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Improving Primary Teacher Education: A Malawi Case

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Across sub-Saharan Africa, it is becoming very clear that many, many children are not learning basic skills in primary schools. There are multiple reasons, but recent seminars in the faculty (Bob Moon and John Pryor/Jo Westbrook) have indicated that the inadequate preparation of primary teachers is a significant factor. This seminar should build on the earlier contributions through reporting on work currently being undertaken in Malawi with the primary teachers colleges and their partnership schools, with a particular focus on the school-based second year spent in often struggling primary schools. Issues to do with demography, funding and sustainability will be considered. Early evaluation findings will be reported.

Terry Allsop worked for many years as a science teacher and teacher educator – in the UK, Hong Kong and Uganda. Of these, seventeen years were served in the Oxford University Department of Educational Studies, at a time of considerable experimentation there in school-focused teacher education. He led the Oxford contribution to the creation of the Institute for Educational Development at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, and spent sabbatical time studying science teaching in China. He left Oxford to join the Department for International Development as a senior education adviser, with responsibilities in various African programmes and as manager of the department’s educational research. His final full-time post was as the second Director of the International Research Foundation for Open Learning, based here in Cambridge. He has decided that retirement is a silly idea, recently working in a number of conflict or post-conflict environments.

This talk is part of the Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) series.

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