1st Edition

Quality Teaching and the Capability Approach
Evaluating the work and governance of women teachers in rural Sub-Saharan Africa

ISBN 9780815356707
Published December 21, 2017 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

This book provides an analytical exploration of the condition of teachers working in expanding school systems across the world, with a particular focus on the lives of women teachers in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing from award-winning research, it looks beyond the official portrayals of teachers’ lives in order to better understand the reality of the contexts in which teachers live and work.

Positioning Amartya Sen’s capability approach at the heart of the study, each chapter considers documentary evidence alongside ethnographic research from rural, remote and under-resourced schools in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Sudan. Interweaving rich narratives from teachers in a variety of contexts, the book proposes a concept of professional capability and examines female teachers’ agency to pursue and achieve this in their classrooms. This key examination challenges existing notions of ‘quality education’ and reveals insights into the broader purpose of schooling for rural communities.

Quality Teaching and the Capability Approach will be of value to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in education, particularly those concerned with gender, development and teaching, as well as educationalists and policy makers concerned with education and development.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1  Rurality, Women Teachers and Educational Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for quality.  The Capability Approach: Re-thinking quality teaching  Part 2  Constructing and Evaluating Teachers’ Professional Capabilities: A method.  Professional Capabilities for Teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Official perspectives.  Women Teachers in Rural Sub-Saharan African Schools: Professional lives and values.  Professional Capabilities for Teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Teachers’ perspectives.  Professional Capabilities for Teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Teachers’ perspectives  Part 3  New Perspectives on Professional Capabilities, Quality Teaching and the Educational Governance of Women Teachers in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa

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Alison Buckler is an academic in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies, Open University, UK. Alison previously worked as a Researcher on the award-winning Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme, an international consortium concerned with the production, distribution and supported use of open educational resources for teacher education and professional development.


‘If we are to develop new policies around the recruitment and retention of the millions of extra teachers, then research on teachers’ lives is going to be extremely important. We need new paradigms for such work and this book is a highly creative contribution to this task.’ - Bob Moon, Emeritus Professor of Education, The Open University, UK