Educators from Nigeria are engaged in a two-week workshop conducted by faculty from Wright State’s College of Education and Human Services that focuses on the latest trends in academic pedagogy and active student learning.
The group, which includes 19 university faculty members and four Nigerian government officials from the National Universities Commission, arrived July 13.
Workshop topics include theories of learning, active learning, writing to learn and classroom culture. The educators will have a final project designed to help them incorporate what they’ve learned into Nigerian university classroom settings.
“Participants will be able to take back practical applications that they will be able to implement immediately, while simultaneously having the ability to share the research base for engaging in such applications,” said Nimisha Patel, Wright State’s assistant chair of teacher education.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with about 174 million people. The west African nation has one of the largest populations of youth in the world.
Among the delegates is Suleimen Ramon-Yusuf, director of research at the National Universities Commission, a governmental agency in Nigeria responsible for quality assurance and the development of university education.
“The purpose of this is to expose our faculty members to modern teaching and learning methods, particularly the deployment of new technologies,” said Ramon-Yusuf. “It is our hope that at the end of these two weeks of training, we will be able to have the faculty members thinking differently about how to interact with students, how to mentor students and how to make students the main focus of teaching and learning activities.”
Wright State’s Department of Teacher Education, led by James Tomlin, brought in trainers to design and conduct the workshop and bring a wide range of experience to bear on the project.
“We have people with a particular expertise in not just teaching, not just content, but how to teach that content to certain populations,” said Tomlin.
The educators will return to their universities in Nigeria and share what they learned with their colleagues.
“Right from the first day people were learning something new here,” said Ramon-Yusuf. “There is a lot of excitement in the group.”
Stephen Foster, Wright State’s associate vice president for international affairs, and Joseph Slater, professor of mechanical engineering and former interim associate vice president of career and workforce development, helped facilitate the visit.
“Through a lot of dialogue back and forth, we were able to get this to come to fruition,” Slater said. “This is really exciting.”
“The workshop participants are very much enjoying the program,” added Foster. “I hope Wright State will become a regular summer home for Nigerian educators.”