After an exciting first day in Kagadi, Chandni and Andrew began their first day of teaching at ARU on Tuesday morning. However, before classes begun, the team had plenty of time to explore their new environment.
“The university is very green and lush. It truly feels like a university teaching agriculture and rural development. Expected some cold, but it’s colder than I thought it would be!”-Chandni
Andrew tours the gardens.
Chandni and Andrew were impressed by the facilities that the ARU campus offers, such as beehives, a mechanics shop, a radio station, a maize mill, a canteen, and a police outpost.
“The university gives the impression of being a completely self-sufficient community.”-Andrew
Andrew and Chandni were excited to begin teaching on Tuesday. Everyone was very welcoming and the students were keen to participant in class games. In Chandni’s class on negotiations and entrepreneurship, students worked on a case assignment.
Students work on a case assignment.
In Andrew’s class on social psychology, the students played a prisoner’s dilemma game.
Andrew leads a prisoner’s dilemma game with students.
Andrew and Chandni also took time to reflect on how they have adapted their teaching styles to their new environment. Because Chandni conducts most of her teaching through workshops in rural Kenya, she has had to adjust her teaching style to the classrooms at ARU. “I adapted slightly by bringing a little more of textbook teaching to the workshop/practical teaching,” says Chandni.
Her goal overall is to combine the textbook and practical teaching in order to keep student engagement levels high throughout the program. She hopes to incorporate a field visit later in the program in order to allow students to apply their learning in the community.
Andrew has found that the one of the biggest adjustments is the class size. “My class size ranges from 6-10 which falls just outside my current comfort zone with respect to ‘managing the classroom’ (e.g., maintaining enthusiasm, etc.),” says Andrew. Therefore, he has tried various ice breakers, including trying to speak in the local dialect whenever he can. “I have found the best way to get them to open up is to try out what little local language I have picked up,” says Andrew.
Moreover, Andrew has had to adjust to the scheduling of the university, which provides him and Chandni with 6 hours of lecuring time each day. “It has required me to shift things around, and try to find excuses to take the class outside or incorporate some additional physical activity to maintain any motivation,” says Andrew. He hopes to adjust to this new schedule by utilising the abundance of resources and facitilites of the campus to keep classes engaging and exciting for students.
Many thanks to Chandni and Andrew for taking the time to share their thoughts on the first few days of the program at ARU. Make sure to follow our blog to read more updates from our lecturers.