Challenges and opportunities for teacher professional development in interactive use of technology in African schools
Keywordsteacher professional development
Open Educational Resources
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AbstractThis is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2015.1092466
This paper examines the supporting and constraining factors influencing professional learning about interactive teaching and mobile digital technology use in low-resourced basic schools in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on a case study of iterative development and refinement of a school-based, peer-facilitated professional learning programme (“OER4Schools”) that integrated use of mobile technologies, digital open educational resources and interactive pedagogy. The research and development involved teachers in three Zambian primary schools and culminated in an extensive multimedia resource.
Using an ecological framework, factors emerging were characterised at three levels: teacher, school, and the wider community and policy context. They include school organisation and leadership, teacher motivation and perceptions of opportunities for professional learning and change, teacher views of pupil capabilities, availability of resources, teacher collaboration, and viewpoints of parents and policymakers.
We are most grateful to the teachers and the school who participated in our trials for their enthusiasm and support. Thanks also to Masters students Andrew Cross and Melissa Marsden for their roles in the data collection and analysis. The OER4Schools programme was based in the University of Cambridge Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) and was supported by the Commonwealth Education Trust, primarily funding the creation of the resource and the research. We greatly appreciate the administrative support provided by various CCE staff throughout the programme.