Testing an Approach to Distance Professional Development in Senegal: Summary of Pilot Results and Recommendations.

Technical Brief | October 30, 2020

To respond to a variety of needs—from COVID-19 disruptions to the adoption of new and diverse instructional approaches—distance continuous professional development for teachers offers an important opportunity to increase access to continued professional development that is sustainable and relevant.

In July 2020, the USAID Lecture Pour Tous program supported Senegal’s Ministry of Education to pilot a distance learning approach to providing continuous professional development (CPD) to early grade reading educators. The purpose of the pilot was to assess the feasibility and applicability of self-guided distance professional development for teachers at public school and instructors at daaras (Quranic schools) and their coaches (school directors and daara resource persons, respectively), as well as school inspectors, that could be used on a wider scale in the country. The rationale for developing and piloting distance professional development focused on early grade reading was three-fold: (1) to address ongoing constraints associated with bringing together large numbers of educators for in-person training due to the COVID-19 crisis; (2) to identify a lower-cost alternative to in-person CPD; and (3) to provide more opportunities during the school year for educators to build their knowledge and skills through peer learning and interactions with coaches.