PESA Conference 2016

Knowledge Ecologies

Dec 8 - Dec 12, 2016, Warwick Hotel, Coral Coast, Fiji

keynote rbRon Barnett (London)

The Coming of the Ecological University

Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education (where he was both Dean of Professional Development and (subsequently) Pro-Director for Longer Term Strategy). In his academic work, he has been trying to advance a social philosophy of the university, in which he has been attempting to identify creative concepts and practical principles that might enhance universities and higher education. Recently, he has begun to sketch out an idea of the ecological university. His 22 books include The Idea of Higher Education, The Limits of Competence, Realizing the University in an age of supercomplexity, Beyond All Reason: Living with Ideology in the University and A Will to Learn: Being a Student in an Age of Uncertainty.


keynote tbTupeni Baba

Towards an Understanding of the Ecology of Indigenous Fijian Education: A Pointer to a Spiritual Path for a Sustainable World


This paper will explore the some of the underlying ideas of indigenous Fijian Education which exists side by side with the modern schools system introduced as part of the colonisation efforts of Great Britain as coloniser, 1874 and with the Christian and other Missions which arrived some three to four decades earlier and, others later. The indigenous Fijians comprise just under 60% of the population and about half of whom live in over 1178 villages built mostly on traditional land. A sizable proportion have settled in urban areas, in towns and cities, where their children will enjoy the same formal school system as all other Fijians.

This paper will focus specifically on the indigenous approaches to learning which concentrates on the inculcation of indigenous knowledge, epistemology and appropriate 'ways of knowing' in communities and non-formal contexts in which the Vanua (lit. one's place or Land , and what it represents) is of crucial importance. Those things that are highly valued and aspired notions such as sautu (the good life) and yalomatua (wisdom) are deeply spiritual, and they are closely associated with the Vanua. The reverence attached to the Vanua: its land, plants and waters that sustain life and relationships, are accorded spiritual significance. Herein lies the path to a sustainable world which will be explored fully.

Dr Tupeni Baba taught at USP for over 20 years where he was Professor of Education and Head of the Department of Education and Psychology. He also served as Dean of Planning and Administration for two years and became the first local / regional staff to be appointed to the Post of Registrar and was there for 4 years. He was at the University of Auckland as Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Pacific Studies for 4 years. He served three short stints in the Fiji Parliament: in 1987, 1999/2000, and 2006 and was Minister for Education; Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade & Deputy Prime Minister; and, as Senator in Qarase' Government respectively.


keynote dbDick Bedford (AUT)

Acknowledging multiple knowledge systems in measuring research excellence and producing evidence-informed social policy in 21st century Aotearoa: some reflections

Professor Richard (Dick) Bedford QSO, FRSNZ is Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato and the Auckland University of Technology and President of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is a population geographer who specializes in migration research and since the mid-1960s he has been researching processes of population movement and demographic change in the Asia-Pacific region.  In addition to his research on migration he has contributed to the development of the social sciences in New Zealand through a number of government-funded initiatives.  He is currently chairperson of the Social Science Experts’ Panel for the Government's Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (Superu) and chair of the Governance Group for the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge.


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