Learning about Africa: dilemmas, approaches, resources was published as follow up to a study visit to Ghana in 1977.  It shares articles from most participants, offers an account of the visit and an evaluation of the study visit as an “in-service course” for teachers. 

This first DEC study visit was significant in establishing DEC approaches and also helped the network develop a pedagogy appropriate to the emerging concept of ‘development education’.

The three-part model used for planning the study visit set the pattern for future work.  Preparation was seen as vital and included the building skills of group learning, a focus on development themes locally in our own place [Birmigham] and the need to think about how our own learning through first-hand experience might influence our teaching strategies. 

Learning about Africa starts by highlighting challenges, for example:  

• Could we identify the barriers to our own understanding of another country, its culture and its development?  

• Would we be able to relate the way we cross those barriers through first-hand experience to methods we could use in our teaching, to enable our pupils to cross similar barriers? 

Robin Richardson who was then with the World Studies Trust facilitated a preparation weekend that he wrote up in Learning about Africa.  He also has an article Was it worth it? [page 88].  Follow up to the visit was also important for a wide range of reasons including network building and enabling creative thinking about the application of what had been learnt to work in the classroom.  

Study visits had a key role in the early strategy of the network that later became Tide~.  [Teachers in development education]  It is a complex matter driven by the need to learn from and about ‘the south’, understand development better and work on learning approaches.  Study visits for teachers and other education practitioners also contributed to professional development and capacity building initiatives within the local education system.  They were about offering quality 'space' fro teacher creativity.

Plans [on page 86]  outlines how this work ten developed with the Birmingham and the Wider World project.  A course with a focus on Birmingham and thee parallel visits to India, Ghana and Columbia in 1979.

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