Pedagogic renewal and the development of teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Ghana

Olu Fagbemi, Ellen Louise (2016) Pedagogic renewal and the development of teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Ghana. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This study examined the pedagogic practices of primary teachers in Ghana. The major goal was to identify innovative pedagogic practices, as well as to understand why the transmission practices continue to prevail in a majority of Ghanaian primary classrooms. Using a qualitative approach, the study tried to probe deeply into how and why teachers in Ghana engage with their practices, at the same time, how and where teachers manage to better support their learners in the face of their contextual difficulties.

The theoretical framework for this study was based on Schulman’s theory on teacher knowledge. Schulman proposed that, for teachers to be able to support their learners, they must be able to combine content knowledge, curricular knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): of the three he argued that it was PCK that teachers needed most in order to make sense of teaching. Thus this study has examined what constitutes teacher knowledge in Ghana and found that, primary teachers add on the traditional and cultural knowledge systems to teaching and learning processes in Ghana.

The major instruments used for the study were observations and interviews. The study employed two stages of observations; the first stage of unstructured lesson observations of 40 teachers revealed pedagogic variations (supportive and unsupportive) in Ghanaian classrooms. The second stage of structured lesson observations enabled categorizations of the pedagogic practices. Follow-up interviews unearthed teachers’ views and understanding of their practices.

The analysis of the study revealed two categories of primary teachers in Ghana; the traditional and innovative. All teachers in the study relied on the traditional and cultural knowledge systems; but whilst a majority (36 out of 40) validated their transmission rote practices from the culture, there were a few (6 out of 40) who had deeply reflected on the positive aspects of the culture making learning more flexible and supportive for their children.

The study concludes that teachers in Ghana would experience more successes in their classrooms when they begin to embrace fully the positive aspects of the cultural knowledge. They will also begin to find alternative strategies to address the contextual challenges they often encounter in their classrooms. Therefore the learner’s cultural background ought to be promoted and embedded in the teaching as it stands as an all-inclusive and empowering agenda for the teaching practice. Teachers and learners alike have common goals and ideas that bond them so their familiarity with the indigenous culture would yield very much desired positive learning outcomes in the learners.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice)
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG401 Africa > LG480 West Africa > LG497 Ghana
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 14:52
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 06:49

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