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Action Research to develop a schools engagement strategy to promote science and research in Kilifi District
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Action Research to develop a schools engagement strategy to promote science and research in Kilifi District


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Presented by Alune Davies (Kenyan Medical Research Institute) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa,

Presented by Alune Davies (Kenyan Medical Research Institute) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa,

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Alun Davies
  • 2. Where are we based?
  • 3. Why should KEMRI CGMR-Coast engage with schools? Large research institute - scientists from Kenya and worldwide – opportunity to address beneficence in research and contribute to school science Communication strategy drafted in 2005 Schools engagement identified but not yet implemented Previous studies have worked with schools – but for study recruitment purposes - no structured schools programme Community members suggest that schools and communities would welcome a school engagement programme “What is KEMRI doing to advise our schoolchildren on what subjects to choose to become scientists?” (Roka chief, annual debriefing workshop, 25th October 2007)
  • 4. Project Objective Develop and pilot, through a PAR process, elements of a schools engagement programme aimed at improving mutual understanding between researchers and the local community.  Develop and pilot one or more interventions  Assess the impact of the piloted intervention(s)  Describe the process, facilitating factors and challenges  Build partnerships with relevant stakeholders at local, district and national levels
  • 5. Project Overview
  • 6. Possible School Interventions For sustainability and buy-in, interventions to be decided upon in participatory planning meeting with teachers but could include: Integrating with / strengthening existing structures eg science congress Establishing a resource centre Centre tours, competitions, school based student journal clubs / ethics committee role plays, debating/drama competitions, talks from scientists Semester break attachment
  • 7. Pilot evaluation Mixed methods to measure any impact on students’ knowledge and attitudes about health research and science Quantitative – pre and post intervention survey Qualitative – pre and post intervention FGDs with teachers and students, interviews with stakeholders, scientists Participatory evaluation – teachers and students to give input to the evaluation process
  • 8. Survey design continued School 1 70 pre School 3 70 pre School 2 70 pre School 1 70 post School 3 70 post School 2 70 post Survey Survey
  • 9. Selection of three pilot schools Consensus with DEO using the following criteria: Attempt to be representative of schools in the district wrt: gender mix performance in national exams school size distance from the unit Day and boarding schools Provincial and District
  • 10. Selected Schools Shariani SS Kilifi Township SS Bahari Girls SS School type District – Mixed Provincial - Boys Provincial – Girls Students 210 540 406 Day/Boarding Day Boarding Boarding Streams 2 4 3 Science Teachers 3 14 (sci and maths) 5 Laboratories 2 2 1
  • 11. Performance in 2006 KCSE (total of 34 schools) Shariani SS Position / Grade index Kilifi Township SS Position / Grade index Bahari Girls SS Position / Grade index Overall 17th / 4.6000 7th / 5.8049 6th / 5.8462 Biology 23rd / 3.4736 7th / 6.0333 8th / 6.0273 Physics 19th / 3.8182 11th / 4.7073 4th / 6.2414 Chemistry 18th / 3.1333 6th / 5.2564 7th / 4.6231
  • 12. The potential of school engagement “During the district tetanus campaign, clinicians from the district hospital came to immunize women of reproductive age. Rumors emerged that the vaccines contained chemicals that make our women infertile. Many women refused to be immunized. We educated our students of the importance of the tetanus vaccine. When the clinicians returned to our school all targeted students received the immunization willingly.” Head teacher Shariani secondary “What will the project require of the students? What impact will it have on the students’ academic performance?” Bahari Girls head mistress.
  • 13. Barriers to understanding science/research In school factors – (Fuller & Heyneman 1989) Length of instructional programme Pupil feeding programmes School library activity Years of teacher training Textbooks and instructional materials
  • 14. Bahari Girls Laboratory
  • 15. Shariani Laboratories
  • 16. Barriers to understanding science/research Student factors – (Jegede, Aikenhead, Ogunniyi, Le Grange) Science students world view is different to western science world view Assisting students to cross cultural borders through Collateral learning – integration of indigenous science STS – Science-Technology-Society Education “Any western science curriculum in a non-western classroom environment which does not take particular consideration of the traditional worldview of the learner risks destroying the framework through which concepts are likely to be interpreted.” (Jegede, INT. J. SCI. EDUC., 1997, VOL. 19, NO. 1, 1-20)
  • 17. Acknowledgements KEMRI-CRMR-Coast - Community liaison group Dorcas Kamuya, Sassy Molyneux, Vicki Marsh Sam Kinyanjui, Greg Fegan, Norbert Peshu The Wellcome Trust Thank you
  • 18. Survey design School 1 70 pre 70 post School 3 70 pre 70 post School 2 70 pre 70 post •Since small pilot intended to set up links and test acceptability of involvement – justified in not using control groups •Initial simultaneous sample of pre and post test groups to give each individual an equal statistical opportunity ob being selected for either pre or post survey group