IDRC-Early Childhood Project
Teacher Capacity Building for Play-Based Early Learning in Ghana and Sierra Leone (February 2022 to present)
This is a KIX/GPE and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supported research project being conducted by the Institute for Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana and Associates for Change in Ghana along with the Division of Education Studies, University of Sierra Leone. The KIX IDRC research seeks to bring together multiple stakeholders in early childhood education in Ghana and Sierra Leone to enhance the capacity of teachers to implement innovations in play-based learning at early childhood levels of education. These innovations in play-based approaches will assess the shift in teaching towards more play-based approaches by evaluating the teaching and learning outcomes across a variety of schools in urban and rural schools along with the cost of implementation. The purpose is to generate evidence of what works to improve classroom practice of play-based learning in early childhood education in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
The overarching objective of the study is to explore how the selected education innovations can help close the trained teacher gap at early childhood education levels and within community-based learning centres particularly in rural and extreme poverty zones across Ghana and Sierra Leone.
Ghana Literature Review: Building Teachers’ Capacity to Enhance Early Learning -Through Play Based Approaches In Ghana And Sierra Leone (Nov, 2022)
This literature review investigates the significance of early childhood education (ECE) in Ghana and the need for a coordinated effort among key stakeholders including government and civil society in order to improve the conditions for learning. The Literature review serves as a comprehensive background study to the research project “ improving teachers’ capacity to enhance early learning through play-based approaches in Ghana and Sierra Leone”. The review provides an overview of the current state of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Ghana, and discussing the challenges faced by the sector. The literature review also explores the Ghanaian government’s policies and initiatives, such as the National Gender and Children Policy and the two-year kindergarten education program, which aims to improve ECE and implement play-based learning approaches. The review focuses on the value of play-based pedagogies in promoting children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as the challenges faced by teachers in implementing such approaches. Additionally, it examines interventions by NGOs such as Sabre Education, Lively Minds, FHI 360-USAID Partnership, and Right to Play, which aim to enhance ECE quality by building the capacity of pre-service teachers and providing training on early years education. These interventions also aim to empower KG teachers, volunteer mothers, parents, and caregivers to improve the teaching and learning experience in preschools. The review provides detailed insights into the objectives, interventions, and outcomes of these NGOs’ programs, designed to address the challenges faced by ECE in Ghana. Overall, it highlights the importance of play-based approaches in enhancing early learning and the role of NGOs in building teachers’ capacity to deliver quality ECE in Ghana.
Teacher Capacity Building for Play-based Early Learning in Ghana and Sierra Leone Project Overview/Policy Brief, May 2023
This Policy Brief presents an overview of the research design that aims to enhance the capacity of teachers to implement play-based learning in early childhood education in Ghana and Sierra Leone. The project uses a mixed-methods research approach, which involves qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The study evaluates the effectiveness of play-based approaches in improving teaching and learning outcomes in a variety of schools in urban and rural areas. The project also aims to generate evidence of what works to improve classroom practice of play-based learning in early childhood education in Ghana and Sierra Leone. The research study engages stakeholders in civil society organizations and government agencies to promote policy development and support the dialogue on building early childhood teachers’ capacity to enhance learning through Play-Based Approaches.
Presentation to IDRC/KIX and the Global Partnership on Education (GPE): on Study Preliminary Findings on Building Teachers’ Capacity to Enhance Early Learning in Ghana and Sierra Leone (February, 2023)
This presentation is an overview of preliminary findings of the first phase of the exploratory research which is part of the qualitative studies. The presentation gives an overview of existing play-based innovations in Ghana and Sierra Leone; their value addition compared to schools which do not implement Play based approaches, and how teachers are adapting to the changes in the new early learning curriculum. The study highlights the key findings on teacher development and usage of TLMS, lesson content, gender and social inclusion practices. It also outlines the key lessons learned for both Sierra Leone and Ghana in relation to PBAs. The study concludes that the use of play-based approaches and child-focused teaching can significantly improve the conditions of learning at the early childhood education level if mainstreamed in the curriculum and at teacher training pre service levels.
The Early Learning Study on Play based Methods and teacher capacity in Ghana: Qualitative component at school/community base (March 2023)
This study aims to investigate the potential of selected education innovations to address the gap in teacher training within early childhood education (ECE) and community-based learning centers, particularly in rural and extremely poverty zones of Ghana and Sierra Leone. The findings of this report contribute valuable evidence regarding the implementation of play-based approaches to enhance early learning. The study findings reveal that the interventions had a positive impact on teachers’ capacity to implement play-based learning, resulting in increased student engagement, gender sensitivity and improved learning outcomes. Specifically, the PBA interventions enhanced teachers’ confidence and skills in implementing play-based learning strategies while addressing gender biases in the classroom. Moreover, these interventions successfully mobilized stakeholders, including parents, communities, and education authorities, to support play-based learning and ensure its sustainability and scalability. Furthermore, the study sheds light on the significance of play-based approaches in ECE and provided recommendations for enhancing early childhood education in Ghana. These recommendations encompass strengthening teacher training programs, mobilizing key stakeholders, investing in play-based methodologies, and ensuring that policies and programs are sensitive to gender and inclusion considerations. Ultimately, the study underscores the potential of play-based learning to positively impact young children’s learning outcomes and emphasizes the importance of gender and inclusion-sensitive approaches in early childhood education. By implementing the recommendations derived from this study, policymakers and educators can strive to close the gap in teacher training, improve the quality of ECE, and foster positive learning outcomes for children in Ghana.