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Dr Kris Stutchbury

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Professional biography

Dr Kris Stutchbury is a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, and Academic Director for the multi award-winning Teacher Education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme – the largest established teacher education network in Africa.

Dr Stutchbury joined The Open University as a part-time tutor in 2005, before becoming Subject Leader for Science full-time on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) in 2009, rising to Director of the programme in 2012. In July 2015, Dr Stutchbury was appointed Academic Director of TESSA, combining 20 years of classroom teaching experience with her active interest in international development and supporting learning at scale. This role is combined with developing a new pathway on ‘learning and teaching’ for The Open University’s applied Masters in Education (MEd) and continued research interests in ethics, teacher education and approaches to educational change.

Between 2010 – 2013, Dr Stutchbury co-ordinated the co-design and production of 15 TESSA Secondary Science materials in collaboration with 5 African partner institutions, modelled on the TESSA Primary materials to support teacher educators and pre-service teachers in lower secondary schools. This project activity was generously funded by The Waterloo Foundation.

Utilising TESSA experience, Dr Stutchbury was appointed Science and School Leadership Lead for the university’s £10m TESS-India programme (2014 – 2016), co-authoring and facilitating the TESS-India Enhancing Teacher Education through Open Educational Resources MOOC, which has been completed by more than 40,000 teachers educators and school leaders across India over three presentations (in English and Hindi).

In March 2016, TESSA successfully secured further grant funding under Dr Stutchbury’s leadership from the Allen and Nesta Ferguson Foundation, supporting the network of TESSA Ambassadors across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Leveraging the TESSA network, The Open University’s International Development Office has empowered local champions in delivering 13 projects supporting technology-enhanced professional development, to address local educational challenges.

Dr Stutchbury has played a key role as Academic Director of TESSA in the continued success of the university’s international activity, representing TESSA at the Distance Education and Teachers Training in Africa (DETA) annual conference, the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) General Assembly, and the Pan-Commonwealth Forum for Open Learning. Recent collaborations involve working with the Commonwealth of Learning and the Kenyan Institute of Special Education to build capacity and enhance inclusive educational practice by teachers in Kenya, and leading the Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) programme in collaboration with World Vision, funded by the Scottish Government (2017 -2022). ZEST is working with the Ministry of General Education to strengthen the current system for school-based continuing professional development through a focus on practical teaching skills.  

Dr Stutchbury was awarded her Doctorate of Education from The Open University in 2019. Her principal research investigation studied a group of teacher educators in an East African university to understand how they see their role in the education system, how they carry it out and how they negotiate the tensions between the view of teaching and learning set out in policy aspirations, the TESSA materials, and the reality in schools.


TESSA – Teach Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Academic Director and leader of the TESSA network. Working to support teacher educators across sub-Saharan Africa in implementing new school curricula. Lead author and educator on the successful TESSA MOOC ‘Making Teacher Education relevant for 21st Century Africa’. Co-ordinator of TESSA Secondary Science and TESSA: Teaching Early Reading. In 2018 the TESSA MOOC was Awarded the PIEoneer 'Digital Innovation of the Year' Award in recognition of the work done in providing opportuities for people who had never previosuly studied online. 

ZEST – Zambian Education School-based training

Working with MOGE and WV Zambia to strengthen the existing system for school-based CPD, through the provision of training resources and TESSA OER.

OpenSTEM Africa (OSA)

Working in Ghana to bring the Open University’s open science lab to secondary schools in Ghana, enabling students to benefit from learning practical science. CPD lead – developing a CPD programme which will accompany a number of Science Apps to support teachers in developing their pedagogy and improve student outcomes. Dr Stutchbury co-developed resources for teachers and middle leaders.


A multi-million pound DFID project, which produced and implemented high-quality OER across 7 Indian states, to support Government policy aspirations. Science and school leadership lead, and co-author of the successful MOOC ‘Enhancing teacher education through OER’

Research interests

Research Ethics


Implementing change in the developing world

TESSA Secondary Science  a research and development project funded by the Waterloo Foundation

Completed an EdD with The Open University. I investigated a group of teacher educators in an East African university in order to understand how they see their role, how they carry it out and how they negotiate the tensions between the view of teaching and learning set out in policy aspirations and the TESSA materials, and the reality in schools. I am the Principle Investigator on an extension of ZEST in which we are investigating school-based continuing professional development: how it os experienced by teachers; effective models of school leadership; and innovative technological solutions to provide educational materaials in low-resource environments. 

Teaching interests

Science Education


Generic Educational issues

Teacher Education and learner-centred teaching

Impact and engagement

TESSA and TESS-India are making a significant impact in supporting teachers and teacher educators in Africa and India in developing more participatory approaches to learning and teaching. The research and scholarship that I am undertaking for my EdD are informing my work on TESSA and TESS-India. 

The ZEST project has been awarded a Research Impact Grant and we are working with partner schools in Zambia in order to better understand how School-based Professional Development is enacted and experienced. We will be looking at the impact on teacher agency; the models of school leadership that support SBPD; and the affordances of technology in the process. 

External collaborations

In my research that is part of the TESSA programme, I am collaborating with colleagues in Africa.

