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ESRC – DFID Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme: Navigating the Contours of Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Difficult Contexts

Tue, March 27, 11:30am to 1:00pm, Fiesta Inn Centro Histórico, Floor: Lobby Floor, Room C

Group Submission Type: Panel Session


The ESRC-DFID-funded Raising Learning Outcomes in Developing Countries Research Programme is concerned with understanding the factors that enhance or constrain learning outcomes in educational systems in developing countries. The programme consists of 29 research teams, each of which brings together research expertise from the global South and North to expand our understanding of how complex relationships between elements of the education system, the context in which they are embedded, and the dynamics operating within the system impact on efforts to raise learning outcomes for all. This research programme aligns well with the theme of CIES 2018 in that it seeks to expand the boundaries of knowledge production by facilitating dialogue and collaboration between 29 globally situated research teams.
This panel (which is one of two panels on the theme) brings together 3 of these research projects to share both what is common and distinct in their focus on how to raise learning outcomes in difficult contexts in developing countries. The papers represent the geographical diversity and the intellectual synergy of the RLO programme: each presentation is rooted in a distinct regional context - Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the MENA region; Yet each offers us common insights into how shared understandings are mediated and arrived through research and dialogue within and across these contexts.
The papers presented here expand the boundaries of how we understand effective teaching and learning assessments. Common across the presentations is the emphasis on the voices of learners and teachers in the way we understand and improve learning outcomes. Each project is grounded in a challenging educational context where learners face multiple disadvantages, and each seeks to overcome learning disadvantage by mapping a more context-sensitive, inclusive and holistic approach to teacher training and learning assessment. These include developing community-driven and linguistically-inclusive approaches to teaching and assessing literacy; developing teacher resources for improving and assessing socioemotional learning in conflict-affected contexts; identifying the extent to which differences in achievement for marginalised children are due to children clustering in poorer quality schools or due to differences in teaching approaches adopted in the schools they attend; and developing improved measures of educational quality and adolescent girls' empowerment in impoverished rural communities.
Taken together, these research projects help us envision a more inclusive and responsive approach to teaching and assessment.
This panel will help enrich the CIES dialogue on the professional development of teachers, and the possibilities and limitations of learning assessments, through a contextually diverse analysis that expands the parameters of knowledge production. And central to its theme, the panel offers insights into how meaningful understandings on challenging questions are arrived at through shared endeavour.

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