Global Partnerships as sites of mutual learning: teachers' professional development through study visits

  • Awarded to: Dr Fran Martin
  • Co-investigators: Dr Helen Griffiths
  • Funding Awarded to Exeter: £ 323,222
  • Dates: 1 October 2009 - 31 January 2013
  • Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council

Since 2000 schools in England have been actively encouraged by the government to establish a North-South School Partnership. Some small-scale studies have shown that the impact of such partnerships on pupils' learning can be counterproductive to that which is intended. In particular, how pupils are supported in their responses to difference and to poverty is causing concern.

A contributing factor is that many teachers lack the knowledge and experience required to adequately address issues of an intercultural and global nature that are integral to partnership learning.

One of the strategies for developing teachers' knowledge is North-South study visit programmes. No study to date has systematically investigated what and how professionals from both countries learn from North-South study visits or the relationship between this learning and their practice over time.

The study aims to investigate what teachers learn from these study visits, and how they make use of what has been learnt back in their own educational settings, giving equal weight to the learning of both northern and southern partners. The research has been devised within an interpretive paradigm and the collaborative, participatory approaches aims to mirror the mutual learning processes that are central to the two courses being investigated.

Please see the project website for further project details and publications: