Dude!

This is my birthday e-card from Monkeyboy:
dude_with_a_pearl_earring (40k image)
I’m still laughing, thank you so much! 😛

I just wrote the following in an email to one of the volunteers (in Malawi) who I met at Harborne Hall in my pre-departyre training. In the spirit of blogging I have cut-and-pasted it here.

Teaching:
As you know, I have been doing it for most of my working life. And I am teaching young adults, not really children. The teaching style here is so different from back home. I spoke last night to a volunteer from Uganda who has just arrived in the next village. He was a georgraphy (and fine art) teacher for a few years. I asked him why he volunteered. This is an interesting story in its own right since, for someone in Uganda, VSO is a good career move and pays quite well! But he also said that he didn’t like teacing, for him it was a last resort.
“You shout from 8 till 5”, he said.
And this pretty much sums up my observations of Kenyan teaching too. I don’t mind the chalk-and-talk
(without much chalk) but there seems to be no story, just facts. I want teaching to be story-telling.

I taught a couple of PC-maintenance classes, as a kind of guest lecturer. I tried to make a story: where does the electricity come from, why are there problems with the power supply, what damage might it do, how can we prepare ourselves and our computers, what happens when the power goes off, what happens when it comes back on again, and so on. For me there has to be a story or else I can’t remember stuff. I think its the same for the young ladies here. They have to swat for exams because they have to remember a lot of facts but there seems to be no cohesive story into which these facts fit.

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