The Gambia

My initial thoughts (selfishly) after this, my third trip to the Gambia, is about HE pedagogy.  It was challenging (refreshing, positive) to have to teach – direct teaching – without recourse to the law of the rectangle, the whiteboard, the interactive WB, powerpoint, video footage. How do we manage without the technology? How does the technology dominate the teaching – and does it affect the ‘message’?

So here’s the song (to the tune “London Bridge is falling down”) I made up and I’ll ponder its significance at another time:

Watch the children every day, every day, every day;

Watch the children every day: Observation.

See what they can nearly do, nearly do, nearly do;

See what they can nearly do: that’s assessment.

Of course the idea of teaching “without” these things already presupposes a negative model of teaching in Gambia College. It wasn’t like that at all. What I had as ‘raw materials’ (if we can use that image, and I’m not at all sure I like it) was a sense of committed good will that was forgiving of my foibles, and a readiness to work.

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