A case study of how primary school teachers in Papua New Guinea understand outcomes-based education

Neofa, Zui (2010) A case study of how primary school teachers in Papua New Guinea understand outcomes-based education. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This case study explored how a group of primary school teachers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) understood Outcomes-based Education (OBE). OBE measures students. learning against specific outcomes. These outcomes are derived from a country.s vision of the kind of citizen that the education system should produce. While countries such as Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States have abandoned OBE, others such as PNG have adopted it in various ways. How teachers understand OBE in PNG is important because such understandings are likely to influence how they implement the OBE curriculum. There has been no research to date which has investigated PNG primary school teachers. understandings and experiences with OBE. This study used a single exploratory case study design to investigate how twenty primary school teachers from the National Capital District (NCD) in PNG understood OBE. The study, underpinned by an intepretivist paradigm, explored the research question: How do primary school teachers understand outcomes-based education in PNG? The data comprised surveys, in-depth interviews and documents. Data were analysed thematically and using explanation building techniques. The findings revealed that OBE is viewed by teachers as a way to equip them with additional strategies for planning and programming, teaching and learning, and assessment. Teachers also described how OBE enabled both students and teachers to become more engaged and develop positive attitudes towards teaching and learning. There was also a perception that OBE enhanced students. future life skills through increased local community support. While some teachers commented on how the OBE reforms provided them with increased professional development opportunities, the greatest impediment to implementing OBE was perceived to be a lack of sufficient teaching and learning resources. The process of planning and programming classroom activities was also regarded as onerous. Some teachers indicated that they had been required to implement OBE without adequate in-service training support. The social constructivist theory of knowledge which underpins OBE.s student-centred pedagogy can cause tensions within PNG.s cultural contexts of teaching and learning. Teachers need to be aware of these tensions when conducting peer or group learning under OBE in PNG. By exploring how these PNG primary teachers understood OBE, the study highlighted how teachers engaged with OBE concepts when interpreting syllabus documents and how they applied these concepts to curriculum. Identifying differences in teacher understanding of OBE provides guidance for both the design of materials to support the implementation of OBE and for the design of in-service training. Thus, the outcomes of this study will inform educators about the implementation of OBE in PNG. In addition, the outcomes will provide much needed insight into how a mandated curriculum and pedagogical reform impacts teachers‟ practices in PNG.

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ID Code: 45482
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Diezmann, Carmel, Brownlee, Joanne, & O'Gorman, Lyndal
Keywords: Papua New Guinea, primary school teachers, understanding, outcomes-based education, planning and programming, teaching and learning, assessment strategies
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2011 03:05
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2011 03:05

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