Pasifika Philosophies Course

  COURSE NAME

CERTIFICATE OF PHILOSOPHICAL COMPETENCY

Pasifika ‘Whole of Life’ Philosophies, Research, and Development

  SEMESTER/YEAR 15-28 July 2023
  LOCATION/VENUE Pacific Theological College, Suva, Fiji Islands
  MODE OF DELIVERY Face to Face (with lecturers, regional development partners, indigenous institutes and centers, village communities)
  LENGTH OF COURSE Two weeks Intensive (15-28 July 2023)
  ELIGABILITY MTh Students, PhD Candidates, Early Career PhD Holders and Researchers
  COURSE FEE FJD$3,600.00 (Tuition, Accommodation, Meals, Communities Engagements and Protocols)
  REGISTRATION OPENS Tuesday 11th April 2023
  REGISTRATION CLOSES Friday 9th June 2023
  COURSE CO-ORDINATOR Rev Professor Dr Upolu Luma Vaai,
Pacific Theological College, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands.
Email: ulvaai@ptc.ac.fj
Telephone +679 3311100, ext. 101.

Course Description

There is a growing interest in understanding Pacific philosophies, knowledges, epistemologies and conducting research in the Pacific; an attention in reframing a new development story that is holistic, life affirming, and communities-oriented. Pasifika scholars have led the search for development models that are alternative yet grounded in the everyday life of communities. What is lacking in such important shift is the ability to create foundations of the new development story grounded in the philosophies and spiritualities of Pasifika communities. If a new transformative development story is to be realized, one cannot just change the narrative based on altering policies and frameworks. There is a need to develop ‘whole of life’ philosophical foundations that is able to navigate Pasifika multiple and multidimensional relationships fundamental to Pasifika wellbeing and development, premised on the relational values and spiritualities of the people.

This course is designed for Pasifika scholars from doctoral candidates to early career researchers embarking on research with Pasifika communities. The ‘whole of life’ model of learning unpacks the communities-based model of development, climate change and indigenous knowledge, reclaiming indigenous philosophies, and the leadership for justice vision. Informed by theology and ethics, indigenous epistemologies, indigenous philosophies, climate change and climate justice, alternative development paradigm, decolonization, transformational leadership, ecological wellbeing, ecumenism, development and regionalism – the ‘whole of life’ shape a new Pasifika consciousness that is resilient, holistic, and ground up. This should result in igniting a ‘new spirit’ of development for the region.

Course Objectives

A.

To understand the Pasifika relational philosophical mind and how this has shaped the development in the Pasifika communities for centuries and to use that as a decolonial tool to critically analyze the conventional development narrative;

B.

To develop a strategy of codifying and translating these philosophies to critically inform development policy spaces in development, diplomacy, security, climate change, and economic wellbeing;

C.

To experience with communities the philosophies that shape knowledge and conducting research in Pasifika communities, in particular in relation to protocols, ethics, and values of learning and dynamics of relationships;

D.

To create a new development consciousness based on the ‘whole of life’ philosophical foundations of relationships that have kept the Pasifika communities sustained and resilient throughout centuries to assist in creating new development models or frameworks.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this short course, students should be able to:
1.

Understand the Pasifika philosophical mindset.

2.

Critically analyze the conventional development model and policies from a relational ‘whole of life’ philosophical perspective.

3.

Demonstrate skills of codifying and translating Pasifika philosophies to inform review or creation of new development policies and/or models.

4.

Demonstrate skills of developing a new ‘whole of life’ development consciousness that is transformative and communities-based.

Key Attributes

Deep Understanding of ‘Whole of Life’ perspective

Students are able to demonstrate maturity and deep understanding of whole of life Pasifika ways of being and knowing to inform knowledge and understanding of their subject area, intellectual curiosity, engagement with diverse communities, engagement with different traditions of thought, and weaving knowledge and practice in transdisciplinary and communities-based contexts.

