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PIASS have appreciated a new PhD in Pedagogy

Posted January 28, 2015
Category News
It is our pleasure to congratulate Rev. Quinet Obed Niyikiza who has achieved his doctoral studies from Bamberg University (Germany). He focuses his research on Participative and Active Pedagogy in Higher Education.

  • Tittle:
Rev. Quinet Obed Niyikiza
Participative and Active Pedagogy (initials, PAP) is a term used since 1998 by the National Office of Protestant Education (BNEP) in Rwanda. It refers to what different authors call “Learner-centered education (LCE). This concept was created after the Rwandan conflict which leaded to genocide in 1994. The purpose of using PAP in the teaching and learning process is thus, not only to allow teachers to use learner-centered education for an effective learning method, but also, to implement a “peace education” in schools system in Rwanda (see BNEP 2008).
  • Problem statement
After the genocide against Tutsi of 1994 in Rwanda, the restoration of individuals and of the social fabric became a priority; and education was seen as an important instrument for that process of rebuilding. Higher Education as the place where the teacher-training takes place plays an important role and it can already be noticed that the number of higher education institutions is increasing (see Aschcroft & Rayner 2011; World Bank, 2003); the number of lecturers at universities and colleges is growing as well, but the academic staffs are not adequately prepared to lecture in this higher level. This is the reason of why I reflected on issues of university pedagogy. I focused thus my research on PAP.
The questioning was first of all, on the theoretical framework of existing research that could be used for a reflection and understanding of the concept of PAP and its implementation in higher education. Second, there was a need of an empirical research on the current situation in teaching and learning at universities in Rwanda and the recommendations to introduce the PAP.
  • Structure of the study
The first step is a reflection on the theoretical aspects to implement in the university curricula in order to practice PAP at higher education.
Second, it is an empirical research to explore challenges and possibilities for implementation of PAP in higher education
  • First findings
Concerning the reflection on the theoretical aspects to implement PAP in the university teaching and learning process, I argued my research on four points:
  • In regard of historical contributions, the ideas from Pestalozzi, Dewey, Freinet and Freire reflect the role of the learner and thus may contribute to determining the role of students and teachers for individual behavior change in education.
  • Concerning the systematic foundation of the teaching-learning process, the reflections resulting from the discussion on constructivism and understanding of learning as an autopoietic system can contribute to the implementation of the PAP in higher education.
  • With a look at the empirical foundation, some aspects of "Visible Learning" of Hattie can facilitate a reflection on learning and teaching process with formative feedback for effective Participative and Active Pedagogy in the higher education in Rwanda.
  • Regarding the conceptual basis, concepts such as problem-based learning, cooperative learning, intend pedagogy and the using of Portfolio represent the conceptual foundations of a participative and active pedagogy.
  • Second findings
  • Responsible persons see learner centered education as a technological approach of university innovation, based on modular system and the use of IT (structural change).
  • Lecturers do not have a shared perspective on teaching and show reluctance to didactics in class.
  • Experts on “Learner Centered Education” focus on a reflection of the conditions of the learners and the process of learning and its psychological foundations.
  • Ministry of education has given an instruction to implement learner centered education in higher education
  • The reflection on instruction on an advance level by the experts is not shared by the lecturers at university.
  • Recommendations
The results of the empirical research have shown that some lecturers have not been sufficiently trained to implement the centered method in their teaching. It suggests that training in PAP should be essential for its application in higher education.
I made the following recommendations to the educational stakeholders:
  • Importance of strengthening didactical aspects in higher education in Rwanda
  • Development of a curriculum for training in PAP of lecturers at university
  • Obligation of Certificates in pedagogy to all lecturers at university.
  • Encouraging the implementation of the PAP for effective teaching at universities in Rwanda
In order to implement PAP in higher education, it is necessary to strengthen international exchanges of experiences in educational science. Thus the recommendations are the following:
  • The researchers should develop a curriculum of Learner Centered Education in Sub-Sahara Africa countries, and carry out a research on how students use their new experiences in their practice.
  • The lecturers should exploit the techniques according to the diverse disciplines registered on the program and create favorable atmosphere to the apprenticeship in the class; using methods that emphasize a Learner Centered Education and interactive approaches.