This article has been published in Enabling Education Review 10
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Title: Learning from the UKFIET conference
Author: Corcoran, S, Pinnock, H and Twigg, R
Publisher: EENET
Date: 2021

In September 2021, UKFIET (The Education and Development Forum) organised the 16th Conference on International Education and Development. The theme for the conference was ‘Building back better in education and training? Reimagining, reorienting and redistributing’. At the conference, Helen, Rachel, and Su presented findings from the home learning survey (see pages 16 and 17 in this edition). This article summarises a small selection of other presentations focused on support for home learning.

About the UKFIET 2021 conference theme

“As education and training institutions and systems recover and rebuild after a crisis, there is a unique opportunity to reflect, redesign and to build back better. Planning for the reopening and return to education and training provides an opportunity to rethink the way we educate the next generation, and how to prepare learners for unpredictable futures in a rapidly changing society. Innovative and pragmatic solutions developed and adopted during times of crisis can challenge traditional delivery models and offer more effective or more accessible options. Crises expose vulnerabilities, as well as highlighting the skills we value most. Crises often widen inequalities. As systems and institutions rebuild, they need to consider how resources can be redistributed to ensure that gaps in access and learning are narrowed. Inequalities within the workforce also need to be examined; ensuring a diverse representation, especially among education leaders. Building back better should also consider how education and training systems can be reoriented to become transformative, challenging discrimination, and acting as drivers for a more equitable distribution of wealth and power in society. This conference will also consider how the international education andw development research community itself can “build back better”: exploring innovations for more effective, efficient and lower carbon research methods, as well as considering strategies to address prejudice and inequality within the research community.”

Learning with mothers: mobiles, motivation, and measurement. Early childhood education interventions in Pratham
In this blog post, Varsha Hari Prasad explores how Pratham Education Foundation transitioned their early childhood education programme to a home and community-centric remote learning model, with mothers at the centre of young children’s learning and development.

Reimagining learning spaces for an equitable and inclusive education and learning
This blog was written after the 2021 UKFIET conference by Yulia Nesterova and Becky Telford, the co-convenors of one of the six conference themes: Reimagining Learning Spaces. It summarise learning from the presentations. This theme sought to learn from diverse contexts about what more inclusive, responsive, and equitable learning spaces might look like, to help us re-build better after the ‘learning catastrophe’ created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adapting interventions to strengthen teaching quality during the COVID-19 pandemic: experience of the girls’ education challenge in Afghanistan, Ghana and Sierra Leone
Written by authors from OPERA, University of Cambridge and Tetra Tech, this post focuses on how four Girls’ Education Challenge projects (funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office since 2012) have adapted their interventions or introduced new ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support girls to continue learning.

Enabling the continuity of learning in Uganda: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education system
Dorothy Kyamazima describes how Enabel’s Teacher Training Education (TTE) ‘Sandbox’ developed from their existing project into a distance learning strategy. It served as a testing environment for education technology that fully uses the potential of teachers to respond to the education crisis.

Re-imagining learning spaces in rural Zimbabwe
In this post, Janelle Zwier, Director of the IGATE Programme at World Vision Zimbabwe, focuses on how the crisis shifted the perspectives of what, where and how learning happens and influenced the reimagining of learning spaces.

Supporting student teacher education during COVID-19 in Mexico
Dr Israel Moreno Salto relates findings from research into how the pandemic impacted teacher education and student teachers.

Contrasting teachers’ expectations and practices of interactions with parents in rural Sitapur, India
Mansi Nanda discusses findings from her doctoral research on primary school teachers’ perspectives around school community engagement. The aim is to understand the behaviours and structures that influence their interactions with parents, and how to strengthen school community partnerships to improve children’s learning.

Interrogating research methods: building back better for more inclusive quality education for all
This blog was written after the conference by Bronwen McGrath, Elizabeth Walton, and Yvette Hutchinson, the co-convenors of the conference theme: ‘Research methods: Building back better in international education and development research’. They explore various questions and provocations offered by the theme, and the conceptual and empirical contributions that answered them.

The UKFIET blog features various posts about the presentations delivered at the conference ( as well as other research initiatives related to education and development: