives from across Oceania.  Teacher education students and postgraduate students are also encouraged to attend.

Organising Committee:
USP School of Education is leading the planning and the implementation of the symposium in partnership with Monash University’s Faculty of Education and in consultation with USP Pacific TAFE, Fiji National University, PacREF, Ministry of Education, Heritage &Arts (Fiji).

Purpose

Purpose

The talanoa symposium aims to create a shared understanding amongst Pacific countries on the key issues, challenges and priorities in early childhood education teacher training and development that can help to inform the development of a common vision for inclusive and quality early childhood education in the region.  This vision will be used to articulate the standards needed and the specific support required by pre-primary teacher graduates and in-service teachers to better prepare them for their roles.

The event aims to generate understanding of, and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 targets related to early childhood education quality and teacher qualifications across key stakeholders, including:

  • At regional-level, to identify priority regional actions to strengthen teaching quality and learning in line with existing regional quality frameworks and build/strengthen networking relationships and promote collaboration amongst representatives from across Oceania.
  • At country-level, to identify and discuss current key issues, risks and possibilities in ECEC teaching quality and to commit to actions for strengthening inclusive Pacific ECEC through teacher education, supervision, support and professional development;
  • Workshop immediate and longer-term goals for each country to develop strategies towards the realization of SDG Goal 4: an inclusive 2030 Pacific ECEC and all the SDG goals, with an emphasis on the professionalisation of the workforce.
  • Within teacher training institutions, including those offering pre-service and in-service training, identify priority actions for a coherent approach to teacher training and development throughout their careers.

Expected Outcomes

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of this symposium include:

  1. Increased and shared understanding of the role of early childhood teacher educators in fulfilling national development goals through the SDGs in  Oceania.
  2. Strengthen networks to develop better coordination and support strategies for ECEC teacher education providers with Ministries and NGOs;
  3. Commitment to action plans and monitoring and evaluation tools that model and deliver improved ECEC services that is contextual in Oceania.
  4. Develop improved pedagogical ECEC knowledge and articulate standards for teachers and teacher educators through educator professional development.

Monitoring and follow-up on these outcomes will be conducted by USP (with support from Monash University). An evaluation will be conducted at the end of the symposium and country action plans will be shared. In collaboration with UNICEF’s PRC4ECCE as part of its regional mandate on early childhood education and development in the region, a region-wide in country survey will be conducted as follow up to this event. The planning committee team will strive to support participants to hold to their declared commitments and monitor how recommendations are translated into country level developments.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Dr Lavinia Tiko


Dr Lavinia Tiko is currently the senior lecturer and programme coordinator in early childhood education and care with the School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, University of the South Pacific. Her passionate is in quality and relevance of teacher education programme in general and more specifically in early childhood and early years mainstream where strong foundations are needed to be built so that nations can have strong citizens whom will in turn can build strong economies.

Professor Unaisi Walu Nabobo Rauluni Baba


Unaisi has had over 33 years of working in the field of education.  Her work has been in teaching, researching, publication and other educational and development related work in the Pacific Islands. She is a teacher, researcher and a prolific author. Unaisi Nabobo-Baba is currently a Professor of Educational Research at the Fiji National University. She is also FNU’s Natabua Campus Academic Leader. Her career began in 1986 at the Queen Victoria School, Matavatucou, then in 1992, she took on a position at the Fiji College of Advanced Education (now a part of the Fiji National University). In 1996 she joined the University of the South Pacific as Lecturer in Education after completing a gold medal winning thesis in education and the social sciences at the USP. In 2001 she undertook her doctoral studies at the University of Auckland. Her PhD thesis and book “Knowing and Learning: An Indigenous Fijian Approach was recognized as a distinguished contribution to international and indigenous knowledge by the American Education Research Association in 2007.   In 2011 a position at the University of Guam took her to the far North of the Pacific where she left as Professor of Education last year in 2017. In November last year, she assumed her new role at the Fiji National University.

Unaisi is passionate about quality and relevance in education. She is also passionate about documenting and researching Pacific Islands’ philosophies, cultures and intangible cultural heritages as well examining what is UNIQUE about our people& relationships in the Pacific islands.   Her research, publication and consultancy interests include teacher education, education reform and international aid in Pacific Education, indigenous knowledge, research and development, higher education, education for sustainable development, women in leadership in the Pacific Islands, rural and remote & islands education, among others.  

Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba has worked in Fiji,Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Is, Marshall Is, New Zealand, Yap, Pohnpei, Rota, Saipan (CNMI), Guam and Palau with brief stints in the US.   Professor Nabobo-Baba speaks Fijian and Pidgin English fluently and has some understanding of Hindi, Tongan, Samoan, and I Kiribati. 

Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer


Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer holds the Foundation Chair of Early Childhood Education and Development at Monash University, Australia. She was awarded the 2018 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council and was a former President of the International Society of Cultural-historical Activity Research (ISCAR). Additionally, she holds the positions of an honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and a second professor position in the KINDKNOW Centre, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Professor Margaret Sims


Professor Sims is currently Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England. Her research interests in early childhood focus around quality community-based services for young children and families. This includes working with infants and toddlers, diversity, social justice and equity, integrated early childhood and family services and professionalisation in early childhood. She is currently involved in an international study examining professionalisation of the sector. In addition to her early childhood work she is engaged in research around the impact of neoliberal managerialism in the higher education sector. She explores a range of different strategies of sharing her research: she writes a weekly column in the local newspaper for parents and community members and has made two short films available on youtube. She has a third edition of her infant and toddler book in press and is currently writing a book on higher education. Margaret has 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren in New Zealand and two grandchildren in Australia living in the same town.

Ms Ufemia Bera Camaitoga


Ufemia Camaitoga, a highly respected Early Childhood expert in Fiji and the South Pacific has 37 years of experience in teaching in Early Childhood Education at various levels including primary, special school and university levels. She has served in regional and international bodies in her efforts to move ECCE forward For Fiji and the Pacific Island Countries (PIC). From September 2014 to 2018, she was engaged in a number of consultancies at national, regional and international level for ECCE.  From 2013 to 2016 she served as a consultant on the Fiji ADRAS 66394 Project entitled Fostering preschool literacy in Fiji’s local communities. Research Report of ‘Developing a community approach to supporting literacy for preschoolers in Fiji through University of South Australia, Adelaide.  Ufemia is the current national president of the Fiji Early Childhood Teachers’ Association.  She is currently a Consultant Facilitator for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) at the University of the South Pacific Technical and Further Education.

Program

Program

The overarching theme of this talanoa symposium is ‘Developing Actions for an inclusive 2030 Pacific ECCE through teacher education and innovation’.  The program is currently under development and will be circulated shortly.  The program brings together a range of the world’s leading experts in the field of ECCE who will share their knowledge and insights.  The symposium will provide a range of opportunities for collaboration, interaction and commentary through a variety of innovative session formats.sday 2

Tuesday 22 October

Master of ceremonies: Ms Mitchell Tevita

4:00pm onwards

Registration

Administration team

5:45pm

Programme design

Mitchell Tevita

6:00pm

Welcome address

Head of School of Education: Professor Govinda Lingam

6:30pm

Children’s space

Little Champs

 

Vice Chancellor and President’s Address

Professor Pal Ahluwalia

 

Entertainment

Oceania Dance Theatre

7:30pm

Official Opening: Ensuring inclusive and quality early childhood education and care in the pacific through teacher education reforms

The Honourable Minister for Education: Honourable Rosy Sofia Akbar

8:30pm-10:00pm

Welcome Dinner & Cocktail

Tanoa International Hotel

 

Entertainment

Oceania Dance Theatre

 

Wednesday 23 October

Master of ceremonies: Michelle Tevita

7:00am-8:30am

Registration

Administration team

9:00am

Devotion

Dr Waqailiti

9:15am

Programme design

Mitchell Tevita

9:20am

Children’s space

Jasper William’s Primary School

9:40am

Key Note Address 1

The Pasifika child in the context of inclusive and quality teacher education reforms

Dr Lavinia Tiko

 

Panel discussion

Representatives from Tonga, Kiribati and Vanuatu

Moderator:

Salote Rokotogalevu

(Regional rep:TBA)

10:30am

Photo session and morning tea

Photo session and morning tea

11:00am

ECCE Teacher Competency Framework

Kristy Bang-UNESCO

 

 

Question & Answer

 

Moderator: Dr Jeremy

11:45am

Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF)

Mr Filipe Jitoko

 

Question & Answer

Moderator: Dr Sunil

12:45

Lunch

Lunch

2:00pm-4:00pm

Workshop

Stories, Images and Objects: opportunities to meaningly support early literacy and numeracy

Dr Denice Chapman

Lecturer (ECE/Primary-Literacy)

Monash University

 

Question & Answer

 Salote Rokotogalevu

4:15pm

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

4:30pm

Key Note Address 2

What does an inclusive 2030 ECEC look like?

