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Working on an award-winning teacher education programme in India

1 February 2018

At the start of this year, we worked with our academics and partners to create a range of content that focused on key lessons learnt from the award-winning Open University-led TESS-India programme. TESS-India is a hugely successful programme funded by UK Aid to professionally develop teachers in India to improve Language and Literacy, Science, Maths, and English skills learnt in the classroom.

We called our campaign #openinsights and, as it draws to a close, we are taking a look back at all the fascinating blogs, podcasts and vlogs of insight from our academics and partners who worked on the ground to make the TESS-India programme happen.

Heidi McCafferty, who produced the series for The Open University, said: “So often research happens, findings are published and what we miss is the insight individual researchers gained while working on the project. These kinds of experiences can be of huge interest and use to others working in the field.

“TESS-India has been such a huge and impactful programme, we wanted to find out from the team working on the project what they experienced along the way so we could create a space for others working ion similar, complex projects to reflect and gain new insight. We hope what we’ve produced will help other researchers and colleagues working in this space. It is great to see the series has proved so successful.”

All content was produced in Hindu to be accessible in India where the programme took place, and the first two weeks of the campaign reached over 60,000 people globally with this figure continuing to climb.

You can find the whole series here:

What makes TESS-India unique? Professor Freda Wolfenden, Academic Director of TESS-India, launches the #OpenInsights series and outlines the three key dimensions that make TESS-India unique. [vlog]

The technology that made TESS-India work. Tim Seal, Technical Director of TESS-India, talks us through the 'invisible' technology that made this hugely complex project work. He also explores the development of the TESS-India MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), and shares his personal advice for those looking to engage in large-scale, complex, international development projects. [podcast]

What can development learn from venture capital? Colin Bangay, Senior Education Adviser at the Department for International Development (DFID), explains the magnitude of the challenges of the programme, saying: "The challenge of scale & complexity of India was daunting. The magnitude of the challenge called for something more than conventional teacher education." [blog]

Catalysing the Teaching-Learning Process in Vaishali (Bihar). Dr Sunita Singh, former TESS-India State Representative for Bihar, explains how the TESS-India materials were used to assist the mentoring of teachers and the difference that they made. [blog]

The process of localisation of TESS-India's Open Educational Resources. Dr Lina Adinolfi, a Lecturer with expertise in language in education within the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at The Open University, explains how she and colleagues undertook the vast process of facilitating the translation and adaptation of TESS-India's Open Educational Resources. [podcast]

Boosting teacher mentoring in Odisha. Dr Sandhya Paranjpe, Save the Children, discusses how TESS-India materials helped bring about a 'paradigm shift' for Teacher Educators in Odisha. [blog]

Encounters with the real lived spaces of the TESS-India MOOCs. Dr Simon Cross at The Open University's Institute of Educatioinal Technology, explores the impact of the TESS-India Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and the "amazing and unexpected insight" he experienced when meeting participants. [blog]

Using TESS-India materials to motivate teachers. James Townsend, Chief Programme Officer at STIR Education, highlights how TESS-India materials are being utilised to implement a ‘See, Feel and Change’ approach to Teacher Education. [blog]


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