UCA News - Issue 87
The Aga Khan Humanities Project University of Central Asia holds faculty development seminars for college lecturers
The Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) University of Central Asia (UCA) held six-day seminars for college lecturers in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on the AKHP courses "Introduction to the Humanities" and "The Individual and Society." AKHP has developed a broad interdisciplinary humanities curriculum for undergraduate students, covering history, literature, religious studies, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and art, as well as the culture of Central Asia. These courses aim to develop a sense of pluralism and tolerance, as well as foster the development of critical thinking and academic writing skills.
The seminars in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan helped attending AKHP instructors develop innovative, student-centered teaching methods for use with the AKHP curriculum.
In Kyrgyzstan, the AKHP seminar was attended by 21 lecturers from six colleges: College of Technology of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, Agro-Economic College of Naryn, College of Linguistics of the Kyrgyz State University, Arabaev University, Naryn College of Law at the Kyrgyz Academy of Law: Medical College of Naryn, and Naryn Teachers College.
The seminar took place in the Centre of Education, Science and Culture of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University. Dr Nasreen Dhanani, Deputy Director of the University of Central Asia, and Nisar Keshvani, Head of Communications at the University of Central Asia, led the opening ceremony of the seminar.
The closing ceremony of the seminar included a vibrant discussion between participants and Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General. Bohdan Krawchenko answered questions for the representatives of the colleges about the future development of the UCA and its distinguishing characteristics.
In Kazakhstan, the seminar was held for 20 college lecturers at the Kazakh National Pedagogical University (KazNPU). The workshops discussed specific methodological approaches to working with college students to understand complex texts and learning materials. Mohira Fayzulloeva, a humanities instructor of the Aga Khan Humanities Project headquarters in Dushanbe, led the methodological training component of the seminar.
Experienced AKHP trainers participated in the workshops, including:
Hadicha Shambetalieva, PhD, associate professor of international relations at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University (KRSU); Sanjarbek Tazhimatov, lecturer at Kyrgyz National University); Bilyalov Gulmira, PhD, associate professor of philosophy and methodology of science at the Kazakh National Pedagogical University; Venera Sabirova, PhD, associate professor of world literature and journalism department of the Osh State University (seminar in Kazakhstan).
The seminar in Kyrgyzstan was also attended by the AKHP coordinators for Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan: Irina Mustaeva (Kazakhstan),Farrukh Ashrapov (Tajikistan); Cholpon Kurmanbayeva-Master (Kyrgyzstan).
According to participants, AKHP faculty development workshops have special practical value for teaching. AKHP trainings show instructors how to teach the AKHP curriculum with a variety of pedagogical approaches, including innovative, participatory, and student-centered teaching methods. Instructors of the AKHP curriculum encourage students to think independently and critically. A significant portion of the workshops was dedicated to academic writing skills and potential leadership development for students.Participants found the seminars thought-provoking and innovative, generating new ideas for their own teaching practices. Julia Guseva, a seminar participant in Kyrgyzstan, said: "In general seminar created an interesting impression. On the one hand new and exciting teaching methods have been presented; they really help students better remember and understand the material. In addition, the texts and their presentation by trainers forced to think."
A participant of the seminar in Kazakhstan, Gulmira Kasymova, said: "The seminar was held at a high organizational standard. I am a KazNPU college Methodiologist and I was particularly impressed with the content and methodological content of the AKHP courses. I will definitely use them for my teaching activities.”
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