New Colonialism for New Times? Exploring the Potential for Empowering Partnerships in Postgraduate Teacher Education

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Collaborations between higher education institutions around the world link old colonial countries of the North with younger independent states of the South in ways which can be of benefit to both in terms of developing professional thinking and practice. Such relationships may exploit old colonial histories, reinforce epistemological, cultural and academic models and reproduce neo-colonial, socio-economic conditions or produce new hybrid professional understandings.

This paper presents one North/South higher education (HE) collaboration in postgraduate teacher education as a case study in order to explore questions about re-productive colonial tendencies and such relationships’ potential for creative empowerment on both sides. Our intention is to raise questions about South - North working in HE teacher education in order to explore what could be viewed as new forms of colonialism, the tensions in such a ‘partnership’, what might be possible to develop within such a relationship and what we are learning and thinking from engagement with the partnership.

Our illustration is the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE)/University of Brighton 2-year part-time MA Education programme for secondary sector practitioners and MIE (HE) colleagues. A draft theoretical framework will be presented with data that explore re-productive neo-colonial tendencies and hybrid emerging practices.


Keywords: Teacher Education, Teacher Professional Development, International Partnerships, Post-Colonialism
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: New Colonialism for New Times?


Dr. Katrina Miller

Co-ordinator, Postgraduate Professional Development Programme
School of Education, University of Brighton

Brighton, East Sussex, UK

Dr. Katrina Miller leads University of Brighton School of Education’s postgraduate professional development portfolio. She has led development on MA Education for international students, developments in partnership with the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), Education Research Conferences and other practitioner research initiatives. Previously in science teacher education, her PhD studied paradoxes for women becoming teachers of science in primary years from a gender and sociological perspective. Current teaching and research interests are in practitioner research methods and new models of collaborative teacher education. Dr. Miller has worked in the Mauritius Institute of Education Department of Education since 2001, co-leading the partnership MA Education for education practitioners and a key player in the development of the MIE’s annual International Education Research Conference in the region.

Anita Curpen

Mauritius Institute of Education
Reduit, Mauritius


Ref: L09P0342