An evaluation of the Northern Territory - Indonesia teacher and student exchange program from 1986 to 1991

  • Stephen Woodrow Rodgers

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    The annual exchange of teachers and students between the Northern Territory andIndonesia has been taking place since 1974. Early exchanges in Indonesia were limited to Bali but in 1985 the Program was formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation and expanded to include the Indonesian provinces of West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.

    The stated purpose of the Program is to provide personal, professional and educational development to participants, to assist language programs in Northern Territory and Indonesian schools and to develop cultural understanding and friendship between the two countries.

    The research described in this document constitutes a comprehensive evaluation of this Program as it has operated and functioned during the six years immediately following the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation. It is a response to both the growing demand by the professional community for accountability for government-funded educational projects and a need to place the Program firmly within clear operational and functional parameters.

    The Evaluation is essentially a mixed-mode study which exposes all aspects of the Program and examines its strengths and weaknesses in terms of the expectations of participants and stakeholders. The method used for the research involved a combination of face-to-face and telephone interviews, questionnaire surveys of teachers, students, parents and school principals, and an extensive literature search.

    The findings reveal that the Program has been very successful as a personal, professional and educational development activity. Participants reported that they were satisfied with the benefits obtained, particularly with respect to their language development and increased cultural understanding. A large percentage of ex-exchange teachers and students have continued their study of language and culture at tertiary level and a number have gained employment in fields that make use of the skills gained whilst on exchange.

    Some structural and administrative difficulties were identified including the manner in which the teacher exchange assisted and articulated with language programs in schools. Teachers returning from exchange were often placed in positions where they were not teaching Indonesian language and there was a general lack of appreciation of their readjustment difficulties on the part of their schools and the education department.

    In many instances, their level of Indonesian language proficiency on return from exchange was too low for them to be able to reach the minimum acceptable level for a language teacher in the Northern Territory. These matters contributed to a signfficant wastage of teachers by way of resignation and extended leave without pay.

    Northern Territory schools were often not able to gain maximum benefit from having an Indonesian exchange teacher on staff. This was due to a number of factors which included a lack of expertise of how to effectively use a native speaker in the language classroom.

    These difficulties are addressed in the form of twenty working recommendations designed to improve the performance of the Program.
    Date of AwardDec 1995
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorBrian Devlin (Supervisor) & Merridy Malin (Supervisor)

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