A former chairman of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Peter Okebukola, has launched an application to break down barriers to the teaching and learning of difficult topics in science known as the culturo-techno-contextual approach (CTCA).
A statement by the Okebukola Science Foundation has said Peter Okebukola who is its executive chairman would mark his 70th birthday on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and the free mobile CTCA app will be officially launched for use by STEM teachers and students all over the world.
The secretary of the foundation, Dr. Doyin Oloto-Golly, said the app works across all mobile devices and on major platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone. It also uses advanced technologies and the web browser to achieve native-app behaviour.
The Foundation explained that during the course of the development of CTCA, Peter Okebukola had won, in 1992, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Prize for the Communication of Science, the first African to win the prize in its 42-year history at the time.
The secretary further said that such barriers such as fear of science due to its special language and mathematical orientation; deficit of facilities for teaching and learning; abstract nature of some of the concepts; and the perception that science is only for the gifted were melted and broken down by CTCA.
The statement said:
“The approach is an amalgam, drawing on the power of three frameworks- (a) cultural context in which all learners are immersed; (b) technology-mediation to which teachers and learners are increasingly dependent; and (c) locational context which is a unique identity of every school and which plays a strong role in the examples and local case studies for science lessons.
“Studies conducted to test the efficacy of CTCA on the teaching and learning of difficult science concepts in several countries have yielded impressive results which the global science education community has applauded.
“Another significant development which Africa should celebrate is the development by Peter Okebukola of the eco-techno cultural theory.
“The theory which is a STEM slant of the general theory of ecoculture holds that the context (ecology) where teaching and learning of science take place as well as the microcultures of students and teachers, exert noteworthy effects on learning.
“The pathways of the effect are two bridges. The first bridge is the link between experiences derived from the learning context and the subject matter to be learned.
“This bridge can be seen, for example, in relating practices of electroplating that students can observe in their immediate school environment, perhaps in a nearby blacksmith workshop and the topic of electroplating in a chemistry class.
“The second bridge has longer span, tucked deep in the cultural orientation of learners. This cultural bridge links indigenous knowledge and cultural practices that are related to a STEM concept.
“The effect of the two bridges is likened to a catalyst accelerating the formation of neural networks which are evidentiary that learning has taken place”.