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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 298 words || 
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1. Strigel, Carmen., Wong, Gauna. and Kappus, Werner. "Samoa e-curriculum: Changing classroom practice in Samoa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-09-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486334_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This presentation is an account of practice, not research, relevant to the conference theme and CIES mission.

Lack of science resources including textbooks, models, and laboratory materials aggravate challenges in secondary science learning in Samoa. The small Pacific Island State struggles to attract qualified science graduates into the teaching profession. Less than half of the schools are able to offer Physics in higher grades. This limits students’ access to knowledge that otherwise helps them make sense of the world they live in and become active learners in an area of fundamental relevance to their daily lives.

On the other hand the country has made great strides in advancing technology use in a number of sectors. Building on this, the Samoa Ministry of Education set out to enhance secondary science education. It applies technology to overcome geographical and systemic barriers to teachers and students accessing educational resources and learning opportunities. Focus is on enhancing pedagogy and content learning rather than technology skills.

A comprehensive curriculum review has been conducted. It yielded information on where students are struggling in regard to specific curriculum learning objectives and what kind of difficulties they are having. In line with Bloom’s Taxonomy the latter were categorized in difficulties of memorization, understanding and application. The ministry developed model learning activities integrating electronic learning materials with pedagogy to address these. The learning activities, together with student self-study and teacher background resources, are distributed to school via the Samoa e-Curriculum and teachers trained in its use.

This learning needs-based approach is relatively unique in the field reaching beyond individual software applications or the more common “lesson plan collection” initiatives. It may offer new insights into the role of technology in teaching and learning. The panel presentation aims to elicit feedback on the approach taken and input on next steps.


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