A View from Kenya

Dec 13th, 2014 | By | Category: BLTN Global, BLTN International, Fall 2014

PhD Candidate
The Ohio State University
MA ’08, MLitt ’13

Rejuvenated by my summer sessions at the Bread Loaf School English, I returned to Kenya and collaborated with my students to revise the classroom in ways that anchor intercultural talk of self and place in the language arts classes I taught. Being a member of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network (BLTN) meant that I had a dependable collegial support system, comprised of educators, students, and instructors located in various parts of the world to whom I could turn. Working with other educators in Nairobi, we started running interschool workshops for teachers and students and spearheading writing and literacy collaborations across boundaries. Ever since my very first exchange with Waccamaw High School in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, my classes in Nairobi have collaborated with classes in Mumbai, India; New York, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Aleknagik, Alaska; and Rome, Georgia. I have attended conferences and collaborated with teachers in Dar Salaam, Tanzania and in Karachi, Pakistan. One memorable exchange featured Alaska, South Africa, and Kenya based on “youth participation in environmental preservation” where young people came together virtually (mediated by BreadNet) to offer observations and propose solutions for various instances of environmental degradation. This global discussion featuring teen agency and environmental issues was presented at the World Environment Forum in South Africa.

The BLTN exchange between students in Alaska and Nairobi, Kenya, is now the subject of a dissertation, which is investigating how intersections of intercultural literacies can illuminate ways to revise pedagogy for the 2st century. This study has been presented at several academic conferences and is ongoing.

David Wandera in Alaska with BLTN colleagues, Pauline Morris and Christa Bruce-Kotrc

David Wandera in Alaska with BLTN colleagues, Pauline Morris and Christa Bruce-Kotrc

The following are some links to some of these international engagements that I have taken part in.


This article entitled ‘Weekend Writing It’s So Much Fun” spotlights the 2008 Bread Loaf Slice (Nairobi). Students from two schools participated in a day-long creative writing session. Every year since 2008, we have held an annual “Nairobi Slice Bread Loaf” workshop for teachers and students.


The 2009 Nairobi slice workshop involved 12 educators from the United States and 2 from Mumbai, India, who came to work with teachers and students at Aga Khan Academy for a full week. During this visit, over 100 students and 35 teachers drawn from 16 schools in Nairobi, Kenya, gathered for a day-long workshop on pedagogy and collegial collaboration.


Kenyamerica Exchange: Students in Columbus OH and Nairobi, Kenya, talk about self and place

(David Wandera and Kelsey Bickers)


https://www.andover.edu/summersessionoutreach/abwritingworkshop/documents/bernieri_2010_lores.pdf  (pg. 5)

The “Saving the Lion in the Snowing Streets” article by David Wandera was presented as a poster at the 2010 Global Language Convention in Melbourne, Australia, and as a formal paper presentation at the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

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