SHSS Scholarly Articles

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    Service-based learning as a form of community engagement in achieving student outcomes : the experience of an East African university .
    (SUN PReSS, 2022) Kitawi, Alfred Kirigha; Njeru, Beatrice
    The modern university is expected to be many conflicting things at the same time: conservative and radical; critical and supportive; competitive and collegial; autonomous and accountable; traditional and innovative; local and international (Watson, 2007). These expectations arise from different stakeholders within the community (with different needs) and from these expectations arise different forms of engagement. Community engagement, whether in the form of service-learning, public scholarship, or community-based research, is a wonderfully complex and situated practice that forces students to rethink their normal patterns of working. Community engagement has the goal of providing faculty, students, and education managers with an additional set of tools to achieve their ends (Butin, 2010). This chapter will explore some of the key concepts around community engagement, particularly service learning as one aspect of this. The background for understanding service-learning as part of a higher education landscape in Africa is also explored to contextualise the research. Using data gathered from 400 students who complete compulsory service-learning work as part of their undergraduate programme at Strathmore University in Kenya, it seeks to answer the following questions: What is the effect of communities’ issues in realising student service-based learning outcomes? What are the dominant community activities students engage in to realize student service-based learning outcomes? What are some of the service-based learning outcomes? Which students’ skills are relevant in achieving service-based learning outcomes? Few studies have presented the effect of service-learning on educational outcomes, including organizational arrangements that facilitate partnerships (Preece & Manicom, 2014). This study examines the effect community service-learning had on this cohort of 400 students who are about to complete their university studies. The outcomes will give insights into effectiveness of service-learning activities and aspects which universities may consider in improving student experiences.
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    Improving transition rates of students in informal settlements into higher education : an analysis of the macheo mentoring programme
    (UTS ePRESS, 2019-02) Kitawi, Alfred
    This research presents a viable way to encourage students in informal settlements to transit from high schools to tertiary institutions by focusing on the case of the Macheo Mentoring Programme of Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. The aim was to investigate how the Macheo Mentoring Programme contributed to the academic success of final year students, with a focus on subjects and overall performance. Though Macheo has other aims, such as provision of life skills, the research examined mainly academic performance, providing insight to how universities can structure their own high-school mentoring programs, the processes that need to be in place and possible challenges they may experience. The research contributes to the literature on the university’s role in encouraging student participation. Information was gathered from a cross-sectional survey questionnaire of 72 parents and 76 students. Other qualitative information was gathered to provide insight to what could have contributed to students’ success and further augmented quantitative responses. The conclusion was that there is a link between mentorship and students’ success. Though this finding is similar to that of most studies undertaken in the Global North, this study aims to combat the dearth of such research in the Global South. The research indicates implicit connections between the university and community, which can be leveraged if they work together as partners.
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    To what extent does personal virtue of project participants affect project management success?
    (2019-01) Dindi, Adeline M.; Gichure, Christine Prof.; Alkizim, Ahamad; Munala, Gerryshom; Kivaa, Titus
    This paper explored the influence of personal virtue or project participants on the success of construction projects. Literature was reviewed on virtue from the point of view of practice. A survey assessed the success of construction projects and evaluated the personal virtues of project participants, and the two were then analysed and correlated. The findings suggested that there was no significant relationship between project management success and personal virtue of project participants. Based on these findings, moral education for practitioners was recommended to sensitize them on the importance of virtues in work for betterment of the practice.
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    Ethics as a solution to Corruption : a case study of the construction industry in Kenya
    (SOBE Publications, 2018-12) Dindi, Adeline M.; Munala, Gerryshom; Alkizim, Ahamad; Kivaa, Titus; Gichure, Christine Prof.
    The construction industry endures a poor reputation and continues to experience ethical problems manifested in collapsed buildings, corrupt deals and a general lack of honesty. In this paper, the authors present results of an investigation into the prevalent ethical problems in the construction industry in Kenya and their impact on projects. A review of literature on corruption shows that emphasis is placed upon putting in place systems and policies for fighting corruption, yet this has not achieved much results. Literature in construction ethics shows that professional codes and ethics are only effective as far as the people are personally ethical. The method of conducting this study was through in-depth interviews of stakeholders to establish prevalent unethical practices in the industry. The authors present the results from a thematic analysis of perceptions of information-rich subjects from different sectors of the industry. The results show that unethical practices such as collusion, kickbacks and supplanting are mostly due to lack of honesty, greed and the desire to get rich quickly. The study concludes that most unethical practices are due to corrupt individual practices and recommends ways of incorporating ethics both at individual and institutional level.
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    The Necessity of the transcendentals when educating in beauty
    (Strathmore University, 2018) Kariuki, Esther
    Plato held highly the opinion that there is a need to educate in kalon. Though extreme in his thought on how this education should be carried out. His thoughts still hold water. Educating the youth on appreciation of beauty should be done carefully because of its impact on the young. His thoughts are related with the metaphysical connection of transcendentals i.e beauty (pulchrum), goodness (bonum) and truth (verum). The concept of beauty as used in this paper picks its meaning from the metaphysics transcendetals. When we separate these three aspects we end up with ugliness which affects culture and morality in a negative way. This loss of beauty leads to disenchantment and ugliness and modern man loss of faith in beauty. Plato’s ideals for the education of the young in the arts is in ensuring that only the right nurturing reaches them rather than those that morally corrupt the youth.