TESSA and TESS-India are International projects. I work closely with colleagues from India and a range of African countries.

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CREET: Educational Studies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Education and Language Studies


Practical theorising for the implementation of educational change: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa (2023-04)
Stutchbury, Kristina and Biard, Olivier
International Journal of Educational Development, 98(102746)

Professional development in the digital age: supporting improvements in teacher education through MOOCs (2023)
Stutchbury, Kris; Ebubedike, Margaret; Chamberlain, Liz and Amos, Sandra
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning ((Early access))

Critical realism: an explanatory framework for small-scale qualitative studies or an ‘unhelpful edifice’? (2022)
Stutchbury, Kristina
International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 45(2) (pp. 113-128)

What Prevents Teacher Educators from Accessing Professional Development OER? Storytelling and Professional Identity in Ugandan Teacher Colleges (2021)
Buckler, Alison; Stutchbury, Kris; Kasule, George; Cullen, Jane and Kaije, Doris
Journal of Learning for Development, 8, Article 1(1) (pp. 10-26)

Challenges and Opportunities in the Implementation of School-Based Teacher Professional Development: A Case from Kenya (2019)
Wambugu, Patricia; Stutchbury, Kris and Dickie, Joan
Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 6(1) (pp. 76-82)

Supporting Open Practices with Teachers in Zambia (2019)
Stutchbury, Kris; Gallastegi, Lore and Woodward, Clare
Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 6(3) (pp. 208-227)

Mediated Authentic Video: A Flexible Tool Supporting a Developmental Approach to Teacher Education (2017)
Stutchbury, Kris and Woodward, Clare
Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 4(2)

Assessing Pupils’ Progress: issues and opportunities in secondary science and the implications for teacher educators (2011-05)
Stutchbury, Kris
Science Teacher Education, 61 (pp. 40-53)

Ethics in educational research: introducing a methodological tool for effective ethical analysis (2009-12)
Stutchbury, Kris and Fox, Alison
Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(4) (pp. 489-504)

Critical realist research: Ethical issues and dilemmas as illustrated through a doctoral study in an African University (2021)
Stutchbury, Kris
In: Fox, Alison; Busher, Hugh and Capewell, Carmel eds. Thinking Critically and Ethically about Research for Education: Engaging with Voice and Empowerment in International Contexts (pp. 154-170)
ISBN : 978-0-367-55690-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Ethics in educational research (2013)
Stutchbury, Kris
In: Wilson, Elaine ed. School-Based Research: A Guide For Education Students (2nd ed) (pp. 90-102)
ISBN : 978-1-4462-4748-8 | Publisher : SAGE Publications Ltd | Published : London

School-based Continuing Professional Development: the Role of School Leaders (2022-09)
Stutchbury, Kris; Gallastegi, Lore; Woodward, Clare and Gaved, Mark
In : Pan Commonwealth Forum 10 (14-16 Sep 2022, Calgary, Canada)

ICT Strengthening Partnership in Zambian schools (2022-09)
Gallastegi, Lore; Gaved, Mark; Woodward, Clare; Stutchbury, Kris and Henry, Fiona
In : BAICE 2022: Partnerships in education: collaboration, co-operation and co-optation (13-15 Sep 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland)

School based professional development in partnership in Zambia (2022-09)
Gallastegi, Lore; Stutchbury, Kris; Woodward, Clare and Henry, Fiona
In : BAICE 2022: Partnerships in education: collaboration, co-operation and co-optation (13-15 Sep 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Assessment, Identity and Agency (2022)
Fox, Alison; Jewitt, Katharine; Kagoya, Anne; Burrell, Susannah; Stutchbury, Kris and Ruiz Martinez, Alejandro Tomas
In : Seminar on Assessment, Identity and Agency (30 Mar 2022, Online at The Open University)

Internet not available! Using offline networked learning to enhance teachers’ school-based continuing professional development in Zambia (2022)
Woodward, Clare; Gaved, Mark; Hanson, Rachel; Gallastegi, Lore and Stutchbury, Kris
In : Tenth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (14-16 Sep 2022, Calgary, Canada)

Mobile offline networked learning for teacher Continuing Professional Development in Zambia (2020-11-03)
Gaved, Mark; Hanson, Rachel and Stutchbury, Kris
In : mLearn2020: the 19th World Conference on Mobile, Blended and Seamless Learning (2-4 Nov 2020, Online (Cairo, Egypt))

Using a Masters course to explore the challenges and opportunities of incorporating Sustainability into a range of educational contexts (2019)
Fox, Alison; Addison-Pettit, Paula; Lee, Clare and Stutchbury, Kris
In : International Symposium on Climate Change and the Role of Education (12-13 Apr 2019, Lincoln) (pp. 219-236)

Taking ownership: Including all teachers in SBCPD (2019)
Gallastegi, Lore; Stutchbury, Kris and Woodward, Clare
In : Pan-Commonwealth Forum 9 (PCF9) (9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh)

Supporting Professional Development Through MOOCs: the TESSA Experience (2019)
Stutchbury, Kris; Chamberlain, Liz and Amos, Sandra
In : Pan Commonwealth Forum 9 (PCF9) (9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, UK)

