Possibilities and Challenges of providing Continuous Professional Development in Pedagogy for Higher Education Staff in Africa: A case of Makerere University
Ezati, Betty Akullu
Mugimu, Christopher B.
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In recent years, most African governments have reduced their funding of higher education. Makerere University is not an isolated case. For instance, funding from the government has been declining since 1990 and student numbers have escalated. Prior to the 1970s, the university had a small population of about 2000 students. But from 1990, the population rose from less than 10,000 to the current estimated 40,000 students (Planning Department, Makerere University 2003). This increase in student numbers has created more challenges and attracted public concern about the capacity of Makerere University to provide quality education (Mamdani 2007), given the inadequate facilities, equipment and numbers of teaching staff. This fear points to problems with the curriculum, delivery methods, quality of the teaching staff, as well as the teaching and learning materials. In an attempt to restructure itself, its paradigm and ways of teaching, Makerere University started offering continuous professional development (CPD) in 2006. This involves changing students’ paradigm of learning as well as teachers’ paradigm of teaching. Specifically, the training aimed at enabling the teaching staff to accomplish four tasks: (1) gain insights into how people learn in order to structure instruction for optimal learning, (2) formulate course goals/objectives as a starting point for a constructive alignment, (3) choose and structure course content as well as teaching and assessment methods in relation to course objectives, and (4) choose and adopt interactive teaching methods that stimulate active learning.
- Social Sciences