APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The TESSA network (including over 13 African teacher education institutions), works in partnership to develop and implement a toolkit of teacher training resources. The toolkit takes the form of Open Education Resources (OER); available free of charge and without copyright restrictions, for teachers and teacher educators to use, adapt, and share with others in a variety of cultural and linguistic situations. TESSA identifies the 'school classroom context' as the critical point at which interventions will have maximum impact, so the OER center on activities for teachers to carry out in their classrooms. TESSA OER can be accessed directly by teachers yet, most importantly, can be utilized at scale by teacher training institutions as the basis of new programs and to enhance existing courses. TESSA partners are driven by shared aims and aspirations, but the form and extent of TESSA engagement at each site is shaped by personal, institutional, and national needs and priorities. There is no blueprint for TESSA implementation. Rather, within the professional supportive structure of the TESSA network, each institution selects the solution that meets their specific needs.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE AND DELIVERABLES
When engaging with TESSA OER, each institution takes the following steps: identifying the need; analyzing the need against TESSA OER; adapting TESSA OER to the local situation; integrating TESSA OER into the curriculum of new or existing teacher education programs (including support for tutors, supervisors and head teachers); devising any assessment related to teachers' engagement with TESSA and facilitating access to TESSA OER (e.g. print, CD-ROM). Support is provided by the TESSA core team throughout. Monitoring and evaluation is designed to be appropriate for the context and may include regular visits from the TESSA team, observation of teacher educators' practices and teachers in classrooms, or interviews with teacher educators. Timeline and deliverables are specific to each situation.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that one third of all existing primary teachers are unqualified or under-qualified and, to meet the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education, an additional 1.1 million teachers are needed (UNESCO, 2011). There is an urgent need to provide teachers (both in practice and in training) with greater opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills in the process of learning to practice. This requires new models and materials for teacher education. Currently, materials and resources are scarce at all levels of the system and programs offer little support to teachers to develop competency in core classroom practices. The OU's area of expertise is in the design and development of educational models, platforms and materials that are accessible, of high quality, locally-relevant, cost-effective, and scalable. TESSA uses this expertise, combined with that of partner organizations in Africa, to deliver teacher education solutions that respond to the need for (and needs of) more skilled teachers in Africa.