Empowering the Teachers is a new project to enable outstanding young Nigerian faculty in science and engineering to collaborate with MIT faculty to develop new curriculum and teaching methods. The program is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and its corporate partners Total and Google. Professor Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, is the Director of the MISTI Empowering the Teachers Program and he along with other faculty at MIT will welcome Nigerian colleagues in their classrooms.
In its first year, Empowering the Teachers will select up to ten outstanding young faculty from the disciplines of electrical engineering, computer science, and computer engineering in Nigerian universities to spend a semester at MIT. They will observe instruction in their fields and work as a group to prepare innovative curricula and approaches to teaching that can be introduced into their home universities on their return. In future years, the program plans to extend to include Mechanical Engineering, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geology, Geophysics, Ocean Engineering, and Materials Science. Empowering the Teachers will cover the travel, living, and instructional materials expenses of the participants. The home universities of the successful applicants will commit to provide paid leaves of absence during the period of the MIT program.
The young faculty selected to participate in the program will spend one semester at MIT observing two classes similar to ones they themselves currently teach. They will also attend weekly Africa Fellows Seminar meetings on curriculum development and a weekly lecture series with invited speakers who will present the MIT approach to teaching, research, and associated topics. While at MIT, they will work on revising a course that they currently teach using new curricular materials and teaching approaches. Beyond the fellowship semester at MIT, Empowering the Teachers will support online communications, periodic reunions, and meetings in Nigeria to build over time a community of faculty devoted to excellence and innovation in science and engineering education.