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Seeking hybrid identities through ambivalence : a postcolonial interpretation of the experiences of an international (Australian and Papua New Guinean) secondary education project

McLaughlin, Juliana M. (2002) Seeking hybrid identities through ambivalence : a postcolonial interpretation of the experiences of an international (Australian and Papua New Guinean) secondary education project. In Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society, December 2002, Armidale.

Abstract

This paper explores, from a postcolonial perspective, research which investigated the ambivalent positions of Papua New Guinea (PNG) students who received their secondary education in Australian senior secondary schools under the Australian / Papua New Guinean Secondary School Students’ Project (SSSP). On returning to PNG after three years, students found that the cultural discourses that they acquired in Australia left them in a problematic position in their own culture. This paper relates their reflections to redevelop identities which were more congruent with PNG society.

The aims of SSSP as designed by the governments of Australia and PNG were to assist the education of the recipients personally and PNG to expand its educational capacity. However, these intended goals were not always met. Most graduates struggled with difficult issues of cultural identity and often encountered considerable ambivalence to their re-location to PNG. This paper argues that issues of cultural identities and forms of resistance to manifestations of colonial culture may influence the outcomes of foreign educational assistance. It concludes that postcolonial societies are characterised by ambivalence which influences and constrains educational developments. For PNG, ambivalence is not necessarily informed by difference between PNG (Melanesian) cultures and foreign cultural practices, but by diverse ethnic cultures within PNG itself, as well as modern social structures created by the formal education.

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ID Code: 7550
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: postcolonialism, ambivalent identities, Papua New Guinea secondary school students'project, AusAID
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education (130302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 14 May 2007
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2011 14:58

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