DEIJ Critical Issues

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Professional Learning Matters


“Schools assume that all African teachers are left in the past and need to be trained from scratch, but we’re not. We know about inquiry, personalised learning and standards-based assessment; that’s why we want to work in international schools”
Host Nation Teacher

Challenging Inequities in Host Nation Teachers’ Professional Learning

With their numbers rising to an all-time high in AISA schools, host nation teachers matter more now than ever. They will matter more in the future as they become an ever-larger proportion of the international school workforce in our region. Yet the value of host nation teachers is not seen in their experience of professional learning.

Access to professional learning opportunities is crucial for the growth and development of teachers and improved student success, regardless of location or background. However, host nation teachers in international schools in Africa can face specific challenges regarding access to professional learning compared to their international-hired colleagues. In my doctoral research in international schools in our region, I found three common inequities faced by host nation teachers. These are:

  1. Less funding for professional learning
  2. Less agency over professional learning
  3. Less access to professional learning

Graham completed his doctoral studies at University College London (UCL), consistently judged to be among the top ten universities in the world (QS Rankings). His thesis title is “Host Nation Teachers’ Professional Development in International Schools in Ghana” where he explored teachers’ experiences and perceptions of professional development. Graham’s findings found some host nation teachers can face inequitable access to, funding for and agency over their PD when compared to international-hired teachers. However, there were examples of schools implementing PD programmes specifically aimed at preparing host nation teachers for middle and senior leadership positions.

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