This week we profile Chapter 8 of the ROER4D edited volume by Freda Wolfenden, Pritee Auckloo, Alison Buckler and Jane Cullen.
Titled, Teacher educators and OER in East Africa: Interrogating pedagogic change, this chapter examines the use of OER in in six East African teacher education institutions in Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda. The study examines how and when teacher educators engage with OER, the factors that support and constrain sustained OER engagement, and the influence of such engagement on teaching practice.
Based on data provided by 58 survey respondents and in-depth in interviews with 36 teacher educators and six institutional stakeholders, findings indicate that teacher educators’ understanding and use of OER is highly fragmented, with little traction at department or institutional level. At all the study sites there was dissonance between the ways in which individual educators are using OER and the dominant institutional values and discourse. There were also numerous structural and cultural factors acting to limit agency with regard to OER use. The demands of curriculum and assessment, professional identity, digital skills, provision of equipment and connectivity, values and weak cultures of collaboration all exerted an influence and enabled or constrained teacher educators’ efforts to achieve agency with OER.
The authors recommend that attention should be given to issues of access so that educators are able to locate and view OER relatively easily and experiment with their use. They also recommend that time be made available for educators to enhance their digital literacy skills and to become familiar with principles of learning design such that these become integral dimensions of their professional identity.
Visit the sub-project web page to access more detail on the study, other outputs and a video interview with Lead Researcher Freda Wolfenden.