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Malcolm Griffiths

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in 2010 as a member of the university’s international teacher education and development team.  Since then, the projects I have worked on are: English in Action (EIA) Bangladesh 2010-2017; Improving Gender Attitudes. Transition n Education Outcomes (IGATE-T); Zimbabwe from 2017; Supporting Adolescent Gils’ Education (SAGE) Zimbabwe from 2019; Towards Results in English and Education (TREE) Myanmar 2019 - 2022, for which acted as Academic Director, Teacher Training for Gils'' Education (TTIGE) Sierra Leone. I am currently a memebr of the postgraduate team in the school of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport authroing materials on leadership and management. 

On TREE Myanmar The Open University worked as a consortium partner with The British Council, Montrose International and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) to support the government of Myanmar in developing its network of 25 Education Colleges across the country. Funded by the UK’s Department of International Development, the 5-year project contributed to the teaching of English and other subjects in primary and secondary schools by supporting the government of Myanmar in developing capacity in 25 Education Colleges across the country. More than 2000 teacher educators received professional development support through TREE, with specific focus on English language proficiency and pedagogy, continuous professional development, inclusive education and systems strengthening. Drawing on our extensive experience and expertise in supporting distance and remote learning in diverse contexts, the Open University’s role in this project cut across all four of these focus areas by developing a customised delivery model utilising both offline and digital resources and platforms in such a way as to lead to long-term sustainability.  Within the consortium technical team I advised specifically on on issues around delivering professional development at scale while ensuring quality.

Previously, within the remit of International Teacher Education for Development I worked full-time in Bangladesh, from 2010 to 2017,  on the DfID–funded English in Action project.  This large-scale project made innovative use of mobile technologies within a blended open and distance programme to develop the quality of English language teaching in thousands of primary an secondary schools throughout Bangladesh, particularly in rural and underprivileged communities.  During my time in Bangladesh I worked extensively on capacity building for the projects’ team of teacher development coordinators and for the network of over a thousand school-based community-level teacher facilitators. 

I was closely involved in developing content for English in Action’s core learning materials: these included sets of authentic teacher development videos demonstrating communicative language teaching practices, and also videos showing participatory professional development activities aimed to support facilitators. For the project’s final and largest-scale phase, as Head of the Primary sector intervention, I also led on producing a full range of printed self-access support materials targeting the various key stakeholder groups:  teachers, head teachers and teacher facilitators.

Within that role I travelled extensively around Bangladesh: providing professional support and research/monitoring inputs in schools and to professional development events at local, regional and national levels. I contributed to the projects’ Dhaka-based progrmame management team, providing input to strategy development and to advocacy with stakeholders, especially with regard to the projects’ on-going institutionalisation and sustainability strategy. 

Since the completion of EIA in late 2017, I have been fully engaged, under the auspices of the ITED team, on another DfiD-funded project in Zimbabwe: Improving Gender Attitudes: Transition and Education – T (IGATE-T). My roles so far on this project have included being a co-investigator on a pre-intervention rapid analysis exercise; contributing to strategy development; leading co-design and material development workshops with Ministry and other national partners in Zimbabwe; development of sets of teacher professional development materials focusing on foundational literacy; co-designing a series of local level launch workshops and supporting World Vision district teams and district government stakeholders to deliver these in a wide range of locations across the country. In early 2019 I acted as principle investigator on a qualitative study, researching current practices of foundational literacy and numeracy in primary schools in four of the project’s nine districts of Zimbabwe.

I have represented the Open University with presentations on English in Action at international conferences in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the UK and also at UNESCO mobile-learning week in 2014.

Prior to working for the Open University I had spent more than 20 years in the field of international teacher education in project management, strategic and practitioner roles. I worked long-term on national education reform projects with education ministries in the Czech Republic and Afghanistan as well as undertaking several short-term engagements in China, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Syria and Venezuela.   My original professional roots in English language teaching covered almost ten years in secondary, tertiary and adult learning sectors in Japan,  Lithuania (during Soviet era) and the UK.







Research interests

Areas of professional interest

  • Mobile and blended learning in continuing professional development
  • School-based teacher professional development
  • Peer support in CPD

Teaching interests

  • Continuing professional development for teachers
  • Early years foreign language learning;
  • Education in international development
  • Educational leadership
  • Initial teacher education


Ethnic differences in risk factors for adverse birth outcomes between Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers (2020-01)
Garcia, Rebecca; Ali, Nasreen; Guppy, Andrew; Griffiths, Malcolm and Randhawa, Gurch
Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76(1) (pp. 174-182)

The ‘trainer in your pocket’: mobile phones within a teacher continuing professional development (CDP) program in Bangladesh (2013)
Walsh, Christopher S.; Power, Tom; Khatoon, Masuda; Biswas, Sudeb Kumar; Paul, Ashok Kumar; Sarka, Bikash Chandra and Griffiths, Malcolm
Professional Development in Education, 39(2) (pp. 186-200)

English in Action: a new approach to continuing professional development through the use of mediated video, peer support and low-cost mobilephones in Bangladesh (2014)
Woodward, Clare; Griffiths, Malcolm and Solly, Michael
In: Hayes, David ed. Innovations In The Continuing Professional Development Of English Language Teachers (pp. 227-248)
ISBN : 978-0-86355-741-5 | Publisher : British Council | Published : London

Teachers' Voices. Capturing the Dynamics of Change (2017)
Sarkar, Bikash Chandra; Hedges, Claire; Griffiths, Malcolm; Mathew, Rama and Biswas, Sudeb Kumar eds.
Publisher : English in Action, Bangladesh | Published : Dhaka, Bangladesh

Educational Technology Landscape Review, Myanmar (2019-08-29)
Power, Tom; Griffiths, Malcolm and Seal, Timothy
DFID Myanmar-UK Partnership for Education

How are English language teachers supported to develop professional knowledge and practice, within their schools? Qualitative Study (2017)
Power, Tom; Mathew, Rama and Griffiths, Malcolm
English in Action (EIA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.