April through June Activity Summary
My work continues in a variety of areas—one significant difference is that students are no longer participating in School Based Studies so that supervisory work is finished. However, I continue to work with students in the field by supporting their research and development as teachers in an after school program in Katutura.
Practical Class: Until the semester finished on May 23, I worked weekly with a third year group on the Khomasdal Campus with their Environmental Studies Practical. I was hoping to stay with this group all year, and then next year in January when they are begin their 12 week teaching practice so I can continue to support and evaluate their teaching. However, I believe Dr. Trudie Frindt will no longer be their instructor, so I will need to check with the faculty member teaching that group in semester 2 if she would like me to support her in the practical part of the class.
UNESCO/CFIT (Chinese funds in trust) research project: After working with the research group and finalizing all field documents, Trudie Frindt and I provided instructions for the research as one part of a short video that provides background information for all researchers. I will be making my first visit to Tsumkwe to observe at a school there the last week in June.
Mentoring Project: After meeting with Dr. John Nyambe (Continuing Professional Development) and Dr. Charmaine Villet, we have a detailed plan to move forward with the Mentoring program. We have formed a steering committee with educators from UNAM, CPD, NIED, and the Ministry of Education—(Program Quality Assurance). I have decided that dinner meetings funded with the Fulbright food allowance are an easy way to bring everyone together. At this time all participants are reviewing documents from NIED and at our next meeting will identify elements they believe are necessary in a credit based program for mentors. The goal is to develop mentors who will mentor pre-service teachers during their school based study experiences and then continue the mentoring process during the first two years of teaching.
Program Development for Diploma Course:
I have participated and supported the Faculty of Education in the development of a Diploma Course in Junior Primary Education. In April we spent a full weekend working as a group, then had our own work to develop Exit Learning Outcomes for the courses, followed by another full day workshop. We also discussed the program at the Faculty Board Meeting in June. Juanita Moller and Charlotte Keyter—two key players have asked me to review the almost completed document and so I am currently half way through the document and will provide my feedback prior to the early July meeting to create a final document.
Student Research Support: I have been working with 4th year students who are specializing in the pre- and lower primary area. All of these students are required to conduct research and so I have been working during the class break on their projects. These are students who are interested in learning how an after school program can support student learning. I have taken them to an after school center in Katutura and facilitated their work in this after school program.
· Participated in the YALI orientation for the Namibia group leaving for the United States. I provided insight about professor expectations to the group. Additionally, as a result of talk with the participants I met with one of the participants about education in the US, and responded to questions related to pursuing Ph.D. work. I recommended some action steps and we will meet again when she returns.
· I have worked with two faculty members from my department with their literature search related to doctoral research. Both were feeling challenged with finding recent sources, so in each case we met for a couple of hours at my house and used my university’s library resources to find appropriate materials. One of the benefits to them was that PLU will send electronic files of articles, and if our library doesn’t have them, then they will request from another library and have them sent electronically to me. I know that isn’t a sustainable way to do research, but both faculty members felt they were able to move forward and not be concerned about navigating UNAM’s library.
· Submitted a workshop proposal for the Educator’s conference in September that connects research related to learning to college teacher. I conducted a similar workshop at my university and I will see if this is something the organizing committee believes will fit into the conference.
· Met with the principal at A.I Steenkamp, which is a school in Katutura that is connected to PLU’s education program. She wondered if I would consider doing a classroom management workshop, and when we met to discuss what this would look like, I said yes to four 2 hour workshops between now and July 12.