 

Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba

Head of Education, College of Arts and Humanities, Fiji National University

 

Panel Discussion

Representatives from Monash, Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji

Moderator: Mr Hem Chand, Director Primary Education

5:30pm

Critical Friend

Dr Kelesi Whippy

5:50

Recap for the day

Michelle Tevita

 

Thursday 24 October

Master of ceremonies: Michelle Tevita

9:00am

Devotion

Dr Waqailiti

 

Days design

Mitchell Tevita

 

Children’s space

Korovuto Kindergarten

9:40am

Key Note Address 3

Early Childhood Education: Global Imperatives and Local Realities in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Professor Margaret Sims

 

Panel discussion

Representatives from Samoa, Fulton, Tuvalu and Niue

Moderator: Ms Sangeeta Jattan

10:30am

Morning tea

Morning tea

11:00am

Workshop session

Early Intervention: A necessity for inclusive and quality ECEC

 

Followed by Q&A

Associate Professor Ann Armstrong, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, USP

 

 

Moderators: Merelesita Qeleni/Jovesa Korovulavula

 

Traditional mat session

Issues facing ECEC Teacher Educators across the Pacific- A sharing of experiences and potential solutions

 

(Talanoa and group feedback)

 

 

Session convenor:

Sangeeta Jattan

(Regional rep-TBA)

 

Moderator: Dr Hem Dayal

12:45

Lunch

Lunch

2:00pm-4:00pm

Talanoa session

Towards Pasifika approach to the professionalisation of ECEC teacher education

 

Immediate and longer term goal setting for Pasifika Island nations to develop strategies towards the realisation of SDG Goal 4 in ECEC with emphasis of professionalization of the workforce.

 

Followed by plenary and group feedback

 

 

Session convenors:

Dr Lavinia Tiko

Martha Komaitai

(Regional rep-TBA)

 

 

Moderator: Dr Krishna

4:15pm

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

4:30pm

Key Note Address 4

The Heart Beat of Early Childhood Care and Education in Pacific Teacher Education Reforms.

 

Ms Ufemia Naisara-Camaitoga

ECE Specialist & Consultant

USP TAFE, Lautoka Campus.

 

Panel Discussion

Representatives from Monash, Tokelau, Solomon, Fulton, FNU

Moderator:

Mr Hem Chand, Director Primary Education

5:30pm

Critical Friend

Dr Kelesi Whippy

5:50

Recap for the day

Michelle Tevita

7:00pm onwards

Farewell dinner

Tanoa International

 

Friday 25 October

Master of ceremonies: Michelle Tevita

9:00am

Devotion

Dr Waqailiti

9:10am

Programme design

Mitchell Tevita

9:30am

Children’s space

Andrews Kindergarten

9:40am

Key Note Address 5

Imaginations in play and imaginations in learning: Introducing a conceptual play world

Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer, Foundation Chair Early Childhood Education and Development, Monash University.

 

Panel discussion

Representatives from Tonga, RMI, Tokelau, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa

Moderator: Ms Vaciseva Rarako (MEHA-Fiji)

10:30am

Morning tea

Morning tea

11:00am

Workshop

Towards the future-Embedding innovation in ECEC teacher education that builds on Pasifika specific knowledges and practices in the context of SDG4

 

 

Session convenor:

Dr Tiko & Dr Whippy

(Regional rep-TBA)

 

Plenary and group feedback

Moderator: Babra Narain

12:45

Lunch

Lunch

2:00pm-4:00pm

Hive-mind arts-based workshop and seminar

 

Putting the SGDs to work in ECEC: art/community/environment for Pacific contexts-a creative and ecological approach to implement SDG concepts

 

Session convenor:

Dr Geraldine Burke (Monash)

Dr Kelesi Whippy (USP)

 

 

Group feedback &

Question & Answer

 Moderator: Dr Billy Fito

4:15pm

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

4:30pm

Closing Plenary

 

 

 

Children’s space

Jasper William Primary School

5:30pm

Where to from here? Ensuring an inclusive ECEC Pasifika by 2030 through teacher education and reforms – a shared responsibility

Talanoa collaborative approach

(All teacher education institutions)

 

Concluding remarks

Michelle Tevita

 

Vote of thanks

Head of School of Education, Professor Govinda Lingam

 

Isa lei song

 

Registration

Registration

Download a copy of the registration form here and return to Ms. Ulina nanovo (nanovo_u@usp.ac.fj) or Ms. Vilma Ratumudu (vilma.ratumudu(at)usp.ac.fj) together with a copy of passport.

Disclaimer & Copyright l Contact Us l 
© Copyright 1968 - 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Page updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
School of Education
Faculty of Arts, Law and Education

The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus
Tel: (+679) 323 1000
Fax: (+679) 323 1506