The future of Samoan teaching resources is looking brighter thanks to an educational conference held at AUT’s Manukau campus recently.
The Sosaiete Aota Amata Samoa I Aotearoa (SAASIA) annual conference, hosted by AUT and other tertiary providers and opened by Dr Johan Rall of AUT’s School of Education, explored the issue of how to develop more Samoan teaching resources for early childhood education.
The programme featured prominent speakers, including AUT’s founding professor of Pacific Studies, Peggy Fairburn-Dunlop as keynote speaker, who spoke of the need to create greater resilience in NZ-born Samoans, and of maintaining the culture and language through education.
The event was well attended by AUT staff and students of the National Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education, Pasifika), and other teachers, community members and government agencies from around New Zealand. Representatives from the only aoga amata in Hawaii, Le Fetuao Aoga Faasamoa and Elisapeta Tuupo-Alaimaleata spoke about their journey and the status of the Samoan language in Hawaii.
Fa'asaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota, AUT’s Programme Leader of the National Diploma in Teaching ECE, Pasifika, who is also the President of SAASIA, said, “We had such a positive reaction to the conference. Everyone wanted more. We were laughing, then the next minute crying, and the next minute angry. It was a mixture of emotions and stories, and people wanted more because of that.”
The conference also provided insights for a new Samoan Early Childhood Education textbook that is currently underway, edited by AUT’s Fa'asaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota and Dr Tafili Utumapu-McBride. Publication date is anticipated for 2013.