The Metaphorical Canoe: Navigating and Sharing Sacred Spaces

Rosarine Rafai* and Jiokapeci Qalo-Qiolevu, Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture, and Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji


This paper will discuss the concept of the classroom as a metaphorical canoe, being a medium for cooperative teaching and learning in different spaces used in the UU204 “Pacific Worlds” Course—a generic undergraduate course at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in the online mode. In “Pacific Worlds” the canoe metaphor places the emphasis on the “journey rather than on the product or destination” and has been used to encourage co-operative learning and enhance a collaborative culture among the teachers and students. The paper will further look at past and present student experiences and comments on the course to ascertain how such a construct immerses, influences, and empower student learning.

Keywords: co-operative learning, Vygotsky, Pacific culture, decolonization, MOODLE

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