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School-based professional development in a developing context: Lessons learnt from a case study in Zambia

TitleSchool-based professional development in a developing context: Lessons learnt from a case study in Zambia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHaßler, B., Hennessy S., Cross A., Chileshe E., & Machiko B.
PublisherProfessional Development in Education
Start Page806
Pagination806 - 825
Date Published10/2015
Keywordsdigital technology, interactive pedagogy, Open Educational Resources, reflective practice, school-based professional development, sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia

This paper reports on the development and outcomes of the second phase of OER4Schools, a school-based professional development programme supporting interactive forms of subject teaching in conjunction with Open Educational Resources (OER) and technology in Zambian primary schools. We worked with partners to identify the needs of school-based continuing professional development adapted to the local context; the programme was based on participatory, collaborative and inquiry-based pedagogies for both classroom learning and teacher development. We worked over a one-year period with four experienced teachers in two basic (primary) schools serving disadvantaged communities. Data were collected from observations, interviews, surveys, lesson planning/review meetings and team workshops. All participants integrated OER and technology into mathematics and science lessons and developed more interactive practices, including collaborative learning. Professional dialogue, quality conversations, reflective practice, cultural sensitivity, peer learning and cooperation were pivotal mechanisms through which teachers shifted their focus from teaching (and teacher exposition) to student learning. Seeing students as capable individuals, teachers raised their expectations and developed insight into interactive practices such as group work, providing meaningful opportunities for student collaboration and active learning by all.


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Short TitleProfessional Development in Education
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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