In search of Sustainable Transformative Partnerships between HEIs and Schools in Mozambique A Shakespearean Interpretation of the conditions needed to create CPD opportunities for teachers

Fletcher, Colleen
(2020) In search of Sustainable Transformative Partnerships between HEIs and Schools in Mozambique A Shakespearean Interpretation of the conditions needed to create CPD opportunities for teachers. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

[img] Text
Final after Viva Feb 2020PDF.pdf - Unspecified

Download (1MB) | Preview


PROLOGUE We know what we are, but know not what we may be. Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5 Education in Mozambique is amongst the lowest in Africa with one recent report ranking it 52nd out of 54 countries. Continuing professional development (CPD) for existing teachers is one way to improve teacher efficacy but funding remains inadequate. Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and schools to develop and support CPD could be an additional solution to facilitate improved quality of teaching but the Mozambican context presents significant challenges for such partnerships. This research had intended to establish and evaluate a transformative partnership to co-create CPD programmes that would have had the potential for greater sustainability than transactional partnerships that are influenced by power imbalances. It was planned as a Participatory Action Research (PAR) involving volunteers from two HEIs and from private and public schools in the Maputo district. However, rapid attrition from the HEIs undermined the intended partnerships and the research then shifted to an investigation of the challenges in developing sustainable educational partnerships. Qualitative data for this PAR was collected during and after planned collaborative sessions with contributions from the original participants in those sessions and from a wider selection of Mozambican educators. The key themes emerging from the data were: (i) the politicisation of education; (ii) teacher agency (action); (iii) opportunities for advancement or change through partnerships; (iv) equity and power differentials in a hierarchy. The data was initially viewed through the lens of Mezirow’s transformative learning theories. However, the focus on relationships did not fully explain the challenges of these attempted partnerships. A grounded theory approach was taken and illustrated through the use of the Elizabethan Chain of Being, a conservative socio-political hierarchical theory popularised by Shakespeare in his tragedies and history plays. This theory supports the correlation between the prominent themes that emerged from the study; that being the relationship between the fixed hierarchy in the educational system (including the politicising of education and equity and power differentials) and the level of teacher agency within that hierarchy and how that relationship influences the potential for change through partnerships. It highlights the need to understand and address the impact of the entrenched hierarchical power structures in the Mozambican education system and the impact it has on opportunities for advancement or change, and equity and power differentials. The research suggests that typical models of educational partnerships in Mozambique need to be re-imagined if they are to be sustainable and transformative. They need to be developed over time to establish the trust that is necessary to overcome political concerns and thus allow for an environment conducive to co-creating opportunities for CPD. The research concludes by questioning perceptions of partnerships in the Mozambican context (and by implication the wider context of Sub-Saharan Africa) and cautions the researcher attempting PAR in a hierarchical context in particular to be mindful of their own context and the assumptions that they bring to the research. It concludes with identifying opportunities for further studies regarding context-specific understandings of partnerships in education and possible ways of implementing transformative partnerships within those contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 10:24
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:55
DOI: 10.17638/03082286
  • Watts, Michael