REFLECTIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS DURING THE USE OF OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
University of Education, Winneba (GHANA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:This paper looks at the reflective learning experiences that primary school teachers go through as a way of assessing improvement in their practice during the use of open educational resources (OER). The assumption is that OERs have the potential to impact on teachers pedagogical skills as they (teachers) encounter innovative ways of teaching and learning, and collaborate with their colleagues during and after training workshops. This influence is expected to improve both their pedagogical skills and professional practices. But the issue is: to what extent has this been realized? Ten (10) primary school teachers who participated in the use of open educational resources developed by the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) consortium at a training workshop, were purposively sampled to keep a reflective journal of their learning experiences over a period of time. They were to share their new insights gained during the use of the resources with the professional community of practice. Interviews and observations were instruments used in collecting data from the cohort. Using phenomenology as a method and content analysis approach, the 'stories' of these teachers were analyzed and the findings corroborated with the literature. It emerged that the teachers had positive impressions about OER, its popularity, usefulness and influence on students' learning. However, lack of effective collaboration, cooperation and communication skills as well as reflective writing skills hindered the sharing of their gains with the professional community. The recommendation is that further exposure and strategies in reflective writing should be given to primary school teachers.
Keywords: Reflective learning, reflective practice, open educational resources, pedagogical skills and professional community.