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Publication - Dr Rafael Mitchell

    Student organisation as a facet of teaching quality in sub-Saharan Africa

    evidence to inform the World Bank’s Teach observation instrument


    Mitchell, R, 2019, ‘Student organisation as a facet of teaching quality in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence to inform the World Bank’s Teach observation instrument’.


    In a global policy context which calls for ‘inclusive and equitable quality education…for all’ (SDG4), this paper considers the potential of the World Bank’s new Teach instrument to promote inclusive education in sub-Saharan Africa. Teach was developed for use in low- and middle-income countries as a means of collecting data on classroom practices at scale and identifying individual teachers’ professional development needs. It takes the form of an observation checklist to ‘distinguish between effective and ineffective teaching’ (Molina et al. 2018a). The potential of this tool to promote inclusive practices will be of interest to policy actors, practitioners, researchers and others working in the region.

    There is an understandable appeal to developing a single instrument for measuring teaching quality around the world; however, the specification of ‘effective teaching’ in any particular context requires recognition of local socio-cultural and material realities. Analysis of the Teach framework reveals minimal engagement with evidence from classrooms in sub-Saharan Africa. A review of research from the region highlights the organisation of students as an important factor in the inclusiveness of provision, and the key role played by students themselves in supporting the learning of disadvantaged peers, including children with disabilities and linguistic minorities. Recommendations are made for incorporating these overlooked elements in future revisions of the Teach instrument, and for further research into peer support practices in the region.

    Full details in the University publications repository