The OER4Schools Professional Learning Resource
"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." John Dewey
This is the professional learning resource of the OER4Schools project at the Centre for Commonwealth Education. For more information about this project, visit the OER4Schools project page. To learn more about the aims and content of the resource, see Overview. If you are planning to use this resource, then do contact us to see whether we can collaborate in some way.
The resource was collaboratively authored, primarily by Sara Hennessy, Bjoern Hassler, Nitu Duggal, Wei Shin Leong, and Janet Blair of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, and Abel Makonga and Agness Tembo of Chalimbana Basic School (Chalimbana, Zambia). Other contributors to specific pages are acknowledged there. A number of aspects of the OER4Schools programme at Chalimbana Basic School have been supported by http://www.aptivate.org.
2 The OER4Schools community
OER4Schools started in Zambia in 2009/2010, and since then has expanded into a number of different countries, including Kenya, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
The OER4Schools is an open programme, and we invite you to participate, and adapt the resource, which can be done right here on our collaborative site. You can have a look at a number of different adaptations adaptations here. To find out more, join our facebook group.
3 Overview of the 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 25 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.
4 Units in the professional learning resource
- Unit 1: Introduction to interactive teaching and the use of ICT
- Unit 2: Whole class dialogue & effective questioning
- Unit 3: Group work
- Unit 4: Assessment for learning and lesson pacing
- Unit 5: Enquiry-based learning and project work
- Unit 6: Into the future
See the detailed outline for more information.
The content is developed collaboratively between our facilitators Abel Makonga and Agness Tembo at Chalimbana Basic School and our team at the Centre for Commonwealth Education. We currently only have English language versions. However, you can use Google Translate to view French, Portuguese, Swahili and other language versions.
You can also join us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/oer4schools/
5 A quick overview
The video below gives an overview of what the resource has to offer and how it has been used and developed:
This video covers both the iSchool initiative and OER4Schools:
6 How to get the resource
The best way to access the resource is through this website (http://www.oer4schools.org), which always has the latest version.
However being able access the resource offline is extremely important for many of our users. A set of PDFs is available:
These are only updated occasionally, but are checked before updating. Alternatively, PDF files generated nightly by our experimental PDF generation process are available here.
Experimental ZIM files are available here.