Embrace of ‘whole of life’ theologies, spiritualities, and ecumenism

Students will demonstrate: spiritual and emotional awareness and intelligence and demonstrate how this is applied in their professional/communities practice; self-confidence in whole of life theologies and spiritualities; engage and develop communities-based ecumenical strategies and practices; creatively weaving faith and indigenous wisdom and spiritualities; respect and embrace of all faith traditions; ability to develop resilient strategies based on whole of life faith and indigenous theologies and spiritualities.

Contextually and ethically competent

Students will demonstrate: critical understanding of the Pasifika diverse contexts and related development strategies, deep engagement in contextual decolonial thinking and practices, become responsible and compassionate citizens, competent with resilient and whole of life communities-based ethics, cultural and intercultural ethical competency, and competence in translating communities-based ethics to critically inform local, regional, and international development strategies.

‘Whole of life’ Pasifika cultural competency

Students are able to demonstrate: understanding of, respect for, and working in just ways with diverse values, cultures and knowledge; competence in capturing communities-based resilient and whole of life philosophies, sciences, and ways of learning; understanding of communities cultural and language understanding /sensitivity; the use of indigenous and ecological wisdom to develop and augment understanding of the subject area; developing a new Pasifika consciousness rooted in cultural and household relationships.

Innovative and critical thinking and problem solving

Students will demonstrate: themselves as effective problems-solvers from a whole of life perspective; critical and decolonial thinkers; creative and evidence-based learners; use critical thinking, analysis, and research skills to solve theoretical and real communities-based problems; create whole of life solutions for communities; produce concrete innovations to develop whole of life responses to current and future challenges.

Justice-driven leadership and communications skills

Students will demonstrate: being responsible and prophetic justice-driven leaders; positive and collaborative in achieving common and justice-driven goals; maturity in compassion to communicate relationally and transdisciplinary; work collaboratively to negotiate and resolve conflict from a whole of life perspective; use communities-based skills to plan and manage workload; articulate how they have dealt with specific challenges in building and supporting teamworking; effective communications through deep understanding of communities-based protocols, values, cultures; convey ideas and information effectively for whole of life learning; advocacy for leadership for justice.

Communities-based Lifelong learners

Students are able to demonstrate: self-reflection to identify their own limitations; updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and communities-based development; self-awareness and self-critical with communities; adapt to complexity, ambiguity and change by being flexible; keen to engage with new ideas and develop new vision from a whole of life perspective; evaluate and adopt new technology in collaboration with diverse communities.

Methodology

E lele le toloa ae maau ile vai – ‘the Toloa takes off but returns to the waters.’ This is a Samoan dictum that captures the toloa (goose) bird as a metaphor for a migratory quest of those seeking fresh waters to renew their political, economic, religious, familial, or knowledge endeavors. While the Toloa will normally fly away to encounter life, there is always a craving to return to the initial waters for recuperation.

In the metaphor, the Toloa represent the participants. The waters represent the different areas and focus of the course that will be explored and investigated. The methodology for the two weeks course is developed around the Toloa migratory cycle of return, search, dive, renew, and fly. This never-ending cycle represents the constant desire of the Toloa to probe, inquire, transition, and rejuvenate. They are critical analytical phases that are normally intertwined. They are also exploratory and reclaiming phases for Pasifika philosophies and their relevance to developing a new development consciousness.

The training is launched with the arrival of Toloa or participants from around the world, followed by a welcome ceremony. This initial phase sets the scene for the ‘return of the Toloa’ to re-establish connection with the different waters such as the waters of Pasifika philosophies. This is followed by a deep inquiry dive to unlock the Pasifika philosophical mind to begin the search into Pasifika philosophies with Pasifika philosophers and with different levels of local and regional communities. The renewal phase is where the Toloa gathers the skills to reconstruct a new development story based on the philosophies learned. The hope is that by the end of the training, the Toloa flies away with renewed development consciousness and a story of hope, leaving the space open for another possible return.