“… by Seeking Help I Became Equipped, Skilled and Enlightened”: Ugandan Tutors’ Stories, Identities and Spaces for Professional Development in Teacher Colleges. (2019)
Buckler, Alison; Stutchbury, Kris; Kasule, George; Kaiije, Doris and Cullen, Jane
In : Pan Commonwealth Forum (9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Teachers Taught, Lessons Learnt: Experiences of Using Video to Support Teacher Learning on Three Continents (2017-11)
Stutchbury, Kris and Woodward, Clare
In : Pan Commonwealth Forum 8 (PCF8) (28-30 Nov 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Moving forward with TESSA: what is the potential for MOOCs? (2016-07)
Stutchbury, Kris
In : 3rd International Conference of the African Virtual University (6-8 Jul 2016, Nairobi, Kenya)

In pursuit of quality: the challenges and opportunities for teacher education (2014-07-26)
Stutchbury, Kris
In : AFTRA, 2014 (Jul 2014, Accra, Ghana)

We’re improving the quality of teaching”: conceptualising ‘quality’ and ‘change’ using lessons from a current TESSA project (2013-09)
Stutchbury, Kris and Cullen, Jane
In : UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development – Education & Development Post 2015: Reflecting, Reviewing, Re-visioning. (10-12 Sep 2013, Oxford)

Implementing TESSA teaching lower secondary science: learning from the experience and the implications for partnership working (2013)
Stutchbury, Kris; Acquah, Sakina; Ngman-Wara, Ernest; Goodwell, Kaulu; Shayo, Simon; Busulwa, Henry and Wambugu, Patricia
In : Distance Education for Teachers in Africa (30 Jul - 1 Aug 2013, Nairobi, Kenya)

Developing effective pedagogy: the thinking behind the TESSA secondary science project (2012-07-13)
Stutchbury, Kristina and Ngman-Wara, Ernest
In : 56th ICET World Assembly: The Changing Global Perspective on the Role of Teacher and Teacher Education (10-12 Jul 2012, Ghana)

TESSA secondary science: addressing the challenges facing science teacher-education in Sub-Saharan Africa (2011-08)
Stutchbury, Kris and Katabaro, Joviter
In : DETA Conference 2011 (3-5 Aug 2011, Maputo, Mozambique)

Implementing change in science teacher education in Sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities (2011-07)
Stutchbury, Kris
In : 55th ICET World Assembly (11-14 Jul 2011, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Zambian Education School-based Training: Endline Evaluation Report (2023-11)
Stutchbury, Kris; Gallastegi, Lore; Woodward, Clare and Phiri, John
The Open University

Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) Project: Cohort 3 Evaluation, May 2021 (2021-05)
Stutchbury, Kris; Gallastegi, Lore and Woodward, Clare
The Open University

Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) Project: Midline Evaluation, May 2021 (2021-05)
Gallastegi, Lore; Woodward, Clare and Stutchbury, Kris
The Open University

Supporting Teachers' Professional Development in Zambia in Covid Times (2021-02-01)
Stutchbury, Kris; Woodward, Clare; Gallastegi, Lore and Hanson, Rachel
UKFIET - the Education and Development Forum, Cambridge, UK.

Supporting the teaching of early reading: An evaluation of the TESSA: Teaching Early Reading with African Storybook Badged Online Course (BOC) (2020-04)
Stutchbury, Kris; Chamberlain, Liz and Rodriguez-Leon, Lucy
The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) Project: Cohort 2 Evaluation, April 2020 (2020-04)
Stutchbury, Kris and Gallastegi, Lore
The Open University

Minimising the ‘distance’ in distance learning during a global health crisis: Framing an international education response to Covid-19 (2020)
Buckler, Alison; Chamberlain, Liz; Stutchbury, Kris and Hedges, Claire
UKFIET The Education and Development Forum

Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) Project: Cohort 1 Evaluation, June 2019 (2019-06)
Gallastegi, Lore and Stutchbury, Kris
The Open University

Zambian Education School-based Training (ZEST) Project: Baseline Study, March 2018 (2018-03)
Gallastegi, Lore and Stutchbury, Kris
The Open University

Engaging Opportunities: Connecting young people with contemporary research and researchers (2018-02-01)
Holliman, Richard; Davies, Gareth; Ford, Diane; Russell, Mark; Steed, Anthony; Brown, Helen; Pearson, Victoria; Collins, Trevor; Stutchbury, Kris; Squires, Andrew; Scanlon, Eileen; Whitelegg, Liz; Ansine, Janice; Braithwaite, N St.J; Swithenby, Stephen; Dommett, Ellie; Sumner, Janet; Lee, Clare; Kendall, Joe; Green, Penny; Sharp, Damien; Bullivant, Mike; Devine, Peter and Hawthorne, Val
The Open University and the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance, Milton Keynes.

Collaborative Analysis Between Staff and Students of Interviews About Assessment, Agency, and Identity
Fox, Alison; Kagoya, Anne; Stutchbury, Kris; Jewitt, Katharine; Ruiz Martinez, Alejandro Tomas and Burrell, Susannah