Investigating the Processes of Socialisation in Architectural Education Through Experiences in East Africa
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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This thesis investigates socialisation in architectural education in East Africa. Socialisation forms an integral part of professional education, through which students acquire these undocumented, but important aspects of the profession, building a cultural ethos undocumented in the formal curriculum. Socialisation was thus open to different readings, serving to perpetuate myths, and ‘established norms’, taking on added significance in view of the many idiosyncrasies embedded within architectural education. Undertaken as an ethnographic study, this research investigated elements of socialisation within established architecture schools across East Africa. Framed in the context of a learnscape of architectural education, activities that influence, and are influenced by occurrences within the educational programmes are reviewed. The study made use of a mixed method approach, incorporating: focus group discussions; published material and other related documentation from the schools; validation reports; and participant observations. This addressed the contextual diversity presented by the setting of East Africa, with the study revealing socialisation as an important aspect of the educational process, encompassing experiences from the pre-architecture expectations, student and faculty interactions, and more significant, influences on attitudes and behaviour within architectural education affecting teaching and learning. A convergent model of socialisation, provides a visualisation of socialisation closer to its the non-linear process it is: as a convergence of ideas and ideals. This serves as the basis to appreciate the elements of socialisation across the learnscape of architectural education, strongly influenced by its socio-cultural context, with evident ramifications to the educational process, as well as on the society and community served by the profession. The findings in the context of East Africa do present an opportunity to re-look at a contextual model, incorporated in a revised 3P model, presenting a conceptualisation of socialisation, contributed through an appreciation of the informal curriculum in the context of architectural education in East Africa.