Samoan socialization practices continue to be fertile ground for social scientific theorizing about the role of schooling in society. American Samoan schools are in a unique position between the goals of American educational systems and traditional cultural knowledge. American Samoa comprises a group of seven islands located in the South Pacific. These islands were settled about 3,500 years ago; Samoans are part of a pan-Pacific ethnic group known as Polynesians, with similar genetic, linguistic, and cultural characteristics. Europeans first discovered the Samoan Islands in 1722; the first missionaries arrived in the 1820s. Some Samoan leaders were eager to learn from Europeans, because the new knowledge these visitors brought (e.g., religion and guns) often meant more power. America became interested in the Samoan Islands in the ...

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