Specifications of teachers from the Island of Hope

In our school, we successfully use modern teaching methods. We teach differently than is common in most Kenyan schools. In the primary and secondary school, we emphasize illustrative teaching, independent work on projects, critical thinking and the involvement of students and pupils in decision-making about the functioning of the school in the form of a student parliament. Meanwhile, the kindergarten is led by the Montessori teaching method - an experiential method that places great emphasis on independent work.

Being a progressive teacher in Kenya is not a matter of course. Students studying teaching disciplines won´t always learn anything about modern teaching methods (including at universities, as well as at primary and secondary schools) since they only encounter frontal teaching (the lecturer only says what students should write in the notebook). In addition, they have encountered physical and mental punishments in primary and secondary schools and are being taught that this is the only way to teach children and keep them disciplined. We therefore appreciate everyone who decides to try it differently in terms of methodology.

Every year, we organise a methodological seminar for teachers, the aim of which is to help teachers to learn new progressive teaching methods. We teach them an individual based approach to teaching children, the introduction of experiential teaching methods and the own creation of a stimulating environment of trust, where curiosity is welcome and mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn from. We emphasize the development of critical thinking and expressive skills, plus the cooperation and education for non-violence. The use of physical and mental punishments is forbidden in our country, so we show teachers other ways of solving problems, as well as how to remove motivation based on rewards and punishments.