From our journals: Gender and higher education in African universities, teaching ideas to transform learning and the motivations of Nigerian preservice teachers

March 15, 2023
Meghan Ensell

Gender and Higher Education in African Universities: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Key Policy Mandates in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda

By: Meseret Hailu, Earl Lee, Atota Halkiyo, Keti Tsotniashvili and Neelakshi Rajeev Tewari, Arizona State University

Published in: Education Policy Analysis Archives, March 7, 2023

Researchers analyzed three policy documents that have guided gender-based higher education initiatives in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Two questions guided their work: 1) How do key policy documents conceptualize gender equity? and 2) How is gender equity discussed in relation to economic priorities and sociopolitical realities in each country? To address these questions, they conducted a critical discourse analysis of the following: Kenya’s Education and Training Gender Policy in Kenya, Rwanda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan and Uganda’s Gender in Education Policy. Corroborating the work of other scholars, they found that all three documents shared 1) an increased commitment to gender equality, 2) persistent underrepresentation of women in higher education despite increased participation of women over time and 3) markedly low gender parity in STEM disciplines. These findings are significant as they confirm that there is a disconnect between stated policy goals and actual student outcomes, which limits institutional success and economic development. Also, this analysis highlights differences in the strength in commitment to gender equity in policy mandates in these three countries. 


Review of 100 teaching ideas that transfer and transform learning: Expanding your repertoire

By: Tierra D. Fender, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Published in: Education Review, March 1, 2023

Fender recommends this book to educators who are looking to expand their toolbox in order to best meet the needs of students. That said, she writes, “However, one might question the feasibility of the 100 suggested teaching ideas." The author, Frank T. Lyman, Jr. does not give specifics about data from research exploring strategies, but instead asks teachers to implement the practice and see growth on assessments to demonstrate the educational value of the practices. Such a method, notes Fender, relates to the idea that each student, teacher and classroom is different. “Just as Lyman deconstructs false dichotomies, compelling his readers to consider the nonduality of instructional practice, the readers should recognize that pedagogical strategies are not considered either good or bad,” says Fender. 


“Not motivated but frustrated”: Preservice Teachers’ Career Choice Motivations and Professional Identity in an African Context

By: Adaobiagu Obiagu, University of Nigeria

Published in: Current Issues in Education. Feb. 13, 2023

This study examines preservice teachers’ career choice motivations and professional identity in an African context using a narrative research method. It draws on the stories of 37 social education preservice teachers at a university in Nigeria about their teacher-becoming trajectory and teaching practice experience to realize its aims. Findings show that in Nigeria, the choice of teaching is highly motivated by fallback higher education programs, extrinsic and socialization influence factors, while intrinsic, perceived abilities and altruistic factors are the least motivators. The choice of teaching is influenced by gender in Nigeria, with women’s sociocultural status and traditional gender roles influencing their choice of teaching and intention to remain in the teaching profession. The majority of preservice teachers have poor and negative teaching professional identities. Preservice teachers’ professional identity develops from social influences, intrinsic perspectives and their teacher education experiences and institutional factors such as teacher welfare and development policies. The findings provide insights into social education teacher pedagogic and ethics training needs that could, drawing on teacher agency to navigate the structural challenges confronting the education profession in Nigeria, foster preservice teachers’ strong interest in teaching and possibly reduce teacher attrition in developing contexts.


About our journals

MLFTC sponsors three innovative, open-access journals on education scholarship. EPAA is a peer-reviewed, international, multilingual and multidisciplinary journal designed for researchers, practitioners, policymakers and development analysts concerned with education policies. Education Review publishes reviews of books on education topics and Acquired Wisdom essays by esteemed educational researchers, and CIE is a peer-reviewed journal led by MLFTC graduate students. 

Contact Stephanie McBride-Schreiner to learn more about our journals.