Appreciating Pacific understandings of school leadership: Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Marshall Islands

Seu'ula Johansson-Fua, Kabini Sanga, David Fa'avae, Martyn Reynolds, Richard Robyns, Graham Hiele, Grace Rohoana, Danny Jim, Demetria Malachi, Loretta Case

Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Photo credit Adli Wahid, Unsplash
Image: Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Photo credit Adli Wahid, Unsplash

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

How leadership is culturally understood in different contexts across the Pacific.

  • What concepts of leadership do school leaders in small island nations bring to their vocational activity?
  • How do these concepts affect the way school leaders understand their leadership role in school and beyond?
  • What non-indigenous leadership demands do school leaders experience as a result of their vocation?
  • How do school leaders negotiate indigenous and western expectations of them as a school leader?
  • How do school leaders seek and influence leadership conceptions and practices of others as a result of their lived negotiations?
  • What commonalities and divergences exist in concepts of leadership across small island nation contexts?

WHAT WE EXPECT TO LEARN

How leadership is understood and how it works in the education sector, and how we can improve leadership development programmes to improve education outcomes.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project will investigate ideas about leadership in education held by school leaders and school communities across four small island nations: Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga and the Solomon Islands. In particular, how school leaders negotiate understandings of leadership brought from their community with the leadership demands of the educational systems.

Storying is indigenous in the Pacific, used for teaching and learning in many contexts, and the research will capture the lived experience of educators through a wealth of experiential, cognitive, emotional and spiritual data about how leadership is understood in the Pacific. Storying will develop data about the way practitioners support each other, understand their influence and curate followers.

The comparative research between the small island nations enables a deep, comparative and transferable investigation of leadership to take place. The result will be a clear sense of what leadership looks like in each context; better understanding of the place of context in Pacific concepts of leadership; and, an increased awareness of the leadership demands, negotiations and accommodations experienced by Pacific leaders in education.

Seu'ula Johansson-Fua, Principal Investigator

WHO’S INVOLVED, WHERE

Solomon Islands
Associate Professor Dr. Kabini Sanga, Victoria University of Wellington
Dr. Martyn Reynolds, Victoria University of Wellington
Graham Hiele, Solomon Islands National University
Grace Rohoana, Solomon Islands National University

Marshall Islands
Dr. David Fa’avae, University of Waikato
Richard Robyns, IOE-University of the South Pacific
Danny Jim
Demetria Malachi
Loretta Case

Tonga
Dr. Seu’ula Johansson-Fua, University of the South Pacific

COUNTRIES

Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands

Map to highlight research countries, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga

TIMELINE

February 2020 - February 2022

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NEWS

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Authors


Seu'ula Johansson-Fua

Seu'ula Johansson-Fua

Director of the Institute of Education, University of the South Pacific

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Kabini Sanga

Kabini Sanga

Associate Professor in the School of Education, Victoria University of Wellington

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David Fa'avae

David Fa'avae

Lecturer, University of Waikato

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Martyn Reynolds

Martyn Reynolds

Pacific Research Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Education, Victoria University of Wellington.

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Richard Robyns

Richard Robyns

Education Consultant

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Graham Hiele

Graham Hiele

Assistant Lecturer (Economics) and Teaching Experience Coordinator (Secondary), Faculty of Education and Humanities, Solomon Islands National University

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Grace Rohoana

Grace Rohoana

Home Economics Lecturer, Solomon Islands National University

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Danny Jim

Danny Jim

School Principal, Ajeltake Public Elementary School, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands

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Demetria Malachi

Demetria Malachi

8th Grade Teacher, Laura Elementary School, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands

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Loretta Case

Loretta Case

Principal, Delap Elementary School, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands

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