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

Rhonda Di Biase


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.


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

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