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USP Tuvalu Campus Director presents use of traditional knowledge

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Dr Rosiana Lagi, Tuvalu Campus Director, with participants at the workshop in Lautoka, Fiji.

The use of traditional knowledge approach to promote social and emotional learning competencies was presented by Dr Rosiana Lagi, The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tuvalu Campus Director at a recent workshop organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Lautoka, Fiji.

Authored by Professor Derrick Armstrong, USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and International and Dr Lagi, the presentation was made during the UNFPA Family Life Education Curriculum Mapping workshop at the Waterfront Hotel in Fiji on 18 November, 2017.

According to Dr Lagi, this chapter is included in a recently published book by Springer titled Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

The workshop was attended by curriculum developers, Ministry of Health officials and Ministry of Education officials from Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. 

In her presentation, Dr Lagi highlighted the significance of grounding pedagogy for teaching Family Life Education on indigenous knowledge, values, philosophies, pedagogy and theories. 

To support her argument, she explained the Niu Metaphor as an Indigenous Fijian Human Development framework comparing human development to a coconut tree where its roots symbolize the elders, traditional values, knowledge, skills, philosophies, that a child must be grounded on; the trunk representing the nurturing and support by the parents; the leaves signifying outside influence such as education, religion, peers and other stakeholders and the fruit representing a wise and or marginal child who can live sustainably in both the western and indigenous world if all the systems (roots, trunk and leaves) work well.

“According to researchers in the Pacific region, Pacific children learn best through observation, imitation and practice.  Using pedagogies based on these ways of learning encourage the development of social and emotional learning competencies such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making,” Dr Lagi emphasised.

She stated that while developing curriculum, curriculum developers and practitioners must weave these pedagogies into their curriculum to ensure the successful implementation of Family Life Education curriculum.

“However, according to their research, it was found that curriculum practitioners do not always have enough space, time, resources, knowledge and skills to be creative and innovative to use these pedagogies,” she added. 

Therefore, Dr Lagi recommended that collaboration between teacher training institutions, ministries of education, parents and stakeholders must be strengthened and maintained to ensure that policies, practice and performance are aligned. 

Dr Adriu Naduva, UNFPA Specialist, confirmed the significance of working with USP in research and effectively developing and implementing Family Life Education curriculum in the region.      

This news item was published on 28 Nov 2017 04:51:50 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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