ERG SES E 06, Educational Improvement and Quality Assurance
General description on research questions, objectives and theoretical framework
Most of educational stakeholders agree that quality teacher education improves the quality of learning and teaching processes. Quality education as described by the World Education Forum in 2000 “includes learning to know, to do, to live together, and to be” (GCE 2012:6). According to the 2012 report by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), “up to three quarters of children in the lowest income countries have not learned to read and write after two or three years of schooling”. The fundamental reason for such a deficit in quality education as viewed by the GCE and Education International (EI), is the “severe lack of well-trained, well-supported teachers”. The EFA/GMR (2005) highly advocates that “if we value education, we must value teachers”. This description can also somehow apply to Cameroon educational system, especially in its private teacher education sector.
The Cameroonian educational system essentially reflects the socio-political setup, where power structure is mono-logical, a top-down approach (Kokemohr 2014). Formal education, with its historical colonial antecedent (Njimoluh 2010), has also helped to reinforce this pattern in the modern Cameroonian context. The teacher knows “all” and the learner memorizes the lesson, which is then reproduced at a given time in examinations resulting in certificates (Kokemohr 2018). The whole concept of knowledge as a shared commodity (Berger/Luckmann 2005) which can be debated by both teachers and students is alien in this culture, and consequently, teacher training appears to be a top-down process of “knowledge” dispensation, where the teacher basically transmits what he/she knows.
Since 2005 IPSOM (Instittut Supérieur de Pédagogie pour Sociétés en Mutation, today Faculty of Sciences of Education - FSE) has been training secondary school teachers of English, French, Mathematics, and History/Geography based on innovative-learner-centered pedagogy (Foaleng et al. 2009). In many ways, this new dynamic of teacher education based on social-constructivist principles, though promising (because successfully implemented in a pilot primary school), has been challenging both teachers and students who might be learning to build knowledge together (Foaleng 2010; Kokemohr 2014). From this preliminary consideration, my doctoral research lies on the claim that trainees, trainers and administration staff come into the pedagogic reform projects of IPSOM/FSE with complex socio-cultural backgrounds which could be significant in the way they act/interact to construct the realities of the projects. The interest of the study relies on the attempt to investigate on how socio-cultural backgrounds of the educational actors imply quality teacher education in Cameroon. The study advocates that educational, pedagogic and didactic reform projects could be fundamentally based on actors’ socio-cultural backgrounds, rather than being simply an implementation of educational principles proved to be effective somewhere (most from western context of education). In other words, it is an attempt to think educational reforms internally (according to the Cameroonian contexts and problems transculturally reflected (Metz 2013; 2015)) by considering socio-cultural background of the different actors in interaction.
How to take advantage of these challenges (Bähr et al. 2018), is a question triggering a theoretical and empirical reflection based on the Bildung as a Transformative Process (Koller 2010; 2011; 2017; 2012, 2018), with a micro linguistic endeavour in terms of search for frames of orientations of socio-cultural background which could be interpreted as Bildungsvorhalt opening rooms for transformation or change of self and one’s relations to the world (Kokemohr 1989, 2014, 2018).
Methods Data comprise transcripts of pedagogical real-life situations (a class-conference and a lesson in class 6 of a private pilot primary school in Cameroon) triangulated with a group discussion with the 2 teachers involved in the target pedagogical real-life situations. The methodology used is qualitative and combined both documentary method (Bohnsack et al., 2010) and narrative micro-ethnography (Streeck et al., 2004) basically oriented toward the qualitative reconstruction of language processes in the manner attuned to Transformational Processes of Bildung (Koller 2011) and to inference analysis (Kokemohr 2018). It is an attempt to empirically reconstruct conjunctive space of experiences framing the interactions in pedagogic real-life-situations; frameworks of orientations which could portray the socio-cultural background of the actors involved in the situations (Bohnsack 2010). Using a micro analysis of some language features such as metaphors, rhetoric, deictic, word choice and collocation in the discourse, could help reconstruct a deep view on how the identified conjunctive frames of experiences shape actors’ interactions (somehow reconstruction of habitus in terms of Bourdieu). Since my study (doctoral thesis) unfolds within the field of reform of teacher education, a step forward is attempted so as to reflect on how the actors use their deeply engrained socio-cultural backgrounds (or habitus) to embrace or to engage in innovative change of their pedagogic and didactic interactions and their relations toward each other (teachers-learners relations in this specific case) and toward the world. The theory of Bildung as a Transformative Process and the concept of Bidungsvorhalt as developed respectively by Koller (2017; 2011; 2012, 2018) and Kokemohr (2018) are called upon for this purpose. This paper aims at summarizing the current results of my empirical analysis of transcripts resulting from recorded (video, audio) of a class-conference and a lesson triangulated with a group discussion with the two teaches involved in the situations.
Expected outcomes/results One of the goals of the study of the target class-conference is to investigate on how this as a pedagogic setting could promote a community decision making education sustained by participative-class-interaction (principle of interaction) which may produce diversity of views (principle of diversity) reciprocally deliberated and accepted (principle of reciprocal responsibility) (these 3 principles are also discussed in Kokemohr 2014). The study of a lesson is also based on these three principles sustaining the pedagogic reform in this pilot school, and in other educational institutions of the evangelical church in Mbo/Bandjoun (these include IPSOM and FSE). The study of the target lesson is an attempt, in the one hand, to reconstruct the different moves of the lesson. In the other hand, I would reconstruct the in-process-constructed orientation frameworks of interaction present in the lesson, highlighting a micro-comparative analysis of language features devices. This would be done in view of pedagogic reform principles aiming to transform or change ubiquitous form of lesson to singular (Kokemohr 2018) form (from a mono-logical process of teaching-learning to a diversity oriented-teaching-learning process). The idea is to get a comparative view of the interaction frames of orientations in these two different pedagogic settings.
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