Innovative pedagogy for public policy

The third annual Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP) Week was held in Nairobi between 8th and 10th August 2016. MRPP lecturers from the 12 partner universities met to further sharpen their teaching skills. This year’s event largely focused on programme review and professional development in innovative pedagogy.

The MRPP week was marked by a series of activities which began with a keynote address by Professor Funmi Olonisakin, the founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), King’s College London. Her address highlighted global practices and trends in security and how they relate to what is happening in Africa. She also spoke on Africa’s complex situation, the process of knowledge transfer in the face of rapid change and innovative teaching methods.

Two engaging student and staff roundtable discussions followed, with representatives from most of the partner universities. The forums focused on student and staff experiences in the MRPP programme, the challenges encountered and feedback on the MRPP’s effectiveness. Preliminary findings from a scoping study on the need and suitability of a collaborative doctorate programme in research and public policy were presented and discussed.

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Some of the student representatives that participated in the round table session.

Teaching staff also participated in mock teaching sessions and peer evaluation aimed at assessing the effectiveness of their teaching methods. Participants were placed into groups, with each teaching a topic from the course. Performance was pegged on how participants interacted and engaged with the topics taught, and clarity in discussion.

In addition, participants undertook a training in Critical Policy Engaged Research. The training is usually offered to help policy engaged researchers make sense of complicated policy situations. The course facilitators showcased an alternative pedagogy approach by sharing an E-case to illustrate the intricate web that research on policy making has to navigate.

The MRPP Steering Committee later met on August 11, 2016 to share lessons learnt from 2015/2016 programme implementation and planned for the 2016/2017 programme roll out.