The personal learning space is an area I would like to focus on as a future learning space for the girls of Nigeria. After years of violence and oppression, the goal behind this future learning space would be to to build self-confidence in their ability both to achieve academically and to strive towards any aspirations they may have for the future.
Mentorship has been proven to be highly valuable for many young people, professionally, personally and academically. My idea for this program was inspired by this article, where members of Harvard staff participated in a mentorship program for women and minorities entering into college.
One of these Harvard mentors, who participated in a similar program when she herself was entering college, claims that a program like this introduces students to the ‘power of building community’ and also has the potential to connect ‘like-minded students’. I believe it also has the potential to build upon and enhance personal learning spaces for many students.
My proposal is to move into the beyond the classroom learning space by setting up a voluntary program where students are connected with influential women either from their community or from the broader national community.
These partnerships would act as a source of support and inspiration for girls wanting to learn from highly knowledgeable and experienced individuals. Bozeman & Feeney (2007) suggest that mentoring is the ‘informal transmission of knowledge’ from a person with a high level of expertise to a person open and eager to learn. Hence why I have decided to make this a voluntary program to be implemented. I acknowledge that not all girls may wish to participate.
As I have discussed the learning spaces section of this site, significant research supports regular, authentic and meaningful beyond the classroom learning. Lorenza (2009) strongly advocates that learning experiences that ‘bring the outside world in’ offer unique opportunities for students to understand the bigger picture and the world they live in.
A quick google search revealed a number of inspirational and powerful women doing incredible things for the country of Nigeria. Below is a just a sample of some of the women I would like to contact to take part in this program:
Other inspirational women such as Malala Yousafzai or Michelle Obama, who have expressed a keen interest in working to improve girls education in Nigeria, may be interested in lending their support to an initiative such as this.
References can be found at this PDF