Course Content and Programme

Date - Activity

15 July

Arrival

WECOME CEREMONY: INTRODUCTIONS

16 July

TOLOA RETURNS: Facing our Present

  • Lotu with a Suva Church
  • The Development Narrative: The Case of Pasifika
17 July

TOLOA RETURNS: Facing our Minds

  • Introducing the course: Why Pasifika philosophy?
  • Unlocking the Pasifika Philosophical Mind
18 July

TOLOA SEARCHES: Facing our Ancestors

  • Grounding philosophies in Pasifika Cosmogonies/Cosmologies
  • Relational Philosophies of Land, Ocean/water, People
19 July

TOLOA SEARCHES: Facing our Wisdom and Knowledge

  • The relational philosophies of knowledge and wellbeing
  • Pasifika Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Knowledge, Epistemologies
20 July

TOLOA SEARCHES: Facing our Ecologies of Wellbeing

  • Reweaving the Ecological Mat Development Framework
  • Review of current Pasifika development models and policies
21 July

TOLOA DIVES: Facing our Communities

  • Unlearning and relearning with village communities
22 July

TOLOA DIVES: Facing our Communities

  • Unlearning and relearning with village communities
23 July

TOLOA DIVES: Facing our Communities

  • Unlearning and relearning with village communities
24 July

TOLOA RENEWS: Facing Development

  • Debriefing and Relearning
  • Translating Pasifika philosophies for development, diplomacy, security, and economic wellbeing
25 July

TOLOA RENEWS: Facing Climate Change

  • Translating Pasifika philosophies for climate change policies
  • Climate Change and Traditional Knowledge (SPREP)
  • Institute of Climate Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK)
26 July

TOLOA RENEWS: Facing Research

  • Pasifika Research Methodologies and Ethics: protocols, contribution, research ethics, research values
  • Research for a New Development Consciousness
27 July

TOLOA RENEWS: Facing Policy Spaces

  • Conversation on a Pasifika Traditional Knowledge Framework
  • Learning from Pacific Islands Forum: 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy
  • Learning from Indigenous Institutes and Centers in Fiji
28 July

TOLOA FLIES: Facing New Futures

  • Framing a New Development Consciousness
  • Summaries, Statements, Recommendations
  • Farewell and Award Ceremony

Assessment Portfolio

The following assists the facilitators to evaluate discussions and conversations during the Toloa migratory cycle in order to achieve the learning outcomes.
Type of Assessment Weight Comments/Rationale Learning Outcome
1.       Pasifika philosophies and philosophical mindset 20% The candidate is able to grasp and understand the Pasifika philosophical mindset and how it operates in the world of thinking and relationship and is able to draw the distinction between Pasifika philosophies and others that underpin certain policies and development models.   LO 1
2.       Social analysis and contextual mapping 20% The candidate is able to critically analyze the conventional development narrative, weaknesses and strengths, dynamics, issues, and potential risks, and in particular its underpinning philosophies, from a ‘whole of life’ philosophical perspective.   LO 2
3.       Codification and translation 20% The candidate is able to translate ‘whole of life’ philosophies and spiritualities to inform existing development policies or the creation of new ones   LO 3
4.       Towards a new development consciousness 20% The candidate is able to articulate and/or develop a new ‘whole of life’ transformative development consciousness through creating new policies and models or reviewing existing development policies.   LO 4
5.       Orality and Communities Engagement 20% The candidate is able to align and incorporate into their thinking and work the communities-based philosophies and approaches that can assist in policy development and ‘whole of life’ development consciousness. Orality, whether it’s through talanoa, organized discussion, or informal conversation, are all critical unlocking and understanding the Pasifika philosophical mindset.   LOs 1-4

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Facilitators

  Name: Professor Manulani Meyer

  Institution: University of Hawaii

  Email: manulani@hawaii.edu  

Name: Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba

Institution: Fiji National University

Email: unaisi.baba@fnu.ac.fj

  Name: Dr Frances Koya-Vaka’uta

  Institution: SPC

  Email: francesv@spc.int

Name: Dr George Carter

Institution: Australian National University

Email: george.carter@anu.edu.au

  Name: Rev Professor Upolu Luma Vaai

  Institution: Pacific Theological College

  Email: ulvaai@ptc.ac.fj

Name: Aisake Casimira

Institution: Pacific Theological College

Email: casimira@ptc.ac.fj

  Name: SPREP Team

  Institution: SPREP

  Email: siosinamelel@sprep.org