Connect : Connect March 2012
25 signifcant change the teachers shared with us included their frst experiences speaking to students as individuals, and responding to the specifc needs, interests and backgrounds of students to engage them in thinking. In becoming a teacher and volunteer, my motivation is to use my skills to help others develop theirs. I enjoy making learning fun and active with all participants thriving in the learning environment. On a deeper level this contributes to a community goal – everyone together working toward the healthy progress of society. In retrospect this is the socialisation process my textbook hoped for! As I ponder my education experiences in Australia and Indonesia, I grapple with the positives and negatives of both: Australia with an education system promoting achievement, but often with a fxation on personal gain resulting in casualties of individualism – depression, suicide and loneliness. Indonesia’s culture, generally community orientated but with many classrooms caught in the antithesis, often produces social outcomes such as corruption and low productivity. Combining the science of the teaching-learning process with the art of cooperation has become a key focus of my second assignment. I am placed at the Aceh province’s key institution of teacher training for teachers beginning their career as well as others re-skilling. This focus includes developing curriculum with interactive activities celebrating culture, giving purpose to thinking, knowledge, skill and attitude development and application. Indonesia has a rainbow of cultures –with 250 million people there are about 200 tribal groups. Each one has its own unique heritage, like different colours of the rainbow, together making something of combined beauty. Sadly there are several tribal groups, like the Acehnese that have been or are in confict in Indonesia. My activities include working collaboratively with lecturers, teachers and undergraduates to develop discovery- based curriculum activities to build cooperative character and cognitive skills. We work towards local capacity building for empowerment and social justice, utilising and combining technology with community culture life rhythms. It is hoped that this will facilitate equitable globalised participation. The overarching impact and long term goals of such social engineering endeavours must bring about increased communication, learning, problem solving, confict resolution and peace. The UNESCO Task Force on Education for the 21st Century contains four pillars: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. This brings about education which seeks to ‘reconcile divergent aims and trends, to embody both continuity and renewal, to encourage conformity and innovation at the same time’. As Aceh continues to experience confict we are reminded of the importance of community education, incorporating social engineering. Being an Australian Volunteer has enabled me and, I believe, those I interact with, to live a world village ideal: to see the whole world as our home, sharing and living with the community, loving our neighbours with our individual personalities, culture, skills and passion intertwined with others - socialisation at its best! Christine Pheeney Country Indonesia | Assignment Education Capacity Building Officer Host Organisation Syiah Kuala University Faculty of Elementary Teaching Above: Social engineering with university students, here creating a mural to promote empowerment and environmental consciousness Top of page: Astuti Below: Teachers surround Christine who is holding a felt tiger, part of a teaching resource on environmental sustainability "In becoming a teacher and volunteer, my motivation is to use my skills to help others develop theirs."
Connect Magazine July 2012 Edition
Connect November 2011