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Supporting a school in Kathmandu, Nepal on its drive for excellence: a case study

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Elaine Allen
Publication date2019
Number of pages194
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Since the beginning of the millennium, a global commitment to the importance of education in addressing world-wide poverty, has seen governments of developing countries continue to address issues of access and quality. Whilst many external programmes of support have proved successful in the short-term, sustaining these programmes has often proved more difficult.
This thesis presents a longitudinal case study of the process followed in identifying, implementing and sustaining a staff development programme within a school in Kathmandu, Nepal. Increasing student participation in the teaching and learning process was identified as the focus and coaching was proposed as a mechanism to support the school’s leadership in developing and sustaining this initiative. A variety of qualitative data collection methods were used, including lesson observation, interviews, focus groups and questionnaires. Tikly and Barrett’s (2013) three-dimensional framework for conceptualising educational quality in relation to social justice was referenced.
This research study contributes to the discourse on how external providers can best support schools in developing countries improve the quality of their educational provision in their drive for excellence.
Once the requirement to increase student participation in the lessons had been identified and appropriate staff training delivered, key findings were: 1) only those teachers who had experienced a one-to-one relationship with myself as a coach modified their practice; 2) a textbook curriculum is limiting the teaching and learning approaches used; 3) although the coaching practice had not been implemented in the way suggested an informal ‘learning conversation’ approach had been used successfully; 4) ultimately, the leadership team did not have the capacity to implement and sustain the teaching and learning initiative.
Based upon the study’s findings, two key implications for future educational practice are proposed. Firstly, finding ways to support teachers increase student participation in the classrooms must remain a priority if Nepal is ever to have its voice heard in national and global debates on social justice. Secondly, future partnership work must begin with a skilling up of the leadership team to ensure they can play their role successfully in implementing and sustaining any identified teaching and learning initiative.