(2012). OER production and adaptation through networking across Sub–Saharan Africa: learning from TESSA.
In: Glennie, Jennie; Harley, Ken; Butcher, Neil and Van Wyk, Trudi eds.
Open Educational Resources and Change in Higher Education: Reflections from Practice.
Vancouver, Canada : Commonwealth of Learning, pp. 91–105.
Educational reforms, as driven by the Millennium Development Goals, envision schooling where all children and young people participate and have opportunities to succeed. To achieve this vision across Sub Saharan Africa requires both large numbers of new teachers and for existing teachers to have access to professional opportunities relevant to their context and the specific realities of their schools – teacher education institutions need to focus greater attention on their students’ development of effective classroom practices.
The TESSA project described here is one initiative working to address these challenges which, through the creation and use of contextualised open resources to support classroom focused teacher education, has achieved some initial success in a number of different cultural contexts. This chapter reflects on various stages of project activity and analyses factors which have influenced the form and extent of take-up of the resources at partner institutions across the region.
These experiences and insights suggest that realisation of TESSA project goals in such diverse contexts is strongly linked to the attention paid to collaborative working, dialogue and the process of bridging of cultures and practices, supporting different orientations and variations in the project framework in each context. In particular the use of a highly structured template for the production of TESSA resources, adaptation of the resources for nine country settings through a defined process, and local ownership of the implementation strategy are seen to have been significant. However, as with many OER projects, ensuring sustainability and deepening community engagement remain on-going challenges.
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