A Student- Centered Pedagogy: A Teacher’s Perspective
This paper draws from a larger study conducted in Kenyan classroom, a narrative inquiry into a teacher and children learning about HIV and AIDS curriculum using a student-centered approach. The two major research questions of this study were: 1) What are the experiences of a teacher teaching the HIV and AIDS curriculum using a student-centered approach? 2) What are the experiences of children learning the HIV and AIDS curriculum using a student-centered approach? In this research, I adopted a narrative inquiry methodology to help me understand and represent the stories of a teacher’s and children’s experiences. Narrative inquiry as a method of studying educational experience is a focus of study by Clandinin and Connelly (2000). In narrative inquiry, experience is central to the inquiry. The participants in this study were a teacher and 8 children recruited from children in standard 4 aged between 10 and 11 years. While the classroom work was with all children in standard 4, the main focus of this study was with the teacher’s and the 8 children’s experiences. The findings from this suggest that a teacher who adopt a student-centered approach in teaching HIV and AIDS experienced a transformed classroom learning environment characterized by: sharing authority with children; constructing a democratic classroom; learning to listen to children; affirming children’s voices and ownership in learning; creating a partnership with parents; interrupting gendered classroom; and developing children’s advocacy in community matters. The study concludes with recommendations for equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to build a student-centered classroom environment.