• The Open University
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Making Teacher Education Relevant for 21st Century Africa

Play your part in transforming education in Africa - get teachers ready for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

7,072 enrolled on this course

A teacher in an African classroom using active learning with his children
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Help African teachers use active learning and ICT in the classroom

Major changes are needed in African schools to raise achievement and cope with rapidly increasing student numbers. Learner-centred approaches, improved internet connectivity and the recent UNESCO ICT competency framework provide opportunities to do this.

This online course will help those who work with or train teachers in Africa make these changes happen. You’ll find out how to incorporate open educational resources (OERs) into teacher education, and help teachers use active learning and ICT.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds SPEAKER 1: Welcome to the Tessa course, “Making Teacher Education Relevant Within 21st Century Africa.”

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds SPEAKER 2: Remember the sustainable development goal for education– ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds SPEAKER 1: Now, all of us must focus on the quality of the classroom experience. And that means that your role as a teacher educator and your own professional development have never been more important.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds SPEAKER 2: And never so visible to the scrutiny of others.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds KRIS STUTCHBURY: Welcome. As a teacher educator, it’s your role to prepare student teachers for a career in education, and to support experienced teachers in their professional development. To do this, you need to model effective teaching for the 21st century. And this course will show you how to do that. And it will fit into your working life. You can study on a computer, whenever you want to, and even on your mobile smartphone.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds SPEAKER 1: Over the next four weeks, you will work with experts. They will engage you in the big questions and issues in teacher education across sub-Saharan Africa. You will develop your own practise so you can meet your government policy aspirations.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds SPEAKER 2: You will learn about open education resources.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds SPEAKER 1: Or OER for short.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds SPEAKER 2: Focusing on the TESSA approach and materials. These learning materials were developed in partnership with colleagues across Africa, and have been adopted by them for their own countries.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds SPEAKER 1: TESSA OER are available in English, French, Kiswahili, and Arabic.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds SPEAKER 2: You will discover, explore, and use appropriate and accessible technologies–

Skip to 2 minutes and 6 seconds SPEAKER 1: –so you can help your teachers make their classroom activities more engaging and more successful.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 seconds KRIS STUTCHBURY: So join us, work with us in online discussions and tasks. Help yourself to help your teachers, and help them to develop more learner-centered approaches to teaching. Take the lead in improving teacher education in Africa. Make it fit for the 21st century.

What topics will you cover?

  • Examine what is meant by ‘learner-centred education’;
  • Focus on the ‘how’ of active teaching and learning and learner-centred education;
  • Introduce the UNESCO ICT Competency framework for teachers, and exploring the role of teacher educators in supporting teachers to enact these practices;
  • Provide examples of classroom practice which draws on ICT to support learning;
  • Introduce OER in general and, TESSA in particular, as a way of supporting their own work and the work of pre-service and in-service teachers in developing active approaches to teaching and learning.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop a plan to incorporate ICT tools and OER into your own practice to support the learning of the teachers and student teachers you are working with
  • Explain how ICT tools can be used to enhance teacher learning and promote active learning in school
  • Engage with the TESSA OER and identify ways in which they can be integrated into your teaching
  • Collect specific examples to show how ICT can be integrated into classroom teaching to enhance learning
  • Explore and evaluate OER repositories that that are relevant to your practice and support active teaching and learning
  • Collaborate with colleagues in order to review practice in your institution
  • Explain and demonstrate the values and practices that support learner-centred education

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who works with or trains pre-service or in-service teachers in Africa, including teacher educators, headteachers, education officers, lecturers, tutors, and teachers working together to provide peer-support. You’ll learn with The Open University’s TESSA network, which has provided free, digital resources to African teachers since 2008.

Who will you learn with?

Kris is a University-based teacher educator and researcher, with 20 years classroom experience. She is Academic Director of TESSA and teaches on the Open University, Masters in Education programme.

Dr. Liz Chamberlain is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, where she is Programme Leader for the Education Studies degree. Liz is passionate about working with students & teacher educators.

I have been working in teacher education, both in-service and initial programmes, for over 25 years. As well as my UK work, I have been involved with international projects in India, and Africa.

A retired Senior Lecturer at The Open University, I have been working in initial and continuing teacher education for over 25 years in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, French & English speaking Africa

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020


Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, TESSA, is a collaborative network to help you improve your practice as a teacher or teacher educator.

What's included?

The Open University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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