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Learner-centred education in developing country contexts: From solution to problem?

International Journal of Educational Development Volume 31, Number 5, ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Learner-centred education (LCE) has been a recurrent theme in many national education policies in the global South, and has had wide donor support through aid programmes and smaller projects and localised innovations. However, the history of the implementation of LCE in different contexts is riddled with stories of failures grand and small. In coming to understand how LCE has been conceived, researched, and reported in relation to developing country contexts, a good starting point is the "International Journal of Educational Development (IJED)", where a wide range of articles on this theme has been published over the years. In all, 72 relevant articles were identified among the issues available on-line, comprising a weighty body of evidence concerning the nature and implementation of LCE. The vast majority are studies exploring the issues – and problems – of implementation of LCE-based programmes in particular settings. Emerging from these investigations is a variety of explanations for this perennial challenge: problems with the nature of reform and its implementation; barriers of material and human resources; interactions of divergent cultures; and the all-important questions of power and agency in the process. After a descriptive breakdown of the 72 articles, each of these implementation issues is explored in turn. The article considers the implications of this for future initiatives, research and scholarship in this area. The begged questions are: why do the same problems recur repeatedly, and how do we move beyond the normative ‘shoulds’ and the practical ‘can’ts’?


Schweisfurth, M. (2011). Learner-centred education in developing country contexts: From solution to problem?. International Journal of Educational Development, 31(5), 419-426. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 20, 2019 from .

This record was imported from International Journal of Educational Development on March 1, 2019. International Journal of Educational Development is a publication of Elsevier.

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