ERIC Number: EJ994404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 7
Living and Learning in a Pacific Island Village: A Photo Memoir
Miller, Suzanne S.
Childhood Education, v88 n5 p319-323 2012
In 1966, the author was part of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers in Micronesia. Acquired by the United States in WWII, Micronesia became a U.S. Trust Territory. It since has become an independent country, but through a "Compact of Free Association" (2003), the United States provides some financial support, and Micronesians are allowed to freely reside and work in the United States without going through the immigration process. During her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chuuk, the author developed the first Head Start program supported by funds from the United States, which continues to flourish today as a preschool program. More than 30 years later, she decided to return to that island and reconnect with her Chuukese family and village. It was an emotional and heartwarming homecoming, seeing the children in her host family now grown with many children of their own. She thought that much might have changed since she left, but she found that some of the traditional ways of living were still in place. Although life on some Micronesian islands has changed with increased development over the past several decades (Hezel, 2001), the scenes from her trips during the past 12 years are similar to what she saw in the late 1960s when she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the village. Teachers and children worldwide can learn much about the connection that the residents of this Pacific island village have with nature. In addition, they can learn about a different culture and about a community prepared to preserve and maintain traditional practices for future generations to enjoy.
Descriptors: Preschool Education, Foreign Countries, Financial Support, Disadvantaged, Volunteers, Foreign Workers, Cultural Maintenance, Phenomenology, Life Style, Community Characteristics, Social Psychology, Pacific Islanders, Learning Processes
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States