Centre for International Education (CIE)

Multi-Site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER)

The Multi-Site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER) project explored teacher education in Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago and found, ultimately, that radical changes are needed in teacher education to meet the demands of Education for All.

Analyses charted the changing characteristics of entrants into teaching, the scarcity of effective curriculum development to meet new needs, the limited support received by new teachers after first appointment and the difficulties faced by teacher educators adopting new practices.

MUSTER was developed in partnership with:

  • The Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • The Institute of Education, The National University of Lesotho
  • The Centre for Educational Research and Training, University of Malawi
  • The Faculty of Education, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa
  • The School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine's Campus, Trinidad

Financial support was provided over the four year project duration by the British Department for International Development (DFID) which funded a subsequent study profiling teacher conditions of service in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The study shed light on key issues concerned with remuneration, incentives to work in difficult locations, teacher motivation and the problems of deployment.

MUSTER focused on generating new understandings of teacher education before, during and after the point of initial qualification as a teacher. Its concerns included exploring how new teachers are identified and selected for training programmes, how they acquire the skills they need to teach effectively, and how they experience training and induction into the teaching profession. The research included analytical concerns with the structure and organisation of teacher education, the form and substance of teacher education curriculum, the identity, roles and cultural experience of trainee teachers, and the costs and probable benefits of different types of initial teacher training.

MUSTER was also designed to provide opportunities to build research and evaluation capacity in teacher education in developing countries through active engagement with the research process from design, through data collection, to analysis and joint publication. Principal researchers led teams in each country and were supported by a team of Sussex faculty and graduate researchers.

A series of discussion papers was created to provide ongoing opportunities to share output from sub-studies generated within MUSTER for comment and constructive criticism. At the end of the project, Country Reports were produced for Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the overall MUSTER Report. An edited book was published in South Africa (see Publications).