Community of Practice
Phase 1 2020
The Community of Practice in Kabale, South West Uganda, is an initiative set up by the Feilden Foundation and All Our Children as a response to the question of how the Feilden Foundation could make an Education offer alongside its Architectural offer.
The two UK Charities were both working in the Kabale area in complementary ways to improve the educational experience of Ugandan children. To the mix of school building and pupil sponsorship, it was agreed to look at an educational offer to support the revision of pedagogy, a timely initiative in readiness for the proposed reform of the national curriculum in Uganda. The Ugandan educational reforms have a focus on a curriculum which will emphasise active learning, improved behaviour management approaches and ways of improving classroom and school environments.
The Community of Practice creates Leaders of Teaching and Learning within and across schools who share and critically interrogate their practice in a collaborative way and are supported and empowered to model best practice in their own schools and across others.
The commitment by the Ugandan Government to promote ‘active learning’ and ‘child centred learning’ in its schools is welcomed. It sums up an approach to teaching which involves moving away from the more traditional teacher-centred classroom to a participatory approach between teacher and pupils. Such an approach, it is hoped, will improve pupil motivation in all sectors, from nursery through to primary and onto secondary.
The ‘Community of Practice’ is seen as an initial three year ‘pilot’ programme to kickstart this initiative, and to provide an exemplar model of ways in which a community of schools could work collaboratively to achieve improvements in the areas set out below:
• The development of a more child centred curriculum with active teaching and learning approaches which would make learning more relevant and enjoyable
• The development of improved approaches to behaviour management and the elimination of corporal and harsh punishments which would improve teacher pupil relationships and student motivation
• The development of improved school and classroom environments which would make the classroom and school environment places where children feel welcomed, safe and attended to
The Feilden Foundation has committed to a three-year funded programme in Kabale in south west Uganda. It has based its approach and investment on two key ideas of a ‘Community of Practice’ where teachers acting as ‘Leaders of Teaching and Learning’ work together within and across their schools to transform their school practice.