Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

closer perspectives

Edited by ROSARII GRIFFIN

2012 paperback 256 pages £24.00
ISBN 978-1-873927-36-6

 
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About the book

In the drive to achieve universal primary education as one of the Millennium Development Goals, there is an increasing recognition of the urgency of focusing on teacher education to both meet the demand for more than one million qualified teachers required to achieve this goal within sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to combat the sometimes poor quality educational experience reported in the school. Currently, approximately only one third of teachers are qualified to teach. This dearth in qualified teachers also means that secondary and tertiary education need to be improved upon to provide an educated cohort of graduates. This in turn will ensure that the quality of teacher trained and retained within the profession is of a sufficiently high standard to ensure sustainable progress.
     This volume focuses on the various aspects of teacher education which need to be addressed in order for the wider Millennium Goals to be achieved, but more importantly, so that each African child living within sub-Saharan Africa will have the right to a quality education: ensuring they too experience their right and entitlement as children to reach their full potential - often taken for granted in Western countries – giving African children the necessary tools to build a better future for themselves.
Of particular interest to the education researcher and policy maker, this volume’s contributors look at the various issues and challenges around the teacher profession, particularly in relation to resources and practices within sub-Saharan Africa. The contributors examine the issue of building research capacity for educational research within teacher education Colleges and explore the concept of education for sustainable development with the view to improving the development of quality teacher education within the global South. In this volume, research reports are presented highlighting the various challenges within the structure and provision of teacher education within certain national contexts, including assessment and curricula issues, which need to be addressed.
     This volume goes from the global to the local and examines teacher educator teaching, learning and reflective practice issues within different contexts, as well as exploring alternative pre-service experiences for western teachers who wish to work within the sub-Saharan context as well as some teacher educator exchange programmes between the South and North. Case countries explored include Lesotho, South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar, to mention but a few. Of particular value to the education researcher and policy maker, this book provides a timely resource focusing on an area of neglect, highlighting the central role of the teacher and teacher education towards sustainable development within the sub-Saharan African context.

Contents [click on author's name for summary]

 

Preface (John Musaazi), 9-10

Rosarii Griffin Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: closer perspectives, 11-21

Colin Brock Education as a Humanitarian Response as Applied to Teachers and their Training in Sub-Saharan Africa, 23-35

Bob Moon & Freda Wolfenden Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: issues and challenges around teacher resources and practices, 37-53

Clive Harber Contradictions in Teacher Education and Teacher Professionalism in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of South Africa, 55-70

James Urwick, Rosarii Griffin, Veronica Opendi & Matemoho Khatleli What Hope for the Dakar Goals? The Lower Levels of Education in Lesotho and Uganda since 2000, 71-90

David Stephens A Critical Overview of Education for Sustainable Development with Particular Focus upon the Development of Quality Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, 91-109

Peadar Cremin, Mary Goretti Nakabugo & Eimear Barrett Building Capacity for Educational Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities, constraints and lessons in the context of Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, 111-127

Jacqui O'Riordan, James Urwick, Stella Long & Maria Campbell Towards a Holistic Understanding of Special Educational Needs, 129-146

Paul Conway, Elizabeth Oldham, James Urwick, Sarah Kisa, Justine Ottala & Anne Mugwera The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Ugandan Secondary Schools: poised for change?, 147-164

Marty Holland, Louise Long & Laura Regan Implementing the Thematic Curriculum in Uganda: implications for teacher education, 165-180

Dolores Corcoran & Anne Dolan How Much Is Enough? Investigating Mathematical Knowledge for Primary Teaching in Lesotho, 181-203

Thomas G. Grenham Teacher Educators and Teaching, Learning and Reflective Practice among the Turkana Nomads of Kenya, 205-217

Fiona Baily & Deirdre O'Rourke An Account of the Alternative Education Experience Africa Programme in Transition: Irish pre-service teachers’ experience in Zambia and the Gambia, 219-234

Patricia Kieran, Carmel Hinchion, Doris Kaije, Ruth Kyambadde & Paddy Bradley Teacher Educator Exchange Partnership in Uganda and Ireland: closer perspectives on teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa, 235-253

Notes on Contributors, 254-256

 

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: closer perspectives
ROSARII GRIFFIN

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Introduction

 

