Harnessing OER to Develop Teachers: The Guyana Experience

  • Neil Butcher
  • Andrew Moore
  • Sarah Hoosen
Keywords: ICT, development, teachers

Abstract

The Ministry of Education in Guyana has prioritised increasing the number of qualified teachers by providing opportunities to both pre- and in-service teachers to gain relevant qualifications. This paper describes the process used to redesign the teacher training curriculum in Guyana to achieve the goals of a newly-developed ICT Professional Development Strategy. The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT) was central to the redesign process, and was used to review and reorganize the national teacher education curriculum aimed at pre-service teachers. The framework also influenced plans to provide professional development for in-service teachers, and influenced the selection of Open Education Resources (OER) used to develop a new learning environment and the accompanying learning materials for the teaching of ICT in Education. One of the significant lessons learned during this process is that people rather than technology are crucial to transformation. It is essential to have leadership support at the highest levels but also committed champions at all other levels. The process called for the inclusion of local stakeholders who understood and knew how to respond to contextual constraints. Moreover, the process benefited from the use of existing frameworks and the use of cost effective OER to develop the course materials.

Author Biographies

Neil Butcher

Neil Butcher is based in South Africa, from where he provides policy and technical advice and support to a range of national and international clients in educational planning, use of educational technology and distance education, both as a full-time employee at the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) from 1993 to 2001 and as Director of Neil Butcher & Associates. He has worked with various educational institutions, assisting with transformation efforts that focus on effectively harnessing the potential of distance education methods, educational technology, and OER.

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore works at Neil Butcher and Associates as an author, materials developer, instructional designer, web interface designer and educational technology trainer. He is currently managing a number of projects designed to provide capacity to staff at African higher education institutions to design, develop and deploy e-learning solutions. Other projects focus on providing capacity to courseware developers across the continent to identify, adapt, and share Open Education Resources (OER). Andrew has a Masters’ in Education degree specializing in Computer Assisted Education at the University of Pretoria in 2002.

Sarah Hoosen

Sarah Hoosen is a researcher and project manager at Neil Butcher and Associates in Johannesburg where she works on projects in the higher education area, including institutional strategy development and the evaluation of education and technology. She has published widely on distance education and open educational resources. Sarah has a Masters’ Degree in Social Science in Counselling Psychology.

Published
2014-08-14
How to Cite
Butcher, N., Moore, A., & Hoosen, S. (2014). Harnessing OER to Develop Teachers: The Guyana Experience. Journal of Learning for Development , 1(2). Retrieved from https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/2
Section
Reports from the Field