Learning from a small state’s experience: Acknowledging the importance of context in implementing learner-centred pedagogy

Rhonda Di Biase

Abstract


The challenges of implementing learner-centred pedagogies have been well documented, noting that many reform efforts fail to consider important contextual factors.  With attention to the disparity between policy and practice, this study investigated the conditions under which teachers can enact learner-centred pedagogy in the Maldives using design-based research.  This is a theoretically oriented, participatory methodology exploring practical solutions in real-world settings. Working collaboratively with teachers from an island school, a pedagogical intervention based on learner-centred principles, was designed to fit the Maldivian context.  This article discusses the process of implementing the intervention, the challenges influencing its use, and the particular contextual factors impacting on learner-centred reform.  Analyses of the research data and the reflection on the research process highlighted the importance of addressing the particularities of small states in the implementation process and reinforced the need for close attention to contextual factors within reform efforts.


Keywords


design-based research; participatory research; learner-centred pedagogy; implementation; context, reform

Full Text:

PDF

References


Altinyelken, H. K. (2010). Pedagogical renewal in sub‐Saharan Africa: the case of Uganda. Comparative Education, 46(2), 151-171. doi: 10.1080/03050061003775454

Altinyelken, H. K. (2011). Student‐centred pedagogy in Turkey: conceptualisations, interpretations and practices. Journal of Education Policy, 26(2), 137-160. doi: 10.1080/02680939.2010.504886

Aronson, E. (1978). The jigsaw classroom.

Bacchus, M. K. (2008). The education challenges facing small nation states in the increasingly competitive global economy of the twenty‐first century. Comparative Education, 44(2), 127-145. doi: 10.1080/03050060802040953

Brown, J., & Isaacs, D. (2005). The World Café : shaping our futures through conversations that matter (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Casale, C. F. (2010). Adapting Active Learning in Ethiopia. ProQuest LLC.

Chisholm, L., & Leyendecker, R. (2008). Curriculum reform in post-1990s sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 28(2), 195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2007.04.003

Courtney, J. (2008). Do monitoring and evaluation tools, designed to measure the improvement in the quality of primary education, constrain or enhance educational development? International Journal of Educational Development, 28(5), 546-559.

Crossley, M. (2010). Context matters in educational research and international development: Learning from the small states experience. [Article]. Prospects (00331538), 40(4), 421-429. doi: 10.1007/s11125-010-9172-4

Crossley, M., Bray, M., & Packer, S. (2011). Education in small states : policies and priorities. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Dale, R. (2005). Development Planning Concepts And Tools For Planners, Managers And Facilitators: Academic Foundation.

Di Biase, R. (2010). The role of textbooks in active learning reform Learning and Teaching: An International Journal in Classroom Pedagogy, 3(1), 39-53.

Dimmock, C. A. J. (2000). Designing the learning-centred school : a cross-cultural perspective. London ; New York: Falmer Press.

Farrugia, C. J., & Attard, P. A. (1989). The multi-functional administrator: Educational development in the small states of the Commonwealth. . London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2008). Better learning through structured teaching : a framework for the gradual release of responsibility. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Ginsburg, M. (2010). Improving educational quality through active-learning pedagogies: A comparison of five case studies. Educational Research, 1(3), 62-74.

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1999). Learning together and alone : cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Johnson, S., Hodges, M., & Monk, M. (2000). Teacher Development and Change in South Africa: A critique of the appropriateness of transfer of northern/western practice. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 30(2), 179-192. doi: 10.1080/713657456

Maguire, P. (1987). Doing participatory research: A feminist approach: Center for International Education, School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA.

McKenney, S. E., & Reeves, T. C. (2012). Conducting educational design research. London: Routledge.

McLaughlin, J. M. (2011). Lost in translation: Partnerships for authentic education in Papua New Guinea. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 10(2).

McNair, S. (2009). Child Friendly Schools Perception Study. Male: UNICEF, Maldives Country Office.

Mdee, A. (2010). Who speaks for the community? Negotiating Agency and Voice in community-based research in Tanzania. In A. Ozerdem & R. Bowd (Eds.), Participatory research methodologies: Development and post-disaster/conflict reconstruction (pp. 29-44).

Farnham, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Mohammed, R. F., & Harlech-Jones, B. (2008). The fault is in ourselves: looking at 'failures in implementation'. [Article]. Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, 38(1), 39-51. doi: 10.1080/03057920701420825

Nykiel-herbert, B. (2004). Mis-Constructing Knowledge: The Case of Learner-Centred Pedagogy in South Africa. Prospects, 34(3), 249.

O'Sullivan, M. (2004). The reconceptualisation of learner-centred approaches: a Namibian case study. International Journal of Educational Development, 24(6), 585-602. doi: 10.1016/s0738-0593(03)00018-x

O'Toole, J., & Beckett, D. (2009). Educational research : creative thinking and doing. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

O’Sullivan, M. (2004). The reconceptualisation of learner-centred approaches: a Namibian case study. International Journal of Educational Development, 24(6), 585-602. doi: 10.1016/s0738-0593(03)00018-x

Ozerdem, A., & Bowd, R. (2010). Participatory research methodologies : development and post-disaster/conflict reconstruction. Farnham, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Pamphilon, B. (2006). Changes that matter: A participatory approach to monitoring and evaluation in the Pacific. Paper presented at the Australian Evaluation Society International Conference, Darwin, Australia.

Royle, S. A. (2001). A geography of islands : small island insularity. London ; New York: Routledge.

Schweisfurth, M. (2011). Learner-centred education in developing country contexts: From solution to problem? International Journal of Educational Development, 31(5), 425-432. doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.03.005

Stuart, J., Akyeampong, K., & Croft, A. (2009). Key Issues in Teacher Education: a sourcebook for teacher educators in developing countries: Macmillan Education.

UNESCO, E. (2004). Global Monitoring Report 2005, The quality imperative, . Paris.

van den Akker, J. J. H. (2002). The added value of development research for educational development in developing countries. In K. Osaki, W. Ottevanger, C. Uiso & J. J. H. van den Akker (Eds.), Science education research and teacher development in Tanzania (pp. 51-68). Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit.

van der Werf, G., Creemers, B., De Jong, R., & Klaver, E. (2000). Evaluation of School Improvement through an Educational Effectiveness Model: The Case of Indonesia's PEQIP Project. Comparative education review, 44(3), 329-355.