Professor earns Fulbright Scholarship to Tanzania to replicate Burke High project

Mutindi Ndunda (Provided)


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Starting in August 2012, professor Mutindi Ndunda{}will spend 10 months in Tanzania on a Fulbright Scholarship where she'll teach and implement a partnership model that saw success at Charleston's Burke High School.

While in Tanzania, ndunda will establish professional development programs as partnerships between local universities and schools. The goal of the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) will be to improve student instruction.

In 2010, Ndunda went to Tanzania as a UNESCO consultant and saw the need for improved teaching in the schools. Through the Fulbright Scholarship she hopes that spending seven months at Muslim University of Mororogoro (MUM) implementing university/school partnerships will offer a successful model for improving students' performance.

"I believe teachers in Tanzania are facing the same challenges that teachers at our own Burke High School faced," Ndunda says. "They do not a have a model to implement the changes that are mandated by the Ministry of Education. Additionally, in Tanzania, professional development opportunities for most teachers are offered sporadically and are uncoordinated. If Tanzanian schools become Professional Learning Communities, teachers will develop skills to implement the educational reform efforts successfully. This will improve their students' learning and enable them to pursue careers that address the social problems that face Tanzania such as high unemployment, poverty, HIV/AIDS epidemic and environmental degradation."

Ndunda will also spend three months at the University of Arusha (UofA), where she will develop curriculum, implement and evaluate the development of graduate education programs.

"It is vital to have faculty within the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance that have international experience," says Dean Fran Welch. "We are so proud of Mutindi not only for receiving this prestigious Fulbright Award, but also for her commitment to internationalizing our curriculum and to the education profession."

"I am looking forward to being in a new culture, and seeing how PLC as a professional development model will work in Tanzania. At MUM, I will have to wear a hijab, which I have never done before, so it will interesting. I'm also hoping to learn Arabic and great Swahili - an ambitious goal! I am so grateful to each and everyone who has worked so hard so that I can go to Tanzania."

Ndunda is an associate professor of educational policy studies with more than 20 years of teaching and research experience in diverse educational settings and levels including Kenya, Canada, United States and Namibia. Ndunda has extensive experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of educational reform efforts in diverse settings and contexts.