Updated: Mar 26, 2022
As we have discussed at our webinars and, stated before to many of you in our correspondence - there are many things that Fijian teachers should be proud of. We are world-beating like our Sevens Teams or at the very least the same as the rest of the world.
News this week that a Fijian Professor, Katerina Teaiwa (we did a blog on Professor Teaiwa on being appointed the first indigenous female professor at ANU) has won the top teaching award for University educators throughout Australia - " University Teacher of the year. Katerina Teaiwa is a former Yat Sen and St Joseph's student.
This is on top of last September's news that another former Fijian won the NZ Prime Minister's Teaching Award - two Fijians top in two countries - countries that we look up to!
Aside from celebrating this achievement, there are a number of pointers we can take away from Professor Katerina Teaiwa's approach. It will not surprise you to read that many of the methods she employs would be well known to us as part of our culture and at least our traditional matters. But, it takes boldness and belief to utilise them in a foreign setting and Prof. Teaiwa is described as a "visionary" .
Here's an excerpt:
"Her teaching methods are creative, unique and meaningful, and include experiences such as embarking on a metaphorical voyage in a canoe to gain a sense of the Pacific's vast and diverse social and cultural dimensions."
Whilst we summarise and cover her award from the ANU's announcement but, we note she was also mentioned in the Fiji Times where she was quoted as saying she does "not place herself above students" and her other quote which caught our attention.
Now, we are not suggesting that we mimic everything that is indicated here but it clearly shows that different approaches to teaching works - perhaps what would be called the "Pacific Way"and ,can be incorporated (Primary school up as you can see here).
We hope this inspires you and your students here and our congratulations to another outstanding teacher from Fiji. Professor Teaiwa also thanks (as we all have one) one of the teachers that inspired her : Sister Anna Rarasea.
Our other references and articles: