Active Learning in the Maldives: Developing a Contextually Relevant Pedagogical Model

By Rhonda Di Biase.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Active learning reform has become widespread in many developing countries in efforts to improve the quality of education. The transition from transmission models of teaching to more student-centred approaches remains a challenging process. The need for more contextually relevant pedagogical innovations has been widely documented. The aim of this study is to investigate the process of pedagogical reform in the Maldives, a small developing country, using design-based research. This methodology seeks to examine how, when, and under what conditions interventions work in real-life contexts. The major research question is ‘How can teachers learn and enact active learning pedagogy in the Maldivian education system?’ The site for the study was an island school selected for offering optimum conditions for implementing a pedagogical intervention. A contextual analysis was conducted using an adaptation of The World Café, a participatory method, documenting stakeholder priorities and perspectives in relation to active learning reform. Building on findings from The World Café a pedagogical intervention was designed collaboratively between teacher and researcher, linking research and practice in an effort to develop a contextually relevant pedagogical model. The results from the contextual analysis and the process of developing the pedagogical intervention are the focus of this paper.

Keywords: Active Learning, Pedagogical Reform, Developing Countries, Learner-centred pedagogy, Design-based Research

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.29-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.173MB).

Rhonda Di Biase

Teacher Educator, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Rhonda in currently employed as a teacher educator at the University of Melbourne. In this clinical-based model, she works with beginning teachers in schools, providing a link between theory presented in academic subjects and practice in schools. She is also coordinator of the Summer School program. She worked in pre-service training at the Faculty of Education in the Maldives through a post-tsunami aid project. Rhonda is currently undertaking research as part of a PhD on pedagogical reform in the Maldives. She has worked as a teacher at all levels of schooling in Australia and Asia.