Waikato Journal of Education

How to Cite

Burnett, G., Prakash, K., & Sharma, V. (2019). Negotiating conflicting discourses of quality teaching in Fiji: Initial teacher education and practicum at the University of the South Pacific. Waikato Journal of Education, 24(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v24i1.647


This article identifies a number of conflicting discourses informing education in Fiji and their impact on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students. The socially constructivist progressivism of the Ministry of Education and the ITE provider is being eroded by a set of socially conservative discourses symptomatic of neoliberal education reforms elsewhere. It is the Practicum where the conflict is most acutely evidenced. To highlight the conflict 90 ITE students, as ethno-graphic fieldworkers, have used an accepted quality teaching checklist to record the teaching they witnessed while on practicum. The resulting misalignments between discourses of quality teaching identified in this article and highlighted by ITE students contributes to debates about what constitutes effective teaching in Fiji. Additionally, despite the multi-discursive reality of Fijian education the article suggests ITE based on a learning-centred rather than learner-centred approach where teachers make critical choices for teaching based on links between pedagogy, context and consequence.


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