This program was piloted with support from the Innovation for Education Fund, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, managed by Cambridge Education
This project piloted the innovative ‘Active Learning Method’ of teaching – which could improve the quality of education in Rwandan basic education. The Active Learning Method (ALM) involves learners doing something and then reflecting on what it is that they have done. It seeks to improve learners’ critical thinking, problem solving and comprehension skills. The project involved training in-service teachers and pre-service teacher trainers to use more active learning methods in the classroom. Teachers engage in an ongoing ‘ALM cycle’ of monitoring, sharing and improving. During the ‘monitoring’ stage, teachers are being filmed in their own classroom and observed by other education staff using ALM classroom observation schedules. At the ‘sharing’ stage, reflection and discussion takes place based on the videos and classroom observations, and the strong points and areas for further development are discussed. At the ‘improvement’ stage, Teachers (in-service) and Tutors at Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) (pre-service) then identify for themselves which areas they will work on to strengthen their capacity, with support provided by the project.
The pilot was implemented in 16 schools and 3 TTCs across five districts in Northern, Eastern and Western Province. Training was provided for 48 primary teachers, 12 TTC tutors and 6 Sector Education Officers (SEOs). The number of students reached was 7,835 in primary and 1,724 in secondary.
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CEI approaches in action
- Red een Kind to provide an advisory document to the Ministry, which can be used in Technical Working Group and Task Force meetings, on the ‘key ingredients of a good TPD programme’, which can help the further operationalisation and implementation of the new TDM policy (MINEDUC can use this in conjunction with ndings from other IfE projects).
- Red een Kind, REB TDM and the College of Education should continue their discussions about embedding ALM approaches, methods and techniques in REB teacher training programmes, both pre-service and in-service.
- If implemented in ‘project mode’ during the next 3 years, Red een Kind will need to find scale up funding. Even when working in ‘project mode’, it may be worth thinking about having a broader in-service support programme with involvement from a wider group of IfE GRs, all working in the area of continuous TPD, rather than a variety of different initiatives with similar objectives.
- DFID to consider supporting a wider teacher training initiative as part of the next sector programme.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The evaluation design was quasi-experimental (control and treatment groups evaluated at baseline and end-line) using mixed methods with quantitative indicators for changes in learner outcomes, learner transition rates and teacher knowledge, attitudes and reported practices, classroom observations and qualitative data from interviews and Focus Group Discussions.
The results were mixed with no significant difference in learner outcomes between the treatment and control group schools using school examination data. The question whether examinations are the best measurement and the time it takes to change learning outcomes may be explaining factors. However, the qualitative findings indicate that teachers use more ALMs at end-line than baseline, and involve students in more activity-based learning. There is no evident impact yet on teacher self-reported knowledge, attitudes and practice of ALM. TTC tutors and SEOs responded positively to the training.This was a carefully designed, though not large study, with problems of lack of check on reliability of examination and observational data. The analysis of data does not consistently compare the control and treatment group improvements from baseline to end-line.