This is the last of a series of posts I have written about my adventures in Pakistan. I am left with the question...what next?
My trip was very successful and we managed to achieve most of our objectives for my stay in Karachi. The technology workshops were well attended. I gave up trying to make them experiential because of a lack of computers, so it was more a 'show and tell' but hopefully I left people with a few ideas of what they could do with technology. We also had some very productive talks about midwifery education and the models that Rafat and her team could integrate into the new curriculum for midwifery education in Pakistan. I also did some one-on-one consultancy work with people around individual online courses in nursing and midwifery.
Grateful thanks to midwives at Griffith University
One of the amazing things that has come out of the visit is a connection with the School of Midwifery at Griffith University in Brisbane. Associate Professor Jenny Gamble and her team responded immediately to our calls for support, and within an hour or two responded with a copy of their undergraduate curriculum. This amazing generosity touched our hearts and has made Rafat's life so much easier as she works to move midwifery education into a degree format.
My work with Rafat will be ongoing. We have some papers we want to write about our international collaboration and the development of midwifery education in Pakistan. We also want to develop and trial an online course. But at the moment, it's one step at a time, supporting Rafat as she does all her development work.
What I learned from my trip
It almost goes without saying that I learned a lot about living in a Muslim country which has left me to reflect on my own attitudes to religion and culture.
But the other thing it really did for me was make me realise just how much I have learned about teaching and learning over the last couple of years, which in turn has raised my confidence about public speaking and working with educators. Moving from being a midwifery educator into a more generalist role has placed me in a situation of no longer being an 'expert'...putting me back into feeling like a novice again. This trip has been a time of consolidation and has had the effect of making me feel a lot more confident in my current role of staff developer at Otago Polytechnic.
Network weaver and match maker
What I am thinking is... now I have no direct affiliation to one particular midwifery institution or organisation, I can develop a role as network weaver or broker - bringing midwifery educators together to support each other....a bit like a match maker.
My current state of independence allows me to have a global view of what's going on and my ability to network allows me to bring people together. I have no particular agenda I have to fit into. All I need to do now is to think about how I can find funding to make this into a more formal project...any ideas?