By James Chege,
Librarian at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies
Second Semester Begins at MIAS
January 17 was the official opening day of the second semester 2013-2014 academic year at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies. As is required, the new and continuing students assembled in the main hall for an orientation session conducted by the program director Father Michael Kirwen and the assistant directors Denis Odinga and Dr. Edith Chamwama.
At the orientation exercise, emphasis was laid on the unique MIAS method that attaches high importance to field research. This allows students to discuss first-hand what they learn in class and read in books about African culture and more importantly it facilitates an in-depth understanding of their own cultural realities.
Following the orientation, the first field research workshop was conducted. In order to equip the students with skills needed when going about their field research, the workshop focused on data gathering methods with particular emphasis on stream-of-consciousness oral interviews and participant observation.