Elena’s re-entry posting (Samoa)

Arts Centre Poutasi
Students at the Poutasi Development Trust (PDT)

One of the important episodes that influenced my understanding of Samoa’s culture was visiting the Poutasi Development Trust (PDT) Art Centre.

Establishing partnerships with local communities and sharing ideas with them and my fellow students helped me to develop active listening, oral communication, collaboration and cooperation skills further. I believe that these skills will be very useful in my future career because they will help me to form partnerships with my students, their parents, and the wider community. I believe that this observation, asking further questions and making contacts with other local women helped me to enhance understanding and foster  purposeful thinking about what happened and reflect critically, thus developing my self-awareness and identifying my position.

Establishing contacts with local women had also some challenges. One of the challenges was that some of the women did not speak English. Another challenge was that sometimes the topics of our conversations were sensitive.

This experience is unique for me because it provided cross-cultural learning and helped me to develop my global citizenship.  Australia is a diverse country, so it is very important when teachers are aware of their students’ backgrounds and cultures. This will help teachers to respect the diversity in all its forms.

To improve my practice, I will need to work on developing self-awareness through establishing and fostering further understanding and forming partnerships with diverse communities.

Written by Elena Metju