Selection for teaching in Tonga and Palmerston North, New Zealand : a paper presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University

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Massey University
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Teacher education in the Kingdom of Tonga has undergone many changes within the last two years. New directions in teacher development have included the introduction of a three-year diploma course for training primary and secondary teachers. This paper examines teacher selection processes used in Tonga in comparison with those used in Palmerston North. Section One introduces the paper by stating the concerns and the need for the study. A brief profile of Tonga Teachers' College and Palmerston North Teachers' College is presented. The research questions and the limitations of the study are stated. Section Two discusses the researcher's preparations for the research and describes her use of selected relevant literature on teacher selection and the techniques of questionnaire and interview. A brief note on the use of qualitative research methods is followed by a discussion of data gathering activities. In Section Three, the writer examines teacher selection processes used in Tonga by presenting responses to questionnaire and personal interviews as answers to the research questions. The same is done for Palmerston North Teachers' College in Section Four. Section Five presents the writer's discussion of each area investigated by means of the research questions. Following is a brief summary of the writer's conclusions to the study. The writer concluded that teacher selection processes in Tonga were not highly organised or structured, not extensive and not systematically conducted in comparison to selection processes used by Palmerston North Teachers' College. Tongan selection panelists were not well prepared and their functions not clearly identified or defined. Secondary students lacked adequate preparations before the selection interview and all sectors involved with teacher selection lacked co-ordination and clearly examined and stated criteria. Selection of teacher trainees in Tonga could benefit by co-operation between the various church education services and government to conduct a national selection programme whereby use of recruitment officers, vocational guidance counsellors and careers advisors would ensure that the best possible potential trainees are selected for teacher education; and, that this process should be highly organised, structured, extensive and systematically conducted. The section ends with a summary of the researcher's recommendations and final comments.
Teachers, Tonga, Selection and appointment, New Zealand -- Palmerston North