The team at SOED with Professor Monica Cuskelly, Associate Dean Research (front far left), Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of SOED and Associate Professor Karen Swabey, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education (SOED) staff met with two leading academics from the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Education from 3-4 July to share ideas and discuss mutual interests of collaboration.
Professor Karen Swabey, Dean of Faculty of Education and Professor Monica Cuskelly, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Education, spent time with the staff at the invitation of Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of the SOED.
Professor Lingam acknowledged the team from the University of Tasmania saying the SOED was grateful to have their expertise and for sharing knowledge and best practices in a number of areas.
He mentioned that key areas of mutual interest discussed included the provision of formal tertiary teaching programmes at both USP and UTAS; professional experience for initial teacher education programmes; formalised educational leadership qualifications; education postgraduate programmes; external accreditation requirements; and the obligations both institutions have to ensure graduates become competent teachers.
He said SOED staff took much away in terms of ideas for developing SOED’s programms in the areas identified, particularly for the practicum component of SOED’s teaching programmes.
“Of further importance was an agreement in principle to explore collaborative research possibilities between USP and UTAS in the area of quality teaching and learning in rural and remote education contexts.
“Both Australia and the Pacific share very similar challenges in providing educational services in locations marked by isolation and limited infrastructure. From the two days of discussions has come an impetus to continue communication between our School and UTAS’s Faculty of Education toward formalising a research partnership,” Professor Lingam stated.
He encouraged the SOED staff to take full advantage of such professional engagements, which would further enhance all operations and functions of the School.
Professor Karen Swabey said they were pleased with how talks progressed with staff from USP’s School of Education, which she described as very enlightening. She said there were group meetings and one-on-one discussions, which not only broadened their knowledge but also enhanced their capacity in understanding issues faced by a regional University.
“So far it has been good and we are definitely of the view that there could be further collaboration with the School of Education and USP as a whole in the not too distant future,” said Professor Swabey.
Professor Monica Cuskelly, Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Education said it was interesting to note that some of the challenges in learning and teaching faced by USP are similar to that faced by the University of Tasmania.
“I think it is very important that our universities share best practices in mutual areas of interest and in particular research, and we are already very excited about this,” Professor Cuskelly said.
“I really do look forward to work with USP as we continue talks on areas which require both our inputs as we proceed towards better teaching, learning and research practices,” she added.
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