“… by Seeking Help I Became Equipped, Skilled and Enlightened”: Ugandan Tutors’ Stories, Identities and Spaces for Professional Development in Teacher Colleges.

Buckler, Alison; Stutchbury, Kris; Kasule, George; Kaiije, Doris and Cullen, Jane (2019). “… by Seeking Help I Became Equipped, Skilled and Enlightened”: Ugandan Tutors’ Stories, Identities and Spaces for Professional Development in Teacher Colleges. In: Pan Commonwealth Forum 9, 2019. Conference Proceedings, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada, article no. 237.

Abstract

The title of this paper is taken from a story written by Norah Nakitto, a tutor at Jinja Primary Teachers’ College (PTC) in Uganda. Like a majority of stories generated during a storytelling research project with Ugandan tutors, Norah’s focuses on professi onal learning. In this paper we explore tutor learning and professional identity in the context of national programmes promoting more inclusive and equitable teaching at the primary level (MOES 2019, UNAPD 2019), which have an impact on how tutors are expe cted to work. We draw on an analysis of 39 stories from research led by the TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub - Saharan Africa) programme in collaboration with Kyambogo University. The study was initiated to understand the impact of a TESSA - MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on tutors’ practices. However, the early stages of the research suggested that, despite well - articulated examples of impact from those who had engaged with it, uptake in the Ugandan PTCs was limited; none of the tutors who participated in t he storytelling strand were aware of the MOOC. As these tutors worked in colleges where staff members had participated in a workshop to introduce the MOOC, this raised questions about knowledge - sharing. The research focus shifted to learning and collaboration in colleges to better understand the mechanisms for knowledge sharing, and the research design was adapted accordingly.

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