Field-Based Training for Early Childhood Education Teachers in Solomon Islands
This study examined the impact of a recently introduced field-based training programme on the roles, relationships and activities of early childhood education teachers working in the Solomon Islands kindergartens, identifying and analysing any possible changes to their professional behaviour and teaching practice as a result of the training. It investigated the quality of the curriculum programmes being implemented, and parent and community people's views of the early childhood education programme and how the new approach to kindergarten education had generally impacted on families and the communities. The research study also considered how well the training programme suited the unique Solomon Islands cultural and geographic context. The project adopted a qualitative, formative and evaluative methodology that included in-depth interviews, participant observation and examination of appropriate documents. Sixteen early childhood education teachers who had received field-based training were interviewed for their perspectives of the training programme. Thirteen early childhood administrators and thirty-five representatives of members of the community were also interviewed to obtain their views of the programme. Participant observations were carried out in two kindergartens for the duration of a week in each kindergarten. The thesis reports that the field-based training programme has succeeded in fulfilling its goal of training employed untrained kindergarten teachers throughout Solomon Islands. The educators have made significant gains in higher levels of reflection, confidence, sensitivity and competence and have engaged in reflective practice. The training programme is the first of its kind and the only field-based training programme currently operating in Solomon Islands. The training programme has important implications for foreign aid donors to majority nations like the Solomon Islands, and has promoted another way of viewing early childhood education. It has reinforced Solomon Islanders' indigenous pride and identity and has emerged as a mechanism for a gender-sensitive perspective in the Solomon Islands' communities.
Advisor: Smith, Anne B.; McMillan, Bruce W.
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Children's Issues Centre
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis