Practical physics teacher training continues in Ghana

20 September 2016

The Ada Institute of Physics centre is a purpose-built laboratory in Ada Senior High School, and is the location of the IOP’s practical physics teacher-training project in Ghana.

The training began in 2010 and has, in recent years, focused on developing the skills for teaching electronics to match the introduction of electronics as a subject in schools.

The programme continued in 2016 with a four-day training course for 15 physics teachers and technicians from across Ghana. Overall, the course has been designed to develop practical skills, theoretical knowledge and approaches to teaching; this year the team was joined by Dr Sarah Hutton, Ogden Physics outreach officer from University College London.

The workshop began with an introduction from Andrews Kwabena Quaning, the national science director from the Ghana Education Service, and Augustus Agymefra, also from the Ghana Education Service, who emphasised the importance of STEM learning, practical work and active learning when equipping teachers with the required skills. The practical course included a variety of sessions focusing on basic electronics, soldering skills, electronic logic using MFA decision module boards that were donated by Alleyn’s School in South London. Sessions also developed breadboarding skills, provided an opportunity to operate oscilloscopes (provided by the Ghana Education Service) and taught participants about the latest electronics software. The final day gave participants the chance to make their own light-seeking robots everyone was delighted to see their device autonomously move towards the light.

Each participant was presented with a certificate of completion, a range of electronics components, and activities from the course to include in their teaching. They were also given an MFA decision module board to use with their students.

David Swinscoe and Charles Appiah, who deliver the IOP practical physics teacher training workshops, were also able to meet with the Ministry of Education to provide an update on the work we are doing and the impact this project is having on physics teaching in Ghana. In return, the Ministry of Education expressed their support for the training and reiterated their ambition for STEM education to develop further in Ghana.