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Current projects

IBali Storytelling Network

The iBali Network

The AHRC-funded iBali (story) Network applies arts and humanities approaches to social issues evident in relation to young people’s learning and education in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is led by Alison Buckler and brings together experienced and early career researchers and practitioners to share and develop high-quality, ethical, locally engaged, culturally appropriate, participatory storytelling research methodologies for working with teachers and learners to address learning exclusions. See our workshop blog or follow the Network on Twitter.

 

OER mediation and use in Ugandan colleges of education

This study is a collaboration between the Open University’s TESSA Programme, and partners at Kyambogo University in Uganda. Teacher educators in Uganda have had different opportunities to engage with the TESSA open education resources (OER), either through a national Forum, through institutional programmes, or through the TESSA MOOC. This study uses creative storytelling approaches to explore teacher educators’ engagement with and use of open education resources (OER) in their teaching practice, with a particular focus on the impact of the different ways in which the resources were introduced and mediated.

 

The Education Workforce Initiative (EWI) Initial Research

Radical changes and new thinking are needed if we are to provide universal access to education, and guarantee every child and young person is adequately prepared for life and work in an increasingly uncertain world. This research, commissioned by the Education Workforce Initiative, was led by Freda Wolfenden (PI) with Alison Buckler (Co-I), Cristina Santos and Jenna Mittelmeier. It focuses on how education workforces could be re-designed and strengthened to meet local, national and international education goals.

Distance Learning in Teacher education in Ghana

Teacher education via distance learning is experiencing explosive growth in Africa and Asia, as countries struggle to provide sufficient infrastructure for face-to-face learning. Ghana has been investing heavily in teacher education, and numbers of distance learners are beginning to outstrip those of full-time students. But there are widespread perceptions that distance learning is ‘second best’. This study, led by Jane Cullen and Eric Addae-Kyeremeh, focuses on the complex challenges in establishing appropriate pedagogies in the provision of high quality teacher education at scale.

Learning assistants: future teachers for Sierra Leone

Learning Assistants are women in Sierra Leone who aspire to become teachers but who have not been able to complete their own education. They follow a combined study-work programme supported by the Open University: academic distance study, and practical experience as a primary school classroom assistant. The LA programme works with the Forum for African Women Educationalists and the three teacher colleges of Sierra Leone. So far, more than 500 Learning Assistants have entered teacher training. The research has identified the significance and sustainability of community support for these future teachers.

Pedagogic leadership

There are many projects in India to support teachers in introducing more participatory approaches to learning in their lessons and school leaders have a significant role to play in such pedagogic initiatives. This study, led by Jane Cullen, Eric Addae-Kyeremeh and Kris Stutchbury explores head teacher perspectives on pedagogic leadership and the opportunities and constraints that they face in leading on pedagogy. It aims to inform and frame a large-scale proposal to interrogate perspectives on improving pedagogy and on pedagogic leadership among school leaders.