Voices from the Multigrade Classroom

Lori Imasiku (Teaching, Learning & Curriculum)

Voices from the multigrade classroom: Zambian community schools

Within the Zambian educational system, community schools have been established as a means of meeting the education needs of all Zambian children in accordance with the United Nations Millennium Developmental Goals. Located in both urban and rural areas of Zambia, community schools often operate a multigrade system due to the lack of teacher and/or students. Previous research on multigrade education in Sub-Saharan African (including Zambia) has focused mainly on the challenges of the multigrade system, in particular, the lack of teacher training. Previous research has also primarily been conducted through teacher interviews. The purpose of this study is to examine multigrade education through the student lens to uncover what they believe to be the successes and challenges of multigrade education. This research will be a phenomenological study in which narratives will be used to understand the experiences of both students and teachers. The student narratives will be used as the basis for the research, with teacher interviews serving as supplemental data.