Vocational pedagogy approaches for the improvement of teaching and learning in formal vocational education in Uganda: a case study at Kyambogo University
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The purpose of the project was to experiment the vocational pedagogy approaches of teaching and learning vocational disciplines on technical teacher trainees, with a target of enticing them to later adopt these approaches and apply them in their teaching practice. This would in turn improve on the challenges facing teaching and learning of VET disciplines in Uganda. The research was action oriented taking a participatory approach with a descriptive research design. For data collection, I adopted the interview method involving informal conversational and open-ended. I also employed participatory observation and documentary analysis for the empirical data. The data analysis process constituted transcription of field data and coding to form themes following the objectives of the project. I then presented and interpreted the coded data and finally I discussed the findings based on personal reflection and interpretation with a backing of scholarly views. The main findings indicated that the methods of teaching and learning employed by instructors in VET institutions in Uganda render learners passive. The instructors are regarded the sole source of knowledge. Learning is basically theoretical with minimal use of hands-on resources for the learners to development the expected competencies of VET. The curriculum currently employed is to a large extent out-dated with content that less addresses the current demands of a technician/craftsman on the labour market. VET is rated secondary in the country‟s education system and with a low attitude accorded to it. It was a strange and uneasy experience to the participants to learn in groups which targeted self discovery as one of the vocational pedagogy approaches to learning. Participants were so much used to individualism and competition in their previous learning circles. These practices made sharing of experience difficult at the beginning of the project. Self documenting of learned experiences was equally complex since the participants were used to being given ready-made documents by teachers. However, as we progressed with the project, participants began to appreciate what they missed by not being taught by such methods. The vocational pedagogy approaches to learning need to be introduced in vocational/technical teacher training institutions so as to take root in the country‟s education system. I conclude that VET in Uganda is at low ebb because of insufficient tools, equipment and other resources such as reference books due to low levels of initiative by Ugandans to produce what is needed inspite of the huge volumes of locally available resources. The low attitude accorded to VET is upon Ugandans not wanting to do work that leads to sweating.The methods of teaching and learning employed in VET institution in Uganda are not made rich, instructors/teachers are less creative in the sense that they wish to teach others the way they were taught irrespective of the changes in the world. I recommend the funding of VET to be every ones responsibility if the country is to prosper. The current VET curricula need urgent attention for review. More VET teachers‟ training institutions need to be established in the country and should not operate in isolation of those in other countries with a more developed VET system.
Master i yrkespedagogikk