ERIC Number: ED458052
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Education in Micronesia: A Multicultural Perspective.
Baker, Frederick J.
Traditional education in Micronesia has been informal and experiential, with a communal orientation. Certain knowledge is secret, and much folklore and mythology is sacred. For over 100 years, Western-style education has been imposed on Micronesia by the Spanish, Germans, Japanese, and Americans. Western education has focused on instruction in the language of the administering authority; literacy in that language; and vocational skills following a modern pattern, with emphasis on the development of individuality. There has been no effort to build on the preexisting foundations of traditional education. As Micronesians increasingly accept a money economy and consumer society, traditional education has lost status and prestige. The result has been impoverishment of the native languages--many children lack literacy in either their own language or English. Now that self-government is upon them, this generation of Micronesians must decide on the best form of education for their country. Based on research findings that it is easier to learn how to read in one's own language and that adults learn more quickly than children, it is proposed that children grow up in their villages with traditional education and then, at 16, enter Western-type schools to learn the present elementary secondary curriculum. This would assure the production of truly multicultural individuals. (TD)
Descriptors: Cognitive Style, Cultural Maintenance, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Needs, Experiential Learning, Foreign Countries, Geographic Isolation, Indigenous Populations, Language of Instruction, Literacy, Native Language Instruction, Nonformal Education, Pacific Islanders, Rural Education, World Views
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A