Education as a Humanitarian Response as Applied to Teachers and their Training in Sub-Saharan Africa
COLIN BROCK

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The idea of education as a humanitarian response adopted by the writer is that any form of education needs to be appropriate to the needs of the receiver at any given time or place. Indigenous education traditions in Sub-Saharan Africa underlay, but have been supplanted by, derived colonial legacies of teacher education and training that, except for a small elite, are neither appropriate nor effective in meeting the needs of untrained or trainee teachers in most countries of the region. Violent conflict in a significant proportion of the region and the relatively high incidence of HIV/Aids are major constraints, but responses to them may give opportunities for new approaches. There have been a number of relevant initiatives in the last 20 years that do represent effective humanitarian responses.

 

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: issues and challenges around teacher resources and practices
BOB MOON & FREDA WOLFENDEN

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This chapter looks at the logistical challenge presented by the rapid increase in teacher numbers to meet Education For All targets. The analysis suggests that the growth is of such a magnitude that, for the foreseeable future, existing campus-based teacher education and training institutions will be unable to meet demand, in terms of pre-service, upgrading and in-service professional development programmes. The chapter sets out, therefore, the conditions under which school-based teacher development programmes can be implemented, including support systems, resource provision (including the use of open educational resources) and the use of new communication technologies. The analysis is exemplified by discussion of the Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme.

 

Contradictions in Teacher Education and Teacher Professionalism in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of South Africa
CLIVE HARBER

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This chapter is primarily concerned with the processes and structures of teacher education in Africa and their relationship to desired outcomes in terms of democratic values and behaviour. Based on evidence from Africa, it argues that, rather than there being a gap between the more democratic practices learned in teacher education and the authoritarian realities of schooling itself, the former in reality is actually a congruent preparation for the latter. The chapter then puts forward three categories of teacher professionalism in Africa and argues that teacher education needs to move from its current emphasis on more restricted and authoritarian forms of professionalism to more extended and democratic forms.

 

What Hope for the Dakar Goals? The Lower Levels of Education in Lesotho and Uganda since 2000
JAMES URWICK, ROSARII GRIFFIN, VERONICA OPENDI & MATEMOHO KHATLELI

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This chapter draws attention to the tendency for the ‘Education for All’ goals endorsed by the Dakar Forum to be overshadowed by the narrower agenda of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as they relate to education. With reference first to Lesotho and then to Uganda, the chapter reviews progress made towards the educational MDGs of universal primary education and gender parity and then the relatively limited achievements in relation to the Dakar goals for early childhood education, quality in primary education and provision for special educational needs. The authors argue for a more comprehensive approach to educational development: one which recognises the important links between primary education and other sub-sectors.

 

A Critical Overview of Education for Sustainable Development with Particular Focus upon the Development of Quality Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
DAVID STEPHENS

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We are now halfway through the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 14) and it seems an appropriate moment to stand back and critically review progress to date and the major challenges facing educationists in turning UN rhetoric into reality. The first part of the chapter examines global efforts to introduce Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into schools and colleges, and in particular the role ESD can play in developing quality teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa. The main thrust of the argument is that without a well-informed and trained teaching force ESD will face severe problems in becoming mainstreamed in the learning of children. The importance of context also lies at efforts to introduce ESD into teacher education, and with that in mind the second part of the chapter moves from the global to the local by evaluating an ESD teacher education project in Madagascar, an island with much at stake in terms of sustainable development. The chapter concludes with a discussion of lessons that can be learned from this evaluation more generally in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.

 

Building Capacity for Educational Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities, constraints and lessons in the context of Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda
PEADAR CREMIN, MARY GORETTI NAKABUGO & EIMEAR BARRETT

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This chapter offers insights into the manner in which institutional culture, strategy, supports and structures can nurture the building of capacity for educational research. The particular opportunities and challenges to developing an enabling research environment in the sub-Saharan African university context, at both the individual and institutional level, are considered. Evidence is drawn from research undertaken within a programme of strategic cooperation, funded by Irish Aid, which forged a formal partnership between Irish and African institutions and academics in the period 2007 to 2011. The chapter focuses on issues involved in building capacity for educational research in universities in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, arguing that such research in higher education institutions is critical to the achievement of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals.

