Masters Candidates

Cosmas Masega Ongesa

Cosmas Masega Ongesa

Project Summary

TITLE OF THE PROJECT:A PHILOSOPHICAL CRITIQUE OF CRITICAL THINKING PEDAGOGY IN KENYAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ CURRICULUM

ABSTRACT.

Across the globe, the goals of learning for elementary, secondary and higher education curricula tend to emphasize the development of critical thinking (CT) pedagogy in teaching and critical thinking skills in learning. Contrary to this goal, there seems to be inconsistencies in how learning goals are interpreted mostly in Africa and particularly in Kenya. This study therefore, performed a philosophical analysis on the status of critical thinking pedagogy, assessed and proposed improvements to the existing approaches to critical thinking pedagogy in the Kenyan secondary schools’ curriculum. The Kenyan 8-4-4 curriculum which is being phased out according to KICD 2017 emphasized competition in exams; content memorization, teacher centered approach in teaching/learning and focused mostly on summative assessments. To address this issues, the newly introduced competency based curriculum (CBC) listed among others, critical thinking and problem solving skills as a core competency in teaching/learning. In secondary school for example the CBC recommend that learners be asked to find better ways of solving the problem of meagre resources such as food, water and electricity both within the school and the community surrounding them without any logical or epistemological basis.Using Kantian critical judgment theory which employs Socratic questioning and critical analysis method to assess human actions or behaviors, the study found that learners’ involvement in problem identification and problem solving was key in the development of critical thinking skills within them. Without learners’ involvement, the knowledge/skills given to them can neither be creative nor critical.Using this theory against the Kenyan secondary education curriculum, it was not clear whether CT pedagogy and thus CT were employed in teaching/learning by the 8-4-4 curriculum and the progressive 2-6-6-3 curriculum because the two systems of education have not clearly defined how CT had to be imparted in learners during teaching/learning process.  Rooted on the school culture and experiences of teachers’ commitment to the CT integration, this study, had suggested mechanism in which CT policies and ambitions of the school might be revised in the curriculum to include logic (inductive and deductive reasoning) and epistemology (mainly constructivism model) to achieve required CT pedagogical goals. Only by equipping all teachers with knowledge to integrate CT across the curriculum in the Kenyan secondary school systematically, can the critical thinking culture be realised in those schools and across the nation.  Based on the inductive analysis; teachers competent in CT, committed to teaching CT, integrating CT holistically in all programmes of the school, competent pedagogically and practicing of CT across the school can create a CT culture in teaching /learning at secondary schools. Integration of CT across the secondary school curriculum can best be achieved by employing critical thinking and learning model which consists of Bloom’s taxonomy, CT dispositions and the Pearson’s/Watson-Glaser RED model. If these strategies are employed, then, the Kenyan secondary schools shall realize a CT culture, the 21st century skills for the global citizen, for higher learning and the workplace. Further research is called for to investigate if it is possible to extend CT learning/teaching for learners in primary schools and investigate systematically how to transfer CT to other domains of knowledge by training only within one domain.

Key terms:Critical Thinking, Enlargement of Mind, Community of Inquiry, Philosophy for Children and Curriculum.

Jacklyne Lumonya

Jacklyne Lumonya

Project Summary

TITLE OF THE PROJECT:A CRITIQUE OF COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULUM: TOWARDS INTEGRATION OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS IN KENYA

ABSTRACT.

The indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) discourse has incited an epic proportion debatesall over the world for several years. In Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan region and particularly in Kenya, while the so-called indigenous communities have always found value in their own local forms of knowledge, curriculum developers and post and pre-colonial administrationviewed IKS as anti-development, ungodly, unscientific, and/orillogical. The importance and status of IKS have changed in the wake of Global Knowledge Yet, little has been done, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and mainly in Kenya, to guarantee the maximum exploitation of IKS for the common good of all persons. The Kenyan new competence based curriculum (CBC) and most curricula in Sub-Saharan Africa are aimed at promoting education for sustainable development as an alternative approach to school. To address some of the knowledge deficiencies that are currently formulated from the western perspective, this study focused on the integration of existing IKS within the country into the CBC in Kenyan schools. The objectives of this study were to explore the role of indigenous knowledge systems, provide critical analysis of the CBC to assess the extent to which indigenous knowledge systems have been integrated into teaching/learning in the Kenyan formal school system, and propose a working paradigm of introducing indigenous knowledge systems in teaching/learning in our schools.The study adopted the Holism theory to achieve these objectives. Critical analysis and constructivist models were used to assess the role, integration, and suitable paradigm for the integration of IKS in teaching/learning in Kenyan schools through the CBC. The solutions to problems that currently plague the African continent and concerning the Kenyans must proceed from an understanding of local capacities such as the role of IKS in promoting sustainable development. This can be achieved by integrating IKS into the Kenyan formal education curriculum to address some of the deficiencies in knowledge for development that is currently formulated using the western perspective. This study challenged the dominance of western knowledge in Kenya’s school curriculum that makes education disembodied from context. Findings indicated that the CBC recommended the teaching of Indigenous Language Activities (ILA) which is a sub-set of IKS and thus full integration of IKS into the curriculum was missing in the Kenyan educational curricula. A total focus of the curriculum in terms of IKS is recommended by this study to de-racialize African educational systems, provide a basis of problem-solving and innovative thinking strategies, generate and motivate learners' interest and self-consciousness, promotion of interaction and development of different cultural dimensions, and promote interpersonal relationships in Kenya. It is further recommended that the exploration of the indigenous knowledge systems should be part of the curriculum design process and IKS should be integrated into the school and University curricula for a clear understanding of concepts and for long-term retention of what is learned in class. Further research should be done in order to assess the perception of teachers on IKS and find ways in which IKS can blend with modern technology to solve current problems.

