Student development is not common in many community schools in the marginalized communities in Kenya. Big Picture learning Kenya’s mission is to activate the potential of marginalized communities, systems, and education through student-driven real world learning to unlock self-reliance, critical thinking, authenticity and global citizenship.
I didn’t get the chance to learn about life skills and other key competencies while I was in secondary school so I am really excited to see that Big Picture Learning Kenya students have this unique opportunity. They get to learn different skills such as public speaking, Cv writing, leadership, community service and self-awareness through the chain of eight which includes; positive self-concept, realistic self-appraisal, setting of long-range goals, understanding and dealing with systems of oppression, knowledge acquired in a field, availability of a strong support system, community service and successful leadership experience, exhibitions, leadership skills, and many more. (This if from the book- Beyond the Big Test by Sedlacek, William). I find this to be very engaging content especially when I compare this to what we did in high school, we only learned about the official curriculum and physical education.
Student development is essential since the students can realize their talents and abilities at a young age and work on sharpening those skills. Another benefit of learning these skills in the Big Picture model is, students not only learn how to find jobs but they also learn how to create opportunities for themselves. For many learners who are hands on and have a specific skills they are good at, they have opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and think about projects they can start independently.
I strongly believe that the skills the students learn at Big Picture Learning Kenya will enable them to be successful in whatever they do in the future. We have talented musicians, artists, poets, writers, public speakers, community advocates, and photographers and this is just the beginning of a promising future for them! You can follow us on social media to meet some of our students, see our monthly updates and learn more about our model.
By Kelvin Mburugu – Finance and Operations Assistant