Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Education as Change]]> vol. 23 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Kenyan curriculum reforms and mother tongue education: issues, challenges and implementation strategies</b>]]> The implementation of mother tongue education (MTE) remains a challenge across Africa and Kenya in particular. This continues despite the fact that the maintenance and development of language and literacy skills in one's mother tongue (MT) plays a critical role in facilitating second language (L2) learning, developing additive bilingualism and continuous cognitive development. Consequently, Kenya has had several education commissions in both colonial and post-colonial periods, which, together with the Constitution of Kenya have had a bearing on the language policy. However, the language policy has not been supported by a careful implementation strategy for MTE. Presently, Kenya is undergoing curriculum reforms from the ongoing 8-4-4 system, where learners study for eight years of basic (primary) education, four years of secondary education and four years of university education to a new system of 2-6-3-3-3. The 2-6-3-3-3 system comprises two years of pre-primary, six years of primary (three years lower and three years upper primary), six years of secondary (three years junior and three years senior) and three years of university education. While English has been given preponderant attention in the new curriculum, the role of MT has also been re-emphasised because it has not received as much attention as it deserves in the past. It is against this background and the ongoing debates on MTE that this paper attempts to examine the challenges that are likely to impede the implementation of MTE in the 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum reforms as outlined in the education policy. The paper further suggests some implementation strategies to avert the challenges. The study was conducted in Bungoma County in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to identify key respondents from 10 schools which were used to pilot the new curriculum. The respondents included Grade 3 teachers, head teachers and quality assurance officers (QASOs). Focus group discussions (FGDs), unstructured interviews and document analysis were used to elicit data. The findings revealed that the implementation of MTE policy is likely to flop if it is not supported by careful implementation strategies that take care of teacher training, the production of teaching/learning materials and attempts to change the attitudes of parents towards indigenous languages. The paper advocates for implementation strategies such as greater resource allocation, teacher training on L1 methodologies, a change in attitude with regard to MTE, political will and clearer policy objectives to achieve the aims of an effective MTE system in Kenya. <![CDATA[<b>What does it mean to be a citizen? A comparative study of teachers' conceptions in Spain and Chile</b>]]> The aim of our research has been to analyse the conceptions of citizenship held by history teachers in secondary schools in Spain and Chile, while at the same time relating these to their perceptions of the socio-political and socio-economic contexts of their countries. The study compares the conceptions of teachers from these two countries which share a similar recent history and have both experienced strong movements of popular protest and political detachment. The methodology was qualitative and made use of semi-structured interviews. The study analysed dialogues from 70 teachers, 35 in each country. The initial results indicate a predominance of moral and participatory conceptions of citizenship, to the detriment of legal or identity-based conceptions. The controversial political, social and economic context of both countries within which the interviews were conducted is a key factor to understanding the teachers' perspectives on their conceptions and the meaning of these. <![CDATA[<b>Pathways from personal towards professional values: structured small-group work with social work students</b>]]> This qualitative research was based on structured small-group work conducted with 34 undergraduate social work students. It aimed to reveal students' understandings of their personal values and modes of evaluation, their views regarding the value base of social work, and the possible influence of their personal values on professional practice. The data was collected through a semi-structured questionnaire, self-reflective diaries and a semi-structured focus-group discussion. During the study, it was seen that the students had difficulties when talking about their personal values. Yet, whenever they did talk about them, they saw that their values were actually not their own, but were socially constructed by the dominant cultural and moral norms. Prejudices based on the hegemonic cultural codes and norms, hidden in the form of personal values, are the biggest handicaps in the development of a professional identity. Thus, the values of social work are extremely important because they allow social workers to work professionally with all people without exception or discrimination and to promote human rights. This study showed that educational settings must be transformed so that students may express their own values without being judged. Arts-based techniques like creative drama have a great potential to achieve this goal. Therefore, social work education should benefit from creative and critical ways to prepare students for the profession, which aims to protect the value of humans.