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Critiquing Pasifika education at university

Tamasailau Su'aali'i-Sauni


Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Fakalofa lahi atu, Nisa bula vinaka, Taloha ni... Warm greetings to you all.

When I agreed to accept the invitation to do this keynote address, I did so for two main reasons. First, because Linitā had asked me to do it and I always find it difficult to say no to Linitā.1 As many of you know, champions like Linitā must be supported where possible. My second reason was because I am always keen to share with people of like minds, to engage in an open and meaningful conversation about what it is that we are doing in universities as Pasifika educators and scholars, and to focus in on what Pasifika education might be exactly and where it could go. In attempting to prepare for this talanoa session, if I may call it that, I went back to the invitation letter and conference correspondence sent to me by Linitā and the organising committee to make sure I address what is expected of me.2 In reading these I realised that there is an emphasis on teaching. I am neither by formal training nor by natural inclination (I am told) a teacher. I have been a student of law and sociology and have attempted to try my hand at what the university calls ‘lecturing’ (which for some is distinguished from‘teaching’). I have some field experience as a social researcher in Pacific health and a keen interest in Pacific research methodologies.3 If anything, I guess I would lean more towards the enterprise of research than that of teaching. The two are, however, not mutually exclusive.


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