Kiswahili [another term for Swahili] the proverb “Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu,”
shares the responsibility of the community (village), or town or city to raise/educate children.
The exposure to educational strategies, concepts, best practices and the application of diverse technologies can sometimes seem challenging when the infrastructure is still being built.
Collaboration with educators is challenged when the basic tools are not in place or accessible and teachers with years of experience are not able to collaborate or connect with new or pre-service teachers still attending college and university.
Bring in the EdCamp!!!! Chinua Achebe, “When I began going to school and learned to read, I encountered stories of other people and other lands.” When young people decide to make education a career they should be celebrated and importantly supported because the road to a “master teacher” is difficult and the learning curve is at times steep.
To many people are criticized for going into teaching especially men. People do not respect the calling of an educator or the responsibility of administrators that manage personalities, egos, genders and even generations, that is just the
Diversity in education builds strength in skills and abilities because this can be applied to the growing student population in schools that are diverse and constantly changing. How do you address literacy skills if 1/3 of the students are ESOL and 1/3 may be hearing impaired or 1/3 visually challenged and 1/3 are gifted.
The classroom teacher must address each student individually and align instruction with their abilities to be academically successful. It is common knowledge that schools are a microcosm of their communities, and African teachers understand their challenges are unique in their classrooms because of the lack of resources.
Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Writer) “A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followers, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.” EdCamp provides a format in education for teachers, administrators, support staff to come together and share in a collaborative environment how to improve the educational culture and atmosphere of schools.
The physical infrastructure is important, but if you do not have teachers that are passionate, engaging, creative and innovative in applying academic intellect so students can see what they are working towards, having stuff will not help.
Instruction must correspond with application to meet the needs of students. “Learning must be relevant and real.” Professor William Jackson, M.Ed.
The instruction and the instructional materials rests with the teacher that is the leader, role model, mentor and guide to academic direction. Teachers as they learn their students can apply the best tool to the student(s) for the best results. Even pre-service and new teachers can benefit because of the exposure to those with experiences applying best practices and building a PLN Professional Learning Network to share and support.
In this world of political lobbyists that do not understand how children learn, the influence of community, poverty, generational influences and teacher training; EdCamp is not influenced by political affiliations, special interest’s groups, lobbyists or the infection of governmental
policies. The exchanges are by teachers that respect their peers and can relate and understand the challenges of teaching and educating youth, teens and young adults.
The teacher exchanges of ideas, resources and developing practices is able to make transformative changes in the culture and learning of the classroom faster than politicians changing policy that is filtered, modified and changed to meet the needs of a political promise or vision that is not in-line with actual learning. Teachers and administrators understand that classrooms are global environments of cultures, ideas, lifestyles and the socio-economic conditions of students.
Education is the tool to take them beyond their current position to move them upward. The family in most cases is part of the process of education and because of this, family histories do matter. The history of African education has been one of colonial influences and even re-defining the
learning objectives for students.
Change by African educators is finding appropriate resources not to just satisfy a political mission, but prepare African children to be the smart creatives and innovators
Africa needs. Chinua Achebe affirms the educational function of literature and establishes a human context for understanding modern African history.
In Survey of World Literature, 1992 Education serves a vital purpose in understanding where Africans have come from and it helps direct where Africans are going in relation to the direction of global business, commerce, technology and finance. EdCamp can provide the missing pieces to teacher development that cannot be influenced by one day professional development.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to educate a child,” brings higher value to the creation of EdCamp on the African continent. If teachers do not prepare students to sit at the tables of business,
commerce, finance and education then students will be left behind and out of the decision making process of building communities and prosperity for its citizens.
As a professor teaching Educational Technology in the Education Department and Urban Studies at Edward Waters College and teaching 27 years in public education, professional development and networking are important to the growth and development of new and seasoned teachers that need seasoning. One cannot exist without the other. Kijita (Wajita) “Omwana ni wa bhone,” meaning regardless of a child’s biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community.
EdCamp and WordCamp in Africa
EdCamp and Why Teachers Should Care