Implementating TESSA teaching lower secondary science: learning from the experience and the implications for partnership working

Stutchbury, Kris; Acquah, Sakina; Ngman-Wara, Ernest; Goodwell, Kaulu; Shayo, Simon; Busulwa, Henry and Wambugu, Patricia (2013). Implementating TESSA teaching lower secondary science: learning from the experience and the implications for partnership working. In: Distance Education for Teachers in Africa, 30 Jul - 1 Aug 2013, Nairobi, Kenya.

URL: http://www.deta.up.ac.za/DETA%202013%20Speakers%20...

Abstract

Teacher education in Africa has been criticised for being not ‘fit for purpose’ (Verspoor, 2008, Mulkeen, 2010). The TESSA programme was established in 2005 to support teacher education at primary level, and there is evidence that the initial project has made an impact across Sub-Saharan Africa (Harley et al., 2012). This paper describes the TESSA Teaching Lower Secondary Science project, which extends the TESSA approach to secondary schools. Colleagues from five countries worked together to produce 15 units of work to support teacher education. The units are grouped around five pedagogical themes and aim to address some of the challenges faced by secondary teachers. They are based on the belief that student-centred approaches to learning produce the best results and that discussions about how to teach are more productive that discussions about what to teach. The units are now being trialled in the partner institutions and this paper describes some of the activities that have been taking place. Initial impressions are encouraging, but there is much still to be done. We conclude with a review of some of the criticisms of secondary teacher education in Africa and demonstrate how, with carefully planned interventions, the TESSA secondary science resources could begin to address some of these problems, particularly in the field of partnership working.

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