Observing teaching practices to help teachers

Sharing knowledge of what works in education

Teachers and their students in a primary school classroom in Niger. Credit: AFD / Jean-Claude Galandrin

In Burkina Faso, a team of researchers armed with cameras, microphones and notepads, sits quietly at the back of classrooms, taking extensive notes. The research program is called OPERA from its French acronym, which translates to: Observing teaching practices in relations to learning.

The research wants to capture all interactions between teachers and students in a classroom and draw lessons of what works well and what doesn’t. The findings will be shared with teachers, both at teacher training institutions and during in-service support.

Teachers will be encouraged to draw their own conclusions based on the feedback received, and decide how to adapt their teaching style to obtain the best possible results.

The team was led by Nacuzon Sall and Marguerite Altet and the research is part of a grant from the Global Partnership for Education’s Global and Regional Activities program.

With a budget of $31 million, the Global and Regional Activities program has supported 15 research activities since 2013 led by a variety of partners. The three themes of the program are learning outcomes and quality education, education financing and systems building, and out-of-school children, access and equity.

Through this program, the Global Partnership promotes the systematic development of knowledge, which can help partners apply evidence-based good practices to resolve the education challenges they face.


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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