 

Towards a Holistic Understanding of Special Educational Needs
JACQUI O'RIORDAN, JAMES URWICK, STELLA LONG & MARIA CAMPBELL

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This chapter provides an overview of the current policies and practices relating to the inclusive education of children with special educational needs in Lesotho. It draws on research undertaken in Lesotho in 2009 that was carried out through the collaboration of a team of researchers working in various higher education institutions in Ireland and in the Lesotho College of Education. The research process was facilitated by the Centre for Global Development through Education, Limerick, Ireland and funded by Irish Aid. While special education policy initiatives in Lesotho date back to 1989, their development in practice has not reached policy expectations, in the context of limited resources and the absence of clear guidelines for assessment. This chapter details the range and types of formal and informal identification, assessment and more general SEN capacity within Lesotho, and draws on international debates and discussions on inclusive education as well as on current developments on classification. As such, it identifies key strategies for the development of an SEN framework in Lesotho that incorporates a broad range of key stakeholders.

 

The Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Ugandan Secondary Schools: poised for change?
PAUL CONWAY, ELIZABETH OLDHAM, JAMES URWICK, SARAH KISA, JUSTINE OTTALA & ANNE MUGWERA

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In the context of the increased faith by governments in the reform of mathematics and science teaching as the basis for economic development, this chapter examines pedagogy of mathematics in Ugandan secondary schools. The study involved data collection in 16 secondary schools based on a purposive sample in four different regions of Uganda. Focusing on the classroom learning environment, key findings are presented under four headings: (i) pedagogy, (ii) teachers’ attitudes to participatory learning, (iii) teachers’ needs for continuing professional development, and (iv) the restrictive influence of national examinations on teaching. The authors then consider the findings and recommendations in light of current developments in mathematics education reform.

 

Implementing the Thematic Curriculum in Uganda: implications for teacher education
MARTY HOLLAND, LOUISE LONG & LAURA REGAN

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In 2007 the lower primary curriculum (Primary 1–Primary 3) in Uganda underwent a radical revision with the introduction of the Thematic Curriculum. It was the intent of the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda to utilise the Thematic Curriculum to raise standards in literacy and numeracy and further develop children’s life-skills. This chapter presents an account of a project that involved Irish and Ugandan researchers working collaboratively to investigate how effectively teachers were implementing the Thematic Curriculum. A number of challenges to the effective delivery of the Thematic Curriculum emerged from the data. For example, the researchers observed little use of participatory methodologies and, further, teachers reported a lack of commitment to continuous assessment. In this chapter the findings from the study are discussed in the context of their implications for teacher education and should be of interest globally to policy makers, practitioners and researchers in the advancement of the quality of pupils’ learning.

 

How Much Is Enough? Investigating Mathematical Knowledge for Primary Teaching in Lesotho
DOLORES CORCORAN & ANNE DOLAN

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There is a worldwide drive to improve standards of attainment in mathematics. It is commonly held that increased teacher knowledge of mathematics will improve student performance. However, research indicates that this relationship is far from straightforward. Different conceptions of what it means to know and use mathematics give rise to different approaches to teaching mathematics. The unique challenges presented by the education setting in Lesotho are outlined, and in this chapter, a self-audit of mathematics knowledge for teaching is introduced. This audit was administered to 22 students preparing to become primary school teachers in the Lesotho College of Education. Findings are compared with responses of student teachers in an Irish college of education. The chapter concludes with recommendations for the development of teaching that could work equally well in Lesotho as in Ireland.

 

Teacher Educators and Teaching, Learning and Reflective Practice among the Turkana Nomads of Kenya
THOMAS G. GRENHAM

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Drawing upon the writings of the well-known Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, this chapter describes and explores critically how some of his concepts of education were adapted and applied to the Turkana situation of North-West Kenya. Freire envisioned literacy as being a process of conscientization for political, social and economic awareness and freedom of one’s self within one’s life-world. Education as transformative learning was essential to understanding and critiquing some of the assumptions underlying the Turkana world. In this task, the word of the learner and the world (history, context, culture, beliefs, etc.) in which that learner lived went hand in hand with the process of waking up to being a fully alive person critically conscious of the shaping influences around them. The process of education was key to this wakefulness. The educational effort both formal and informal was designed to empower the Turkana to appropriate the tumultuous cultural, political and economic transformation going on in their midst as a consequence of frequent deadly famine, abject poverty and external cultural, political, economic and religious influences. Mention is made of issues around dependency and independency in relation to the type of education offered in this harsh environment and striking cultural context.

