Structured pedagogy is a recognised factor in effective education interventions, especially in low-resourced settings. Textbooks can enable structured and appropriate pedagogy while putting contextualised and motivational SEL and Target 4.7 ‘people and planet’ themes in the hands of female and male students and teachers, for core, assessed learning areas.
Effective pedagogical approaches and exercises embedded in student materials can help teachers introduce innovations such as active learning and themes that may be new to teachers as well as students. Long, complex narratives should be reworked into shorter structured texts that (a) incorporate stories to engage students’ imaginations; (b) give students opportunities to practice relevant attitudes, values and behaviours; and (c) promote students’ agency. Texts should integrate a clear pedagogy for teachers, including when students should listen, discuss, write their own thoughts and answer questions or engage in active learning tasks. Supplementary materials should be made available to teachers and online when introducing new pedagogies or unfamiliar subject matter.
The precise form of textbook-based support will depend on teacher capacities and resources, as well as students’ reading skills, and mother tongue/second language issues, among others. As noted above, training is often needed to familiarize writers of educational materials both with Target 4.7 themes and approaches to SEL and with strategies to incorporate structured pedagogical techniques into student materials. Field trials in a range of school settings representing urban, peri-urban and rural parts of the country can provide invaluable feedback to ensure new materials are well understood and motivational for female and male teachers and students, that they convey relevant and accurate factual knowledge, and that they foster the desired teaching and learning activities and outcomes.
RECOMMENDATION 4. Embed structured pedagogy in textbooks to support the teaching of ‘people and planet’ and Target 4.7 themes through social-emotional learning. Specifically, design textbooks with pedagogical practices that support more active learning processes by girls and boys that build both knowledge and skills needed to support sustainable development, explicitly adapted, where necessary, for large and crowded classrooms.