Teachers and School Management are encouraged to use a research approach to making changes within their school by gathering data on a problem, identifying a possible solution, testing a solution, and then sharing and building upon what they learned from the process.
For example, a Head Teacher might wish to improve students reading. The school might decide to see if increased library time has an impact on student reading performance. They would first collect data on current student performance on reading and usage of the library. They would then implement a change to library usage for a set period, continuing to collect data to determine whether the strategy was successful. Once that cycle of research is complete, results can share and a new cycle of research begins based upon the new information. Ultimately, we want teachers and school management to see school improvement as a continuous process built upon data and evidence.
In South Sudan, 78% of primary school teachers haven’t completed teacher training and there are limited opportunities for them to improve their skills while serving as teachers. The idea of action research is that it empowers teachers with the tools to take a leading role in testing ideas they think would improve learning, teaching, and school management.
Action Research is a proven approach in the UK education system and part of teacher’s continued professional development. However, it will be an entirely new approach in South Sudan. We think it has huge potential because it will allow teachers to be leaders of their own development and doesn’t assume all schools have the exact same challenges/problems.
As with all programming, our aim through this project is to help strengthen the National and State education system. Over 100 Ministry of Education staff will be trained to deliver the teacher training and on-going support, reaching approximately 250 teachers and 12,000 primary school pupil across 5 states of South Sudan.
AET has been chosen as the implementing partner for the Action Research Project which is part of the wider the Global Partnership in Education (GPE) Programme in South Sudan. The GPE Programme supports vulnerable children and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries to access quality primary education. AET will be working together with UNICEF and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan to support school staff and teachers in the selected 25 primary schools in using the action research approach.