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05 Jul Moi University and IU School of Education at IUPUI Faculty Symposium on Research and Teaching



It’s a familiar tale: high-stakes tests, pressure on schools to produce results, teachers concerned about what students are learning as they make sure they’re ready for end-of-semester assessments. That’s the reality facing schools in Kenya these days.
That might well be something faculty at schools of education in the United States could relate to as well.

And proving the point, faculty from the Moi University School of Education in Eldoret, Kenya commiserated with faculty from the IU School of Education at IUPUI regarding how they’re taking on these challenges in the context of preparing teachers and education leaders. On Oct. 29 and 30, they met for the second annual Faculty Symposium on Research and Teaching at the IUPUI Library. The seven faculty from Moi had plenty to share with their colleagues from Indiana.

“We found common ground especially in two areas: the issues of assessment tests and getting the correct grades and putting pressure on high schools to present good results,” said Peter Barasa, dean of the Moi University School of Education. Part of the discussion over the two days focused on how teachers and school leaders should handle the growing pressures while focusing on learning for students.

“For us, it’s all exam oriented–everything must be turned into a grade,” Barasa said “So we really need to learn a few things from the U.S. on how to enable the learner to gradually develop into certain competencies by helping them into having portfolios of their own activities as they grow in school.”

Barasa said he and the seven other faculty members from Moi came to IUPUI expecting to have an open discussion of practices, both their own and those in the U.S. He said he was particularly impressed during a visit of IUPUI faculty to Moi last August with how they “interrogated” their own practices to produce best results.

Such work was the theme of the two-day conference, titled “Interrogating Educational Policy and Practice in Kenya and the U.S.” Moi and IUPUI faculty each presented their work and each queried the other about their work. During the two days, presentations focused on curriculum of Kenyan schools and individual projects by Moi and IUPUI faculty.

The School of Education signed a memorandum of understanding with Moi University to formally partner for continuing professional exchanges. Last year’s symposium in Kenya allowed faculty from both universities to share best practices and research on a variety of topics. The Moi faculty presented on the teacher preparation practices at Moi, how the Moi faculty uses research to inform policy and practice in higher education, and science curriculum. Faculty from IUPUI spoke about teaching techniques with the latest technology, issues surrounding the education of urban youth, and women in education.

The symposium is an extension of IUPUI and Moi University’s long-standing relationship, which began with the IU School of Medicine and Moi teaming up on the American Model Providing Access to Healthcare Center (AMPATH), a clinic that helps treat Kenyans with HIV and AIDS. In addition, the IU and Moi Schools of Journalism recently agreed to continue their partnership and Kenya is now home to the IU Alumni Association Kenya Chapter.

Hear and see more about the symposium in this short video.

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