Teacher education has an important role in ensuring quality of learning especially for the poorest children. The article draws on a study of teacher preparation for the early primary grades in six African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda - in reading and mathematics. Initial teacher education had the strongest impact on newly qualified teachers but also induced misplaced confidence leading to standardised teacher-led approaches that failed to engage learners. Learning to read was divorced from meaning while mathematical activities were not linked to learning concepts. We suggest that teacher education is reconstructed as a study of classroom practice that places children's learning at its centre.
Literacy and reading
Mathematics and science education