thumb 232Source : TESSA

TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) provides collaboratively developed open educational resources (OERs) for teachers and teacher educators to support active learning methods and reflective practice.

Many Governments across the world have decided that teaching in schools should be ‘student-centred’ or ‘learner-centred’, and this is incorporated into policy documents. Teachers learn about the theory behind ‘student-centred learning’ in college, but the evidence is that they find it very difficult to put into practice. The TESSA materials help teachers to develop ‘student-centred’ approaches, and evidence from across the TESSA consortium shows that the TESSA materials make lessons more interesting, and in many places have led to improved attendance.

The TESSA teaching lower secondary science materials were developed by a team of teacher educators drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia, co-ordinated by The Open University, UK.
Initially, the group agreed a description of an effective secondary science teacher (Appendix 1). From this description, five pedagogical themes were identified covering the attributes, skills, knowledge and attitudes an effective science teacher needs to develop.

The five pedagogical themes are:

  • probing understanding
  • making science practical
  • making science relevant and real
  • creativity and problem solving
  • dealing with challenging ideas in science

One science topic was chosen for each theme from physics, chemistry and biology giving a total of 15 units of work. The units do not attempt to cover the whole of the curriculum, but once teachers start to use the units and try out the pedagogic themes, they will begin to adapt the activities for other parts of the curriculum.

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