OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource
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 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 trialling new practices and digital resources; peer observation; discussion and joint reflection.