Using technology to accelerate teacher professional development towards achieving SDG 4: Landscape review and research agenda

Project period: June 2018 to February 2019; Extended to May 2019.
Project site/s: All regions
Administration: DL4D, Coalition Secretariat

A landscape review of teacher professional development at scale (TPD@Scale) models across the Global South will be conducted and a research agenda developed to inform governments and implementers in the Global South on the uses of information and communication technologies (ICT) to advance equity, quality, and efficiency in teacher professional development.

The term TPD@Scale as used here derives from learning at scale or L@S, referring to large-scale, ICT-mediated learning environments that engage large numbers of learners, remotely and/or face-to-face, with limited expert intervention. The MOOC (massive open online course) is the most well-known variant of L@S, but other forms exist and are emerging: open courseware, intelligent tutoring systems, learning games, and a variety of peer learning networks and collaborative communities. TPD@Scale focuses on teachers as learners and as part of a professional learning community that engages in continuous teacher professional development, from pre-service teacher education to induction to in-service teacher education. Informed by the principles of effective TPD and depending on the particular contexts of the teachers, teacher education institutions, and schools, approaches to TPD@Scale may be “blended,” combining online and offline methods, modalities, resources, and activities when and where appropriate.

The landscape review will provide a comprehensive overview of the state of ICT-mediated teacher professional development at large scale for primary and secondary education teachers across the Global South. While much is known about the principles of effective teacher professional development, there is significantly less research on models in developing countries that use ICT in some way to apply these principles at scale. The review will also seek to understand the key principles and components of design, development, and deployment of large-scale, ICT-mediated teacher professional development programs in developing country contexts by examining both successful and less successful cases.

The research agenda will prioritize research questions relevant and actionable for governments and implementers interested in employing proven models of TPD@Scale. The development of this agenda will draw from the activities of and insights from the landscape review.

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