Teacher learning in Sudan: building dialogue around teachers' practices through reflective photography

Wolfenden, Freda and Buckler, Alison (2014). Teacher learning in Sudan: building dialogue around teachers' practices through reflective photography. In: Miles, Susie and Howes, Andy eds. Photography in Educational Research: Critical Reflections from Diverse Contexts. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 79–95.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804158549...


Little is understood about the ways in which individual teachers make sense of new ideas within their practice and how such experiences influence their beliefs about learning, particularly in low-income country contexts with different histories of teacher education and professional learning. In common with many countries in Sub Saharan Africa until very recently a considerable proportion of the primary school teachers in Sudan had received no formal training for their role. But as the Government implements a commitment to make teaching a graduate profession, many serving teachers are enrolled on part-time degree programmes.

Ten student teachers in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, who were in the final year of their degree programme, were encouraged to take a series of photographs signifying changes in their practice over a period of several weeks. In a follow–up interview with researchers from the UK and Sudan each teacher was invited to select significant images from their set and discuss their intention in capturing that moment. In this chapter we explore the challenges and potential of using photography in this way in a cross–cultural research project and, drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach (1999), we consider the extent to which its use enhanced our knowledge of how teachers develop a deeper understanding of new pedagogic approaches.

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