At EAL we develop responsive online and offline research mentorship programs in Kenya and Africa through professional practitioners.
Lecturers play a critical role in nurturing research leaders. Our focus is to work with university lecturers who teach research courses and supervise thesis. Our objective is to co-develop with them research training approaches that are centered on lifelong learning, practical, enjoyable and provoke freedom of thought. We collaboratively examine research training pedagogues, teaching environments, perceptions of knowledge production and critical inquiry. Ultimately we will be able to transform how research is trained at universities and the environments of training.
We conducted a recent study in June 2019 with lecturers from different universities in Kenya and showed that heavy workload hinders lecturers’ opportunities for self development in research skills. Lecturers too desire mentorship opportunities to hone specific research skills and welcome opportunities to adapt participatory ways of teaching and supervising research. We are working with Association for Faculty Enrichment in Learning and Teaching (AFELT) a professional association for academic staff and other major players in higher education where one of our researchers is a member. We are developing a university lecturer mentorship program because they desire peer to peer mentorship and support from other experienced researchers. We welcome seasoned researchers from all over the world to apply as mentors and we will incorporate them in our university lecturers’ mentors’ pool. Lecturers who would like to join as mentees are welcome to apply.
Post Graduate – (Mentor Sasa Initiative )
Postgraduate students (Masters and PhD) are the research leaders in training. Drawing from our experience mentoring them, they desire sustained support as they navigate their research journeys. We are training them to cherish and use research beyond university and grow into mentors and research leaders. That is why in our current approach we strongly encourage peer to peer mentorship. In addition, our approach is to support them through timely, adapted online and offline research mentorship programs. SASA is a swahili word which when translated to English means ‘Now’. This means that our mentorship approach will endeavor to provide quick and immediate solutions to the Mentees queries over a long time. On top of the peer to peer mentorship, we match them with experienced professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and skills to nurture in them key attributes that make a responsive holistic researcher. The program caters to the mental, intellectual, social and emotional well being of the emerging scholars. We welcome mentors and mentees who want to join us. To know more about this program checks out our frequently asked questions.
Undergraduate – Critical Thinking Forum
Samaki mkuje angali mbichi – is a swahili proverb that in our context is translated to mean that if you want to nurture lifelong skills start early and in the younger years. Good research demands application of critical thinking skills. In Kenya, critical thinking as a subject is taught at the university mainly at undergraduate level. Thereafter, scholars are meant to display this frame of thinking as they engage, generate and use knowledge. In spite of this expectation, there been concerns in the Kenyan context from various fronts about the extent to which emerging scholars actually apply critical thinking skills. There have been concerns about the quality of university training in areas such as, critical inquiry, rigor in academic writing, stimulating debates, optimal performance and problem solving by university graduates at the labor market.
Our objective is to create a critical thinking space for undergraduates’ students as well as sensitize them about undergraduate research processes and the value of research clubs in enhancing their research skills and critical inquiry. We are working together with a recognized global critical thinking organization where we have access to high quality and practical training materials. We co – determine with the students research needs and interests of undergraduate students to inform adapted and transformative research mentorship programs with them in the near future. We welcome mentors from all over the world who are interested in developing and delivering mentorship in the area of critical thinking. Undergraduate students are welcome to apply as mentees.
We value emotional, intellectual social, physical and spiritual well being of our mentees. We believe the personal and professional lives are intertwined.
We support our mentees with immediate feedback and support for the queries they have to enable them accomplishes their goals within their required timelines.
The mentee is at the centre of our mentorship program their mentorship ideas, needs, resources, interests and goals are priority. We encourage co-learning and collaboration between the mentors and mentees when coming up with the mentorship plan.
We believe in enhancing our mentees self efficacy by anchoring our mentorship on their realities of time and place.
We desire to witness, fundamental change in the way mentees see themselves, how they undertake research and their views of the world in which we live.
Our approach to learning is that it never stops. We, mentors and our mentees are learners for life. We derive great pleasure in asking difficult questions and pushing our research boundaries as we seek possible answers.
"We believe in co- developing mentorship processes that are well analyzed, competence focused, mentee centered and are continually adapted to our fluid innovation context. We understand that we cannot do this alone, we invite other practitioners and interested persons to work with us to co-create transformative environments that enable emerging scholars to thrive."