At PEAS we believe that teachers and leaders are the sparks for change.
Due to Covid-19, Ugandan students and teachers have missed the most months of school globally – for teachers, this means they have lost the opportunity to practice their skills and develop new ones.
An external evaluation of the PEAS model found that high levels of teacher motivation were positively and significantly associated with better student performance (EPRC, 2018). Moreover, the report found PEAS teachers held more positive motivation and more positive perceptions of their school’s approach to school management and training and support for teachers.
Developing evidence-based approach
PEAS has developed an evidence-based approach to delivering high-quality teaching and learning in low resource contexts. This blog will outline PEAS Top Ten Teaching Practices and their critical role in supporting teachers to drive recovery in the Ugandan education system by supporting teachers to deliver learner-centred lessons and adapt to different levels of learning in the classroom.
Introduction to PEAS
We are a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to ensure accessible, quality, sustainable education for all students. We currently run 30 schools in Uganda and have designed a school support and supervision system that has already improved education provision for over 60,000 secondary students in PEAS and government schools, focusing on serving rural, disadvantaged communities.
We believe that supporting and empowering school leaders and teachers is key to driving improvement at the school- and learner-level.
Evidence from our network and the wider system backs up this practice, showing that quality of teaching is strongly linked to learner motivation and student performance (EPRC 2018).
Our approach to teacher development includes a programme of regular formative observation and feedback for all teachers, high quality school-based INSET sessions to develop teachers’ skills and working with the instructional leadership team at each school to build their capacity to drive outstanding teaching and learning. Central to this programme of professional development is our Top Ten – a comprehensive set of evidence-based teaching practices.
PEAS’ Top Ten teaching practices
During extended school closures in 2020 and 2021, all aspects of the Ugandan education system were impacted. Learning loss, safeguarding and child protection were both key concerns during this time. However, not only did learners miss out on a significant period of their education, but teachers have not been able to practice or develop their professional skills during this time. This highlights the importance, now more than ever, of teacher professional development, and the central role of the PEAS Top Ten.
Our “Top 10 for Teachers” was developed based on best practices observed in the classrooms of PEAS most effective teachers and is grounded in a body of evidence from cognitive neuroscience about how our brains learn.
This tool helps to develop a consistent understanding of what ‘effective practice’ looks like across the organisation. Teachers are supported to embed these strategies in their regular practice as all INSET sessions, lesson observation and target setting are centred around PEAS “Top 10 for Teachers”.
At its core, PEAS Top Ten is designed to be learner-centred. This is of critical importance following school closures as students are returning with vast differences in prior learning after school closures. These teaching practices focus on the needs of learners so that each learner can be given excellent teaching which aligns directly with their needs and those of the society, which helps them succeed and develop critical skills as well as follow the curriculum.
We are committed to supporting teachers after a difficult period of closures and are keen to collaborate closely with partners to share what we do well and help others develop effective practices for how to support and develop quality teachers. Our teachers are motivated and feel positive about their schools because of effective school management, and the training and support they receive, which in turn leads to better outcomes for teachers.
We are keen to share more detail on the evidence underpinning the PEAS Top 10 and our approach to supporting teachers to master these skills to support learning. We also look forward to working with the Ministry of Education in Uganda in the future to continue strengthening the Ugandan system and empowering teachers to support school-wide recovery.