14 April 2015
In Malawi, the OU’s Alison Buckler and Chris High have developed new ways for using participatory video (PV) – the central aim of which is to enable social learning – as a research tool. We Are Teachers, a collaboration between the OU, media company Catcher Media Social, the NGO Humana People to People (HPP) and its local member organisation, Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Malawi, was funded by the OU’s multi-disciplinary research fund and HPP.
Over three weeks, workshops were held with six teachers working in rural schools – none of whom had previous experience of using camcorders – which focused on building up the teachers’ film grammar and technical skills so they were able to script, shoot and edit a short film. The result provided the teachers with an opportunity to reflect on their practice and the context in which they work. It also helped to improve understanding of their lives and experiences and the usefulness of PV in capturing these.
The video showcases DAPP and HPP’s teacher training programme in Malawi and promotes the work they do in supporting teachers and schools in rural communities across the world. It is now hoped to expand the pilot into a longer research project exploring the role of teacher preparation in supporting primary and secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa. The methodological lessons and data Alison and Chris collected will be used to develop a proposal in response to an ESRC/DFID call to improve learning outcomes in rural contexts.
This film was made by Gaison Liwonde, Clement Meso, Luciano Mwachilira, Grace Mwakanema, Henry Joseph NG'ombe and Michael Nyondo with support from Alison Buckler and Chris High (OU), Rick Goldsmith (Catcher Media Social), Olga Guerrero (HPP) and Gift Vasco (DAPP Malawi).
To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:
International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
T: +44 (0)1908 858502