Sharing teacher education in East Timor - Crossing the boundary and walking the walk

Year: 2002

Author: Beck, Margie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The opportunity to work in East Timor for a short time led to a steep learning curve for this writer who moved out of the comforts of an Australian institution into a world where a generator provided the only electricity. Teaching beginning teachers and teachers without any training in a new culture was a period of mutual learning. The relevance of teaching methods and management that is taken for granted in Australia does not appear to be great when confronted with classes without books, paper, pencils

This paper will examine the journey of planning, teaching and preparation for the next trip and the way in which conventional teaching is adapted to meet both the physical and cultural learning in a country that is rebuilding itself and trying to establish its independence. The question remains - can outsiders really contribute to the development of another country when the teaching and cultural contexts are so far removed from their own experience ?