TEACHING SCIENCE – SOCIAL AND ETHNICAL EXPERIENCES
University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The challenges encountered by teachers and educators in a country like Kenia are very different from those we can find in developed countries. Naming a few: many families do not send their children to school (especially the girls), in primary school there are not enough school material such as pencils or notebooks, children in the same classroom are not of the same age, levels and mother tongues. However, parents in this country are becoming more and more aware of the necessity and importance of proper education. Therefore they are trying to send their children to school whenever it is possible in order to ensure a better future for their offspring. Despite this fact, one big obstacle still remains. After primary school, only few students start secondary school and less than 3% have the chance to go to university.
In this article we describe not only the challenges but also the reward of teaching in a primary school located in a rural area in Kenya. Most of the children are highly motivated to learn. They are very curious and want to be the first to answer the questions the teacher asks. Understanding this fact is necessary to fully take advantage of the positive aspects of this situation. To improve the learning process, it is essential to adapt the teaching methods to the location of the school as well as to its facilities. The communication is mainly oral; the topics are closely related to the environment of the students with contents that are applicable in their everyday life. Teachers who encourage practical projects where one can see, rather than read or hear, predominate, since this model perfectly suits the local temperament. Bringing this educational insight to developed countries and integrating it into science classes could be useful to draw students’ attention to the subject. It may also be used as an example for good teaching practice.
Keywords: Chemistry, education, Kenya, motivation.