Singing under the tree: does oral culture help lower primary teachers be learner-centred?

Croft, Alison (2002) Singing under the tree: does oral culture help lower primary teachers be learner-centred? International Journal of Education and Development, 22 (3-4). pp. 321-337. ISSN 0738-0593

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The work of experienced and student lower primary teachers in three schools in Southern Malawi was studied, using lesson observations, interviews and pupil tests. The use teachers make of songs is given as an example of how they use oral culture. The function of songs in lessons is mainly to manage the class rather than to teach content, in contrast to the emphasis in official curriculum materials. The ways in which songs indirectly support learning by ameliorating some of the difficult teaching and learning conditions are described. It is argued that teachers respond to the situation of the learners as a group, which leads to a critical examination of common interpretations of learner-centred teaching. Several implications of the study for teacher education and research are highlighted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper reports on doctoral research for which the author was awarded a competitive scholarship through the DFID-funded MUSTER Project at Sussex. It is a rare attempt to study locally-respected good practice in African classrooms. It breaks new ground theoretically and empirically by explaining lower primary classroom practice as being rooted in a relatively collective and oral local culture. The paper makes a significant contribution to debates on achieving quality education in schools with extremely limited material resources.
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Alison Croft
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:55
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 11:52
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