Based on observations and initial findings from our Home to School project, our team managed to secure funding for two spin-off projects. Find out more below.
Teachers in the Home
GCRF Block Grant: GBP 60,000; Aston University Research Impact Fund: GBP 7,500
Previous research had shown that parents in African communities are eager to support their children's education, but often lack requisite knowledge or time. Our project therefore focused on three pillars to support children's learning:
improve home-based education,
increase support for younger children at school, and
empower older children to bridge home and school environments and facilitate continuous learning.
Specifically, our goal was to develop data collection tools and identify practices that pre-adolescent children can use to support their pre-primary siblings both at home and in school. Focussing on children in rural Kenya and Ethiopia, our team recorded, transcribed and translated a total of 20 video observations of Kenyan and Ethiopian siblings and developed a coding scheme for identifying and classifying peer-teaching situations. Our close collaboration with local assistants and researchers on the ground helped us to single out culture-specific behaviours which can form the basis of future interventions.
All data has been coded and analysed, and we are in the process of finalizing our first manuscript.
Co-designing educational resources to support language development during the transition to school in rural African contexts
Aston University Research Impact Fund: GBP 13,900
Preliminary data from our main project had confirmed that Supporting children’s spoken language in their mother tongue is key to successful early education- the stronger the connection between the home and school language environment, the easier the transition to school. In order to extend the impact of our Home to School project, we teamed up with sociolinguist Dr. Rehema Abiyo, who has strong connections within the Education and NGO sectors across Africa, and expertise in various Kenyan languages. Together, we aim to
develop ways to include and/or enhance the spoken activities using mother tongue languages in pre- and primary school
(e.g., word games, letter-sound games, songs, or narratives),
develop ways to enhance opportunities for children’s spoken interactions during school and home mealtimes, and
develop ways to raise awareness of the roles of siblings and pre-school teachers and enhance their effectiveness.
Supported by our local research partners and teachers from our Kenyan sites, we are planning to record traditional stories from children's homes, and later co-develop reading materials and other educational resources based on these narratives.