 

An Account of the Alternative Education Experience Africa Programme in Transition: Irish pre-service teachers’ experience in Zambia and the Gambia
FIONA BAILY & DEIRDRE O'ROURKE

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This chapter presents a summary of the key findings of a 2008 research report entitled ‘The Impact of Student Teaching Placements in a Developing Context’, and examines the changes made to such placement programmes based on these findings. The aim of the research study was to explore the impacts of a Mary Immaculate College student teaching placement programme in an African context, specifically in relation to student participants’ engagement in development education as teachers. This investigation identified that teachers who have participated in African placement programmes demonstrate a higher level of engagement in development education than those teachers who did not. However, this study also highlighted the potential for improving the quality and depth of the programme. The issues raised in the report have been addressed in more recent placements. These changes have been extremely beneficial to programme participants.

 

Teacher Educator Exchange Partnership in Uganda and Ireland: closer perspectives on teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa
PATRICIA KIERAN, CARMEL HINCHION, DORIS KAIJE, RUTH KYAMBADDE & PADDY BRADLEY

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This chapter outlines the origin and development of a North–South Teacher Educator Exchange Partnership (TEEP) programme located in two Ugandan and seven Irish universities. The main feature of TEEP was a series of exchange visits designed to further capacity building among teacher educators in Uganda and Ireland through cross-fertilising pedagogies, professional expertise and scholarly research in a professional exchange. The chapter overviews the educational system in Uganda and explores Peer Observation of Teaching (POT) as a central methodology in the TEEP project. The importance of striving to create an egalitarian, mutually enriching partnership which enabled the sharing of different approaches to teaching and teacher formation was fundamental to sustaining TEEP. While TEEP was not without its challenges, both Ugandan and Irish participants reported a development of their repertoire of teaching, research and professional skills by working with their TEEP colleagues.

Contributors

Fiona Baily is a PhD scholar at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Eimear Barrett is a Public Health Intelligence Officer at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Paddy Bradley is a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Colin Brock held the UNESCO Chair in Education as a Humanitarian Response and was a Senior Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Maria Campbell is a Lecturer in the Education Department at St Angela’s College, Sligo, Ireland.

Paul Conway is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education at University College Cork, Ireland.

Dolores Corcoran is a Lecturer in Mathematics Education at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland.

Peadar Cremin is the former President of Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Anne Dolan is a Lecturer in Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Thomas G. Grenham is a Lecturer in Religious Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Rosarii Griffin is a Lecturer in the Centre for Adult Continuing Education and a Researcher in the Centre for Global Development at University College Cork, Ireland.

Clive Harber is an Honorary Professor at the University of South Africa, Pretoria, and is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Carmel Hinchion is a Lecturer in Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Marty Holland is a Lecturer in Special Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Doris Kaije is a Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.

Matemoho Khatleli is a Lecturer at the Lesotho College of Education.

Patricia Kieran is a Lecturer in Religious Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Sarah Kisa is a PhD scholar and a Lecturer in Mathematics Education at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.

Ruth Kyambadde is a Lecturer in the Department of Teacher Education and Development Studies at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.

Louise Long is a Lecturer in Education at St Mary’s University College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Stella Long is a Lecturer in Special Education in the Department of Special Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Bob Moon is Professor of Education at the Open University, United Kingdom, and the founding Director of Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA).

Ann Mugwera is the Academic Registrar at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.

John Musaazi is the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at the University of Makerere, Kampala, Uganda.

Mary Goretti Nakabugo is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Studies in the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Elizabeth Oldham is a retired Senior Lecturer in Education at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Veronica Opendi is a Lecturer at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.

Laura Regan is a Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Jacqui O’Riordan is a Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies at University College Cork, Ireland.

Deirdre O’Rourke is a PhD scholar and a Lecturer in International Development and Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

Justine Otaala is a Lecturer in Science Education at Kyambogo University, Uganda.

David Stephens is Professor of International Education in the Education Research Centre at the University of Brighton, United Kingdom.

James Urwick is a Senior Lecturer in the East African Institute of Higher Education Studies and Development at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Freda Wolfenden is the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at the Open University, United Kingdom, and the Programme Director of Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA).
 

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