This pilot scheme focused on training teachers and teacher educators to become reflective of their own teaching in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. There were two main aims, namely the development of a model of change that could be adapted to varying national and local contexts; and the bridging of the gap between teacher change and an improvement in pupil learning outcomes.
Our research assessed the QEP as experienced at various levels of the education system in the four countries (Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe), specifically the teachers' college, the district office, in the school, and within the community.
The evaluation team concluded that QEP was a well-conceived, innovative and important programme, which had the potential to make a significant contribution to the quality of education in developing countries.
Findings were presented in a comprehensive report detailing recommendations for future design of QEP programmes, QEP training, the role of action research, implementation, management and leadership and sustainability and scaling up.
Professor Stephens’ four-country African research on the QEP was part of a wider Save the Children policy to promote more participatory ways of teaching and learning. This led to the adoption of these participatory approaches in the 300 project primary schools involving 1,000 teachers and some 120,000 children.
The evidence of improved learning provided by the research led to changes in the policies of Save the Children to promote participatory learning internationally.
As a result of the research, the special adviser to Save the Children, Norway confirmed that QEP is being spread to all teacher-training colleges in the Amhara region of Ethiopia (serving 20 million inhabitants) and reports that in 2012, 80 teacher training lecturers have been trained in the new methods in all 15 teacher training colleges.
Participatory Action Research as a method to evaluate learning and teaching approaches has been included since 2010 in the curriculum in all 14 of Zimbabwe’s teacher-training colleges, influencing 1,400 teacher trainees.
The research impacted upon Save the Children’s international policy development. At the 2009 meeting of Save the Children policymakers in Cambodia, it was reported in the national media that, the conference was used as a vehicle to present recommendations relating to this research project.