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Research into play-based learning to improve learning outcomes in Africa

Quote card of Kwame Akyeampong

A new research grant is looking at how supporting teachers in Ghana to adopt play-based practice in schools can improve learning outcomes. Play-based learning is important because it helps children develop foundational numeracy, literary and socio-economic skills. 

Right to Play, Canada, have awarded £112,000 to the research team led by Professor Kwame Akyeampong based in the Centre for the Study of Global Development (CSGD) to study the impact of the Learning through Play project (P3) in Ghanaian basic schools.  

The goal of the P3 project is to improve the quality of education for Ghanaian girls and boys aged 4-12 through a scalable and replicable Learning through Play (LtP) model. To achieve this goal, the improvement of teachers’ understanding of integrating play-based approaches in their practice is seen as essential.   

This builds on earlier work led by Professor Kwame Akyeampong, with researchers from CSGD based in the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, working in partnership with researchers from the Institute of Education (IOE) University of Cape Coast, Ghana. 

The research team collected and analysed baseline data on teachers’ classroom practice as well as their perceptions and attitudes towards using play-based instructional approaches to improve learning.  

This new project will track the progress and analyse the impact of the project focusing primarily on grade 1 and grade 3 teachers. The team has completed a round of classroom observations and teacher surveys to develop insights into the extent to which teachers who benefitted directly and indirectly from the project have improved their practice. A final report of the research will be published in January 2023.

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