District Directors of Education and Sector Education Inspectors recently gained new skills in teaching STEM following the 5Es Instructional Model.

07 Feb 2024

District Director of Education and Sector Education Inspectors attended a training session in Musanze District on Monitoring and Evaluation of trained STEM teachers in the framework of the Continuous Professional Development in Innovative Teaching Mathematics and Science. This initiative was undertaken by the University of Rwanda-College of Education in collaboration with the Rwanda Basic Education Board under the Rwanda Quality Basic Education Human Capital Development/Sub-component 1.2. During this training education leaders got insights into the training package where they learned about the 5 Es Instructional Model as part of the training content.

As elucidated in the presentation made by facilitators Dr.Pascasie Nyirahabimana and Dr. Agnes Iryivuze, the 5Es instructional model, emphasizes a structured approach to lesson planning and delivery, comprising the following phases : Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. This model advocates for active and constructivist learning, where learners are encouraged to contact their prior knowledge, ask questions, participate in hands-on activities, and conduct investigations to develop their explanations about scientific phenomena.

During the Engage phase, instructors aim to capture learners’ interest and attention by connecting prior knowledge to the current learning objectives. Various techniques such as discrepant events, demonstrations, models, animations, and questioning are employed to stimulate curiosity and formulate key questions that drive the subsequent phases of the lesson.

In the Explore phase, learners actively engage with provided materials to investigate and seek answers to the key questions posed during the Engage phase. This hands-on approach fosters skills such as observation, questioning, hypothesizing, and peer communication, laying the groundwork for deeper understanding and critical thinking.
The Explain phase encourages students to formulate their explanations for the key questions, with support from the teacher in aligning these explanations with scientific principles. Through guided questioning and connections to prior engagement and exploration experiences, learners articulate their understanding, laying the foundation for knowledge consolidation.

In the Elaborate phase, learners apply acquired concepts and skills to similar situations or more challenging contexts, reinforcing their understanding and promoting deeper learning. Activities may include creating presentations, conducting additional investigations, or solving complex problems aimed at cementing knowledge and promoting transferability.
Finally, the evaluation phase encompasses formative assessment throughout the 5E cycle, with formal evaluation conducted at the end of the lesson. This evaluation not only assesses learner progress but also evaluates the effectiveness of the teaching process, ensuring continuous improvement and refinement.

The 5Es lesson plan structure aligns seamlessly with the instructional model, comprising an Introduction (Excite/Engage phase), Development (Explore, Explain, and Elaborate phases), and Conclusion (Evaluate phase). This structured approach provides educators with a framework for designing and delivering effective STEM lessons that promote active learning, critical thinking, and knowledge retention.

As Rwanda continues its efforts to enhance the quality of education and nurture human capital development, initiatives such as this training program for education stakeholders play a vital role in equipping educators with the tools and strategies needed to foster excellence in STEM education. Through collaborative efforts and a commitment to continuous improvement, Rwanda is poised to realize its vision of a prosperous and knowledge-driven society.

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