The OER4Schools programme is a school-based teacher professional development programme initiated in Zambia around 2010 and later expanded to other countries such as Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
OER4Schools in Zambia
OER4Schools aimed to improve the quality of education in sub-Saharan Africa through research and teacher professional development. The programme developed substantial open materials for work-based teacher education (OER4Schools), including self-paced elements.
Through our research in Zambia, we developed a practical professional development (PD) programme for school-based teacher education, supporting teachers to embed interactive methods of teaching and learning into classroom practice through the exploitation of mobile technologies. It moves beyond technology and skills-focused initiatives by highlighting the crucial role of teacher support in promoting innovation and experimentation with teaching styles.
Our overall goal is to focus on learning, meeting the challenge of moving away from superficial repetition of facts towards deeper learning and understanding. We aim to develop teachers’ capability to use tablets, netbooks, e-book readers, Open Educational Resources (OER), and Open Source software effectively to support students’ learning in mathematics and science through active participation, dialogue, and collaborative enquiry.
Our participatory approach especially values the ‘voices’ of everybody involved. The research is founded on principles of effective pedagogy in teacher education and classroom teaching in sub-Saharan Africa. The professional learning programme is suitable for low-resourced primary schools and colleges (combined with teaching practice) and is freely available as an OER.
The resource consists of 28 two-hour sessions, organised in five units, covering interactive teaching principles, group work, questioning, dialogue, Assessment for Learning, and enquiry-based learning. Each session is clearly structured and includes unique, professionally filmed video exemplars of interactive practices in Zambian and South African classrooms, accompanying texts co-authored with teachers, and facilitator notes. It builds on an established, sustained teacher-led process for sharing and trialing new practices and digital resources; peer observation; discussion, and joint reflection.
Publications about OER4Schools are available in our evidence library.
Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (Ghana)
The school-based approach of OER4Schools was re-used in the TRANSFORMING TEACHER EDUCATION AND LEARNING (GHANA) programme in Ghana. The extensive materials from the programme are available here.
Mpumelelo High School (Zimbabwe) & FHNW Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz
The programme was adapted for a secondary school in Zimbabwe, as part of an educational technology-enabled programme.
- Publications 2129771 S9X98R6H items 1 4″ default ascHaßler, B., Hennessy, S., & Hofmann, R. (2020). The OER4Schools professional development programme: Outcomes of a sustained trial in sub-Saharan Africa. Frontiers in Education, 5(146). https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.00146Haßler, B., Hennessy, S., & Hofmann, R. (2018). Sustaining and Scaling Pedagogic Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Grounded Insights For Teacher Professional Development. Journal of Learning for Development, 5(1). https://docs.opendeved.net/lib/D2GQYC5SHaßler, B., Hennessy, S., & Jestaz, C. (2012). ORBIT and OER4Schools: supporting effective primary and secondary school practice through OER. Proceedings of Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact - Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, 311–317.Haßler, B., Hennessy, S., & Lubasi, B. (2011). Changing classroom practice using a school-based professional development approach to introducing digital resources in Zambia. Itupale Online Journal of African Studies, 3, 17–31. http://www.cambridgetoafrica.org/resources/Hassler__et_al__2011.pdfHaßler, B., Hennessy, S., & Cross, A. (2014). School-based professional development in a developing context: Lessons learnt from a case study in Zambia. Professional Development in Education, 41(5), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2014.938355Haßler, B., Major, L., & Hennessy, S. (2016). Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32(2), 139–156. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12123Haßler, B., Major, L., Warwick, P., Watson, S., Hennessy, S., & Nichol, B. (2016). Perspectives on Technology, Resources and Learning - Productive Classroom Practices, Effective Teacher Professional Development. Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. http://bjohas.de/Publications/PerspectivesGoldie-Scot, M., Hollows, S., Hennessy, S., Mathew, P., Delbridge-Smith, P., & Haßler, B. (2018). Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the Commonwealth - Status Update Report. Commonwealth Secretariat. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3958259Hennessy, S., Haßler, B., & Hofmann, R. (2015). Challenges and opportunities for teacher professional development in interactive use of technology in African schools. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 24(5), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939x.2015.1092466Haßler, B., Hennessy, S., Lord, T., Cross, A., Jackson, A., & Simpson, M. (2011). An investigation of appropriate new technologies to support interactive teaching in Zambian schools (ANTSIT). A joint report from Aptivate and the Centre for Commonwealth Education (University of Cambridge). Final Report to DfID. Aptivate and University of Cambridge. http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/archive/cce/initiatives/projects/antsit/DfIDANTSITReport_FINAL_2Mb-2.pdfHennessy, S., & Haßler, B. (2013). A new approach and open resources for school-based teacher professional development in sub-Saharan Africa. http://www.ineesite.org/en/discuss/tpd-in-crisis-series-week-9-open-educational-resources-in-sub-saharan-afriHennessy, S., Dreyer, J., Paulsen, R., Haßler, B., Loubser, C., Beardon, T., & Mays, T. (2014, March). Professional learning with ICT in the southern African context: The UNISA-Cambridge collaboration on Advanced Diplomas in Education. Prezi. 5th Higher Education & ICT Forum: 21st Century Learning and Collaborative Teaching, Johannesburg, South Africa. http://tinyurl.com/2014ICTsummitLawrie, J., Hennessy, S., Haßler, B., & Bhandigadi, P. (2015). Use ICT to provide access to content, professional development and professional learning communities (Chapter 7). In M. Burns & J. Lawrie (Eds.), Where It’s Needed Most: Quality Professional Development for All Teachers. Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies. http://www.ineesite.org/en/blog/new-publication-where-its-needed-most-quality-professional-development-forHennessy, S., Haßler, B., & Mwewa, G. (2012). Using digital technology and school-based professional development to leverage interactive classroom teaching in Zambia. In J. MacBeath, M. Younger, & C. Sugrue (Eds.), Millennium Goals Revisited: A Common Wealth of Learning. Routledge.Major, L., Haßler, B., & Hennessy, S. (2017). Tablet use in schools: impact, affordances and considerations. In Handbook on Digital Learning for K-12 Schools (pp. 115–128). Springer.Haßler, B., Major, L., Warwick, P., Watson, S., Hennessy, S., & Nichol, B. (2016). A short guide on the use of technology in learning: Perspectives and Toolkit for Discussion. Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. http://bjohas.de/Publications/PerspectivesLawrie, J., Hennessy, S., Haßler, B., & Bhandigadi, P. (2015). Recommendation 7: Use ICT to provide access to content, professional development and professional learning communities. In Where it’s needed most: Quality professional development for all teachers (pp. 131–143). Inter-agency network for education in emergencies.
- Resources 2129771 GXZS3EZU items 1 3″ default ascHennessy, S., & Haßler, B. (2014). The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource: Interactive teaching with and without ICT. A practical programme for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa - Participants’ Version. The Centre for Commonwealth Education. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5295148Haßler, B. (2014). The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource: Interactive teaching with and without ICT. A practical programme for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa - Participants’ Version. https://www.youtube.com/user/OER4Schools/playlistsHennessy, S., & Haßler, B. (2014). The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource: Interactive teaching with and without ICT. A practical programme for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa - Facilitators’ Version. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5295150Hennessy, S., & Haßler, B. (2014). The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource: Interactive teaching with and without ICT. A practical programme for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa - Additional Materials. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5295152Hennessy, S., & Haßler, B. (2012, 2015). The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource: Interactive teaching with and without ICT. A practical programme for teachers in sub-Saharan Africa. www.oer4schools.org
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