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Evidence of the impact of LfL includes the degree to which it has spontaneously spread through individual initiative and local professional development networks, as well as due to more formal arrangements by the Ghana Education Service (GES). Approximately 3000 headteachers have now been introduced to LfL. This large uptake demonstrates how the principles travel and that they are contextually relevant. Furthermore, the inclusion of LfL within the GES Headteacher Handbook has put the programme firmly on the national educational agenda and demonstrates the significant support of the Ministry of Education. Data collected through questionnaires, interviews, observations and other sources suggests how LfL has had a positive impact on:
- Headteachers – whose’ roles have changed from being akin to office-based administrators to lead learners who influence their own (and other) schools and local communities.
- Teachers – greater professionalism, improved morale and commitment. Sharing of teaching strategies and expertise. More varied approaches to teaching and greater use of learning materials. Increased pupil participation. Improved teacher-pupil relationships.
- Pupils – a more positive attitude towards learning. Enjoyment increased. Improved test scores.
- Involvement of parents and community – School Management Committees more engaged. Active Parent Teacher Associations. Practical support from local chiefs and businesses.
‘Most Significant Change’
In January 2014 the Cambridge team led a two-day research capacity building workshop (funded by the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund with matched support from the CCE) for a group of Ghanaian educators (researchers at the University of Cape Coast, Professional Development Leaders and Ghana Education Service officers). They were introduced to the participatory monitoring and evaluation approach known as 'Most Significant Change' (MSC) and then used the technique to collect stories from schools in the Ghana LfL programme. These stories were the focus of a second workshop (June 2014), and provide additional evidence of LfL's sustained and embedded impact. Anonymised transcripts of four of the stories collected, each with a focus on a particular domain of change (community, school, pupils or professional), are available online: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/cce/initiatives/projects/leadership/MSC_%20Four_Stories_%20July_2014.pdf
The research team continues to analyse evidence to address the aims of the project and to establish avenues for future research.