"Just Something in History": Classroom Knowledge and Refusals to Teach the Tension in Solomon Islands

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Boarding school in Solomon Islands has historically been a place where students learned a kind of knowledge—classroom knowledge—devoid of social content and meaning. Away from their homes for most of the year, young Solomon Islanders would focus on learning classroom knowledge, even though it was only useful to help them pass national examinations and advance to the next tier of formal education. Classroom knowledge aided colonization because it assisted in the separation of students from Indigenous knowledges and made them feel like failures if they did not master it. In this article, I show that new textbooks, written in the wake of the civil conflict that Solomon Islanders call "the Tension," have invited teachers to use Indigenous conceptualizations of how knowledge about violence should be shared in their teaching. Although for many the Tension could be rendered as the classroom knowledge of the colonial era, teachers have accepted the invitation the curriculum has offered them to refuse to pass on knowledge about the violent past.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)386 - 408
    JournalThe Contemporary Pacific
    Volume33
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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