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Enabling teachers through action research: A case study of building social and emotional skills for the Kenya Competency-Based Curriculum

Joyner, Alison; (2021) Enabling teachers through action research: A case study of building social and emotional skills for the Kenya Competency-Based Curriculum. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This exploratory case study was conducted in Grades 1-3 of one government primary school in Kwale county, Kenya, between June and October 2019. It used mixed methods within a transformative paradigm, informed by action research approaches. The research aimed to understand better how best to support teachers in their teaching and assessment of the Kenya Competency-Based Curriculum (KCBC). The Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF), launched in 2017, promotes inclusive, holistic, quality education. It reflects the Kenyan government’s recognition of the importance of social and emotional competencies, or ‘life skills’, for coming generations in Kenya, and its commitment to working towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. The research process and its findings provide a space for the voices of teachers: their commitment, discoveries, and relationships with learners and their families. Teachers experienced that a deeper understanding of the competencies of the KCBC positively influenced their practice, noting the inter-connectedness of competencies as they supported their pupils to acquire them. Changes in teaching practice were observed, including increased teacher sensitivity and self-reflection. Teachers were found to be role models for strong relationship skills throughout the school day, facilitating awareness of the new curriculum in the community. A teacher-led social and emotional competency rating scale was adapted and tested. The updated tool provides five questions per competency, for four of the seven KCBC competencies. Use of the tool at two timepoints showed significant progress in Grade 1-3 learners’ demonstration of behaviours that build the competencies. Significant correlations were found between results for individual competencies, and for Grade 3 pupils, between reading and mathematics scores and the competencies of Self-efficacy, Communication and collaboration and Critical thinking and problem solving. The study offers important insights for teacher support and professional development nationally in Kenya, which are relevant to the growing number of competency-based curricula worldwide.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: Enabling teachers through action research: A case study of building social and emotional skills for the Kenya Competency-Based Curriculum
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021 Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130332
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