Studying the Scaling of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) for English Language Learning

IT for Change is conducting research on ‘Studying the Scaling of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) for English Language Learning’. This action research project studies how the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework (TPACK) can be used to up-scale TPD. The framework describes three main components of teachers’ knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. The forms of flexible knowledge required to successfully incorporate technology use into education are produced by the interaction of these bodies of knowledge, both theoretically and practically. The research will develop Communities of Practice (CoPs) of these teachers - a group of people who share a common concern or an interest in a topic and who come together to share best practices and create new knowledge. These CoPs will ensure sustained support to TPD, enabling sharing of ideas, experiences, resources, and connecting the TPD to teacher contexts. The aim of these two components is to improve the quality of content created by teachers and strengthen their pedagogical beliefs and practices towards equity and social inclusion which is essential to improve the quality of education in schools.

The research is being undertaken as part of the the Empowering Teachers Initiative: TPD@Scale (ETI), with funding support from International Research Development Centre (IDRC). It is a program that seeks to improve teacher practices in the Global South by improving equity, quality, and efficiency in teacher professional development (TPD) systems. It intends to 1) understand how to effectively and efficiently scale quality TPD in the global south, 2) strengthen the capacity of in-country education stakeholders to scale quality TPD programs, and 3) contribute to evidence-informed policy and practices for inclusive and effective TPD.

The research project explores the following themes:
    • Scaling and sustaining teacher-driven models of professional collaboration
    • Understanding localizations in large-scale TPD programs

Employing mixed methods in data collection and analysis, it will study factors that would promote equity in TPD and enable the contextual upscaling of the program, in terms of depth, sustainability, and ownership. Online surveys of around 1,200 teachers across Kerala and Karnataka will provide quantitative information. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions with select teachers, trainers, and district and state functionaries, participatory observation of TPD events, reviews of reflective journals, and interaction amongst the CoPs’ virtual forums, will provide the qualitative complement. The TPD and research is proposed to be conducted in two cycles to deepen understanding of the possibilities and challenges in upscaling the TPD model. The findings and outputs from this research would inform public discourse on school and teacher education and could also have implications for education policy. IT for Change will further strengthen its global network on education through this project.


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