I joined the Open University in 2010 as a member of the university’s international teacher education and development team. Since then, I worked full-time in Bangladesh on the DfID–funded English in Action project. This large-scale project made innovative use of mobile technologies within a blended open and distance programme to develop the quality of English language teaching in thousands of primary an secondary schools throughout Bangladesh, particularly in rural and underprivileged communities. During my time in Bangladesh I worked extensively on capacity building for the projects’ team of teacher development coordinators and for the network of over a thousand school-based community-level teacher facilitators.
I was closely involved in developing content for English in Action’s core learning materials: these included sets of authentic teacher development videos demonstrating communicative language teaching practices, and also videos showing participatory professional development activities aimed to support facilitators. For the project’s final and largest-scale phase, as Head of the Primary sector intervention, I also led on producing a full range of printed self-access support materials targeting the various key stakeholder groups: teachers, head teachers and teacher facilitators.
Within that role I travelled extensively around Bangladesh: providing professional support and research/monitoring inputs in schools and to professional development events at local, regional and national levels. I contribute to the projects’ Dhaka-based progrmame management team, providing input to strategy development and to advocacy with stakeholders, especially with regard to the projects’ on-going institutionalisation and sustainability strategy.
Since the completion of EIA in late 2017, I have been fully engaged, under the auspices of the ITED team, on another DfiD-funded project in Zimbabwe: Improving Gender Attitudes: Transition and Education – Transition (IGATE-T). My roles so far on this project have included being a co-investigator on a pre-intervention rapid analysis exercise; contributing to strategy development; leading co-design and material development workshops with Ministry and other national partners in Zimbabwe; development of sets of teacher professional development materials focusing on foundational literacy; co-designing a series of local level launch workshops and supporting World Vision district teams and district government stakeholders to deliver these in wide range of locations across the country.
I have represented the Open University with presentations on English in Action at international conferences in Bangladesh, Czech Republic, India, Nepal, the UK and also at UNESCO mobile-learning week in 2014.
Prior to working for the Open University I had spent more than 20 years in the field of international teacher education in project management, strategic and practitioner roles. I worked long-term on national education reform projects with education ministries in the Czech Republic and Afghanistan as well as several short-term engagements in China, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Syria and Venezuela. My original professional roots in English language teaching covered almost ten years in secondary, tertiary and adult learning sectors in Japan, Lithuania and the UK.
Areas of professional interest