International Cooperation in Education: In-Service Teacher Training in East Timor

By Patrícia Almeida, Betina Lopes and Mariana Martinho.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

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East Timor has been a sovereign nation since 2002. It was a Portuguese colony for 450 years, until, in 1974, Indonesia illegally occupied the territory. In 1999, after a referendum in which the Timorese expressed their will to become independent, there was a period of severe violence. Consequently, the country was almost ruined and lost its qualified workforce in all sectors, including education. To ensure national independence, it is necessary to reconstruct and build the basic infrastructures for all sectors, and to prepare a technical and professional elite that will be expected to ensure the autonomy of the society and the sovereignty of the state. In this context, education plays a key role. The transformation of an outdated and fragile education system in East Timor is a critical factor required to ensure the building of an economically, culturally, and politically sustainable future. The Timorese Government has embarked upon several approaches to empower national education. Due to the lack of skilled education professionals, East Timor has resorted to international support, cooperating with institutions such as the Aveiro University in Portugal. In this paper, we describe and discuss how a module of a bachelor’s course carried out in East Timor was designed and implemented by Portuguese teachers.

Keywords: International Cooperation, Teacher Education, In-service Teacher Training

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.11-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.848MB).

Dr. Patrícia Almeida

Researcher, Research Centre for Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Betina Lopes


Mariana Martinho

PhD student in Multimedia in Education, Department of Education, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Mariana Matias Martinho is a Doctoral Candidate (D.Ed.) in Multimedia in Education, at the University of Aveiro, in Portugal, having as her project “Students’ questions in Higher Education Chemistry classes according to their gender”. For the development of her PhD project she has been co-administrating the Moodle of two courses in her institution. Her research interests lie in Technology Enhanced Learning, Multimedia in Education, Higher Education, Science Education, Student' Questioning, Gender Studies, Physics and Chemistry and Science Museums. In 2007 she concluded a Master in Communication and Education in Science in the same institution, having as her dissertation theme “The Impact of Interactive Science Centres according to the gender (male/female) of the visitant”. Besides her academic work, she has worked as a Physics and Chemistry teacher in several secondary schools in Portugal, she worked for three years in an interactive science center as a researcher in managing science and technology and in 2011 she integrated an international cooperation program, working as a chemistry teacher trainer in East Timor.