The Impact of Study Visit Courses on Teachers' Knowledge and Application to Practice of Sustainable Development and Global Partnerships

  • Awarded to: Dr Fran Martin
  • Funding Awarded to Exeter: £ 1,740
  • Dates: 1 July 2007 - 31 December 2007
  • Sponsor(s): The British Academy

Aim of Project

In 2006-07 a pilot study was conducted that investigated what teachers learnt from a study visit course to The Gambia about global partnerships and sustainable development. British Academy funding enabled follow up of the pilot study in two important ways:

1. Writing of a position paper based on the pilot study's findings to send to academics and practitioners working in the field of global education and school partnerships.

2. A consultation phase, based on the position paper, from which a more substantial project was developed and submitted for funding.

The consultation phase involved three meetings, in Birmingham, London and York, involving about 30 people from HEIs, Development Education Centres and teacher networks. Southern partners hosting the Gambia Study visit were also consulted by email and telephone.

Outcomes of project

The consultation led to a proposal for funding from the ESRC First Grants scheme that extended the pilot project in four key ways:

1. A focus on learning for the Southern Partners

2. Addition of a second study visit within a partnership between a UK University and a charitable organsiation in Southern India, enabling comparisons to be made between courses and the learning for student teachers (Southern India study visit) with that of experienced teachers (Gambia study visit)

3. Engagement of southern researchers to assist with research tool design, data collection & analysis and dissemination of findings.

4. A longitudinal approach to examination of impact of learning on practice over time by gathering data from participants in the study visits over the last 8-10 years.

In addition, two articles were published:

               (2008). 'Mutual Learning: The impact of a study visit course on teachers’ knowledge and understanding of global partnerships'Critical Literacy: Theories and Practice 2(1), 60-75.

                    (2007). ‘The contribution of geography to teachers’ understanding of sustainable development through a study visit course’, Geographical Education, Journal of the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association, vol 20, 63-73.