Student participation and learning in science and mathematics are essential to their full participation in society and the economy. However, low teacher capacities to teach math and science is a key barrier to quality education in these subjects. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) supports teacher professional development (TPD) and has broadened innovative possibilities for teacher capacity strengthening. At the same time, these approaches must respond to diverse contexts in low-income countries to be effective. The project, Connected learning for teacher capacity building in STEM, tests and adapts the Connected Learning Initiative (clix.tiss.edu), strengthening TPD by adapting open education resources and supporting an online community of practice for middle and secondary STEM teachers.
Teacher educators from Nigeria, Bhutan, and Tanzania collaborated with subject experts from the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) to create 12 online TPD modules in math and science, combined with one module that addressed common pedagogical principles and practices to follow in teaching and learning contexts more generally. This was a collaborative process from four domain-specific groups – biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics – to ensure dialogue and consistency in developing module templates. Teachers and researchers were also given a chance to visit schools and observe classrooms to understand first-hand how the modules might be most useful for teachers. Workshops in Arusha, Tanzania, also created spaces for teachers to give module development feedback.