For more than a week I have been largely disconnected from the online world. Rather, I have been off having an adventure in collaboration. The word collaboration may conjure images of electronic connection and social networking, but that has simply not been the case since I arrived in Kenya. While I will be honest and admit I was happy to get back online today, I can also truthfully say that I was not feeling as if I was missing anything because of a lack of modem these past ten days or so. Instead my days have been full and engaging because of interactions with people. These personal interactions have been largely collaborative. The focus has been on student-centred methodology workshops in Kakamega, Kenya. Designing, organizing, and implementing the workshops has been a collaborative effort by a number of organizations and individuals. While I am specifically a member of the Education Beyond Borders (EBB) team that is presently in Kenya, the workshops were also organized by the African Canadian Continuing Education Society (ACCES), supported by the Kakamega District, and attended by a diverse number of teachers and stakeholders. The true measure of how collaborative the efforts were came from the sense of equality throughout. Facilitators and organizers worked alongside participants as co-learners. The power of this sharing and collaborating – rather than directing and leading – created an environment that bred confidence, and success.
Too often, when organizations or institutions attempt to collaborate there becomes a sense of protectionism, and questions arise concerning ownership. It has been a positive start to new collaboration in Kakamega as those involved have worked to avoid these pitfalls. It is certainly my hope that it continues.
It is also my hope that I begin to post more regularly. I trust you will excuse that infrequency with which this space has been updated lately, and allow this short and overly simple post to lead things off for reporting on this next adventure. If all goes well, the next post should be about yesterday’s visit to Emasera Primary.