Whether the course is Precalculus or Statistics, Giving Voice to Values, a Mindset workshop for freshman, or teacher training in Berekuso, my approach to teaching is the same: design classroom experiences that engage learners in constructing their own understanding of important concepts, in developing the connections and “aha moments” that represent real learning and integration, and in building personal qualities, such as curiosity and persistence. I am also a firm believer in the importance of independent practice in mathematics. Practice is the key to overcoming fear of math and to building one’s skills in analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and quantitative problem solving, skills essential to many disciplines and professions.
Courses taught at Ashesi:
- Precalculus & Problem Solving 1 and 2
- Probability and Statistics
- Giving Voice to Values
- Applied Calculus
Berekuso Impact Study. The purpose of this longitudinal household survey is to generate a time-series dataset for multidisciplinary research on the demographic and socio-economic factors of change as Berekuso transitions from a rural agrarian settlement to an urban suburb of Greater Accra. I collaborated with Dr. Richard Douglass, Emeritus Professor, Eastern Michigan University, on the 2014 pilot survey to test an innovative and cost-effective approach to household sampling designed to generate probability samples representative of socio-economic diversity without relying on existing census data, household or other registers, or a regular layout of roads and dwellings. Currently, I am the lead researcher on the 2017 second-round household survey looking at demographic and household factors, migration, education, and digital finance.
Fund for Service to Children and Youth. The Fund for Service to Children and Youth, supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, seeks to impact children and youth in Ghana through small grants to student, staff and faculty run service projects in areas such as science, math, and ICT education, mentorship and career counseling, sanitation, quality childcare, and youth in agriculture. I co-authored the grant proposal with colleague Jude Acquaah (first grant in 2015 and renewed in 2017) and I am currently leading the dissemination effort to publish a paper describing the Fund for Service to Children and Youth university-community engagement model, including an analysis of monitoring and evaluation data, outcomes and lessons learned from the first two-year grant period.
Liberal Arts Pedagogy, Giving Voice to Values, and Mathematics Education. Further research interests include: how the ethos and pedagogies of the liberal arts contribute to university students’ development of moral courage; teaching skills in ethical action through the Giving Voice to Values curriculum; and best practices in undergraduate mathematics education.
Publications and Conferences
- Awuah, R., Douglass, R., Agyepong, S., Kuwornu, E. (2017). An Adaptive Household Sampling Method for Rural African Communities. African Journal of Food Agriculture Nutrition and Development 17(1), pp 11477-11496. DOI: 10.18697/ajfand.77.16680
- Awuah, R. A., Acquaah, J. S. (2016, October). Cultivating a Civic Engagement Ecosystem in an African Liberal Arts University. Paper presented at the Global Alliance Institute for Civic Engagement, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI.
- Buchele, S., Awuah, R., & Korsah, A. (2015). Work in Progress: Ethical Leadership in Engineering Education in Africa - The Case of Ashesi University College. In 2015 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL). Florence, Italy: 978-1-4799-8706-1/15/$31.00 ©2015 IEEE.
- Gentile, M. (2015). Chapter: Learning about Ethical Leadership Through the Giving Voice to Values Curriculum. In Developing Ethical Leaders (p.39-52). John Wiley & Sons. (Contributed Ashesi University Case included in the chapter).