 

Key Words: indigenous, indigenous knowledge systems, curriculum,integration.

LUGONGO ANYANGO BEATRICE

LUGONGO ANYANGO BEATRICE

Project Summary

INFLUENCE OF PARENTAL PARTICIPATION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF NUMERACY SKILLS AMONG PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN LUGARI SUB-COUNTY, KAKAMEGA COUNTY. KENYA.

ABSTRACT

The goal of this project was to find out the impact of parental involvement on the development of numeracy skills among preschool children in Kakamega County, Kenya's Lugari North District, Lugari Sub County. In particular, the research sought to establish how the provision of educational materials by parents, homework supervision and communication in parental school influences the development of numeracy skills among pre-primary school children. The study used descriptive research design and targeted teachers of ECDE centers, preschoolers and parents of preprimary school children in Lugari North Zone. The sample size included 13 teachers, 93 parents and 126 preschool children.The study methods used were interview schedules, questionnaires and a guide for documentary review. For study, percentages, frequencies and mean scores were used. The correlation coefficient of the variables with the supply of instructional materials with the greatest positive correlation of 0.75 on the production of numeracy skills was determined using SPSS V25. This is because instructional materials simplify abstract ideas and make learning real. Supervision of homework had a significantly positive correlation at 0.57 as it allowed learners more time to practice the skill that was taught earlier on in class while parental school communication had a less significant correlation at 0.42. This was attributed to some parents opting to discuss with their children issues affecting them in number work at home due to limited time and other family commitment. Data was presented using pie charts and tables. Findings of the study revealed that of the three variables studied, provision of various types of materials with a mean of 49.3 has the greatest influence on the development of numeracy skills among pre-primary children. Supervision of homework by parents including creating a conducive home environment has a significant influence on development of numeracy skills among preprimary children with a mean of 41.35. Communication between parents and teachers (schools) was found to have the least influence the development of numeracy skills among preprimary children with a mean of 38.35. The study recommended that parents in conjunction with the school should provide/improvise adequate tactile, visuals, audios and audios visuals materials necessary to foster the development of numeracy skills among preprimary children, ensure they actively supervise their children’s homework and set simple and effective home rules to govern home study, and also create space/study rooms to offer conducive environment for the children to do homework.Television viewing should also be limited and monitored to allow more time for children to participate in more active numerical work activities. To strengthen contact, stakeholders should embrace modern technology, such as cell phones. In the academic calendar, schools should schedule unique days exclusively for the number of work-related events. The government should come up with specific policies and guidelines on parental responsibility and how to practically involve them in the development of numeracy skills for their children.

KILEMI JAPHETH SAMMY

KILEMI JAPHETH SAMMY

Project Summary

RESEARCH TOPIC; THE INFLUENCE OF MIRAA TRADE ON BOYS AND GIRLS PARTICIPATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION IN TIGANIA CENTRAL DIVISION, MERU COUNTY, KENYA.

ABSTRACT

This study aimed at investigating the influence of miraa trade on boys and girls participation in primary school education in Tigania Central Division, Meru County, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to determine the influence of miraa trade on boys’ and girls’ enrolment, retention, transition and completion of primary school education in Tigania Central Division, Meru County, Kenya. The study was informed by theory of exploitative child labor. The reviewed literature revealed that miraa growing, trade and use was rampant in many parts of the world where it formed a core source of livelihood for the people, though largely with adverse effects on children’s participation in education. Descriptive survey design was employed. The study targeted 17 public primary schools in Tigania Central Division and thus the target population comprised of 17 head teachers, 105 teachers and 1,650 pupils of the sampled schools. Systemic sampling technique was used to select a sample size of 216 primary school pupils, 36 teachers and 12 head teachers who were randomly picked. Structured questionnaires were used to collect primary data from the study respondents. The study data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, specifically frequencies and percentages using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, with the study findings presented in tables. The study established that 80% of the head teachers, 62% of the teachers, 72% of the boys pupils and 77% of the girls did agree that pupils involved in miraa trade do not enroll in school and prefer going to harvest miraa to schooling, showing that miraa trade adversely affected the pupils’ enrolment in primary school education. The study also established that 80% of the head teachers, 82% of the teachers, 69% of the boys pupils and 76% of the girls agreed that miraa trade was a major attraction to pupils at the expense of learning in school and that the pupils perceived miraa trade as a source of easy earning opportunity, showing that miraa trade adversely affected the pupils’ retention in primary school education. The study established that 64% of the head teachers, 66% of the teachers, 77% of the boys pupils and 74% of the girls did agree that most of the pupils preferred to venture into miraa trade instead of moving on with their education to the next levels, showing that miraa trade adversely affected the pupils’ transition in primary school education. The study established that 80% of the head teachers, 60% of the teachers, 54% of the boys pupils and 71% of the girls did agree that miraa trade contributes immensely to failure to complete primary education in the region, showing that miraa trade had a negative influence on the pupils’ completion of primary school education. The study concluded that miraa trade had a negative influence on the pupils’ enrolment, retention, transition and completion of primary school education in Tigania Central Division, Meru County, Kenya. The study thus recommended that there is need to have monitoring and supervision of the entire miraa trade activities so that it does not compromise the education system leading to poor quality of life in future for the school going boys and girls.