Teaching and learning approaches that promote the achievement of vision 2030 for the agriculture sector
Ambuko, J. L
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Transforming agricultural education in Universities in Kenya is critical to enable them to contribute to the realization of Vision 2030 for the agriculture sector. Since the mid 1980’s, faculties of agriculture and veterinary sciences have experienced changes that include reduced government funding, reduced student enrolment, increased competition for students, and changes in the role of government as the traditional employer for graduates of agriculture and veterinary sciences. Universities must therefore 31 respond to these changes by designing relevant and responsive curricula using appropriate delivery methods responsive to the changing demands of sustainable production systems and market driven economies. Graduates require knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional competencies to enable them effectively engage rural communities in developing innovative solutions to their complex problems. To achieve these objectives there is need to develop student centered learning systems that develop innovative and adaptable graduates. This demands a paradigm shift from dyadic transfer of information to experiential and problem-based learning approaches. A study was done to evaluate teaching-learning strategies used by lecturers in two universities, Nairobi and Egerton. The objectives of the study were to assess the lecturer’s perceptions and understanding of experiential learning, determine the instructional methods used, evaluate adequacy of teaching – learning resources, and determine the main challenges that limit the use of experiential and problem based learning approaches at the two universities. A cross sectional research design was used and data was collected using questionnaires and document analysis. Majority of the lecturers had no formal training on teaching methodologies, were not aware of the contents of the ISO 9001:2008 document on teaching standards and had differing understandings of experiential learning. Further, lectures were the main instruction method used, and large classes and inappropriate classroom infrastructure made it difficult to use other instructional methods. There is need to retool and equip staff with the appropriate skills and provide the necessary infrastructure and resources to facilitate lecturers to adapt student centered teaching- learning approaches.