Collaborative Inquiry and Active Learning as the Focus of Teacher Professional Development in Papua

Ann Robertson, Peter Mark Curtis, Chris Dann


The paper reports on a teacher professional development program conducted over two years in five different regions within the province of Papua, Indonesia.  The goal of the program was to assist Papuan teachers to become more aware of and skilled in the use of interactive classroom pedagogies using local resources. The paper reviews the research around successful professional development programs in developing countries, and outlines the specific cultural, pedagogical, linguistic and resourcing issues encountered in this program. An effective response within the unique context of teacher professional development in Papua necessitated a process of ongoing collaborative inquiry between Australian academics, Papuan academic advisors, local Papuan master coaches and local classroom teacher participants. The paper evaluates the perceptions of participating classroom teachers on what was of importance in the program, gathered through the use of open-ended questions, researcher field notes and participant reflective responses.


Papuan; active learning; collaborative inquiry; teacher professional development

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