Sara Hennessy

Sara Hennessy
University of Cambridge | Cam · Faculty of Education

BSc, MA (Cantab), PhD

About

133
Publications
120,579
Reads
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5,551
Citations
Introduction
Sara Hennessy currently works at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Sara does research in Educational Technology, Classroom Dialogue and Teacher Development. Her most recent project is 'Classroom dialogue: Does it really make a difference for student learning?'.
Additional affiliations
December 1999 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development and Pedagogical Innovation

Publications

Publications (133)
Article
Full-text available
This study reports on the adaptation and outcomes of a teacher professional development (TPD) programme in a rural Zimbabwean secondary school. The programme incorporated Open Educational Resources (OER), specifically OER4school materials, that were provided via tablet computers for teachers and students. A mixed-methods case study was employed to...
Article
Full-text available
Pre-service education and in-service teacher professional development (collectively termed teacher professional development or TPD here) can play a pivotal role in raising teaching quality and, therefore, learning outcomes for children and young people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, TPD opportunities in LMICs are limited, uns...
Article
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As part of an investigation into the relationship between classroom dialogue and student outcome, a test of reasoning has been developed that is suitable for preadolescents (i.e. c.10–13-year-olds). Building on previous work but expanding this considerably, the test focuses upon four areas of reasoning: differentiation of facts from opinions, diffe...
Article
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Research indicating the educational value of classroom dialogue, in which participants engage critically and constructively with other perspectives, is long established but classroom practice evolves slowly. Outcomes of practitioner professional development in this area are inconsistent and often dependent on costly, external input. Our study aimed...
Article
Dialogic approaches based on active student participation, open, respectful discussion, exploring and critiquing different perspectives are increasingly found to support student learning. However, the specific productive forms of teacher-student interaction have rarely been studied systematically. A recent large-scale project explored the relations...
Article
The overall aim of this report is to inform the Ghanaian government's new accountability program in partnership with the World Bank (Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Program) by bringing lessons and evidence from past relevant efforts. To do this, we seek to indicate where the gaps are in this research area as well as to identify some pot...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have often demonstrated that educational television can have a positive effect on learning outcomes in low‐income countries when delivered in controlled settings. However, existing research in low‐resource contexts has scarcely considered the association between child outcomes and viewing in usual environments (ie, at their home, a...
Article
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Sustaining educational initiatives beyond short-term pilot projects is highly challenging in low-income countries. We describe the outcomes and implications of our iterative Design-Based Implementation Research conducted in Zambia. This focused on a unique, school-based, peer-facilitated professional learning programme for primary teachers: OER4Sch...
Article
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Systematic analysis or coding of classroom dialogue is useful for assessing the role of high-quality interaction in supporting learning. However, although coding is an immensely complex and cognitively demanding activity that has taxed researchers over decades, the methodological challenges are often not discussed or problematised in empirical repo...
Technical Report
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One of the overall objectives of the EdTech Hub is to conduct a series of literature reviews on the state of educational technology in primary and secondary school settings within low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Given the variety of approaches which can be considered as ‘educational technology’ and the range of settings which are LMICs, th...
Article
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It is now widely believed that classroom dialogue matters as regards student outcomes, with optimal patterns often regarded as requiring some or all of open questions, elaboration of previous contributions, reasoned discussion of competing viewpoints, linkage and coordination across contributions, metacognitive engagement with dialogue, and high st...
Article
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This article describes a continuing programme of school-based applied research. The basis of this research, which originated in a project called ‘Thinking Together’, lies in the relationship between language and cognitive development postulated by sociocultural theory. The research has developed and tested methods for improving the quality of class...
Article
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Research into classroom dialogue suggests that certain forms are especially productive for students’ learning. Despite the large number of studies in this area, there is inadequate evidence about the prevalence of the identified forms, let alone their productivity. However, scarcity is widely presumed. The overall aim of the study reported in this...
Technical Report
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This Working Paper showcases the work of the Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research (CEDiR) group. We do this by presenting the paper in its dialogue form, in order to illustrate the very processes that we research. In all, this work was authored by a group of 22 staff and doctoral students. It is intended to be read and used by anybody with an in...
Article
In this paper we examine two systematic observation methods intended to be used by pre-service and in-service teachers to help increase their awareness of children's participation in productive classroom dialogue. We identify the affordances of these methods for supporting teachers’ reflective practice, focusing in this case on students’ equitable...
Article
In this paper we examine two systematic observation methods intended to be used by pre-service and in-service teachers to help increase their awareness of children's participation in productive classroom dialogue. We identify the affordances of these methods for supporting teachers’ reflective practice, focusing in this case on students’ equitable...
Article
Full-text available
Developing sustainable and scalable educational initiatives is a key challenge in low-income countries where donor-funded short-term projects are limited by both contextual factors and programme design. In this concept paper we examine some of the issues related to in-service teacher development in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, grounded predom...
Article
Developing sustainable and scalable educational initiatives is a key challenge in low-income countries where donor-funded short-term projects are limited by both contextual factors and programme design. In this concept paper we examine some of the issues related to in-service teacher development in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, grounded predom...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes a continuing programme of school-based applied research. The basis of this research, which originated in a project called ‘Thinking Together’, lies in the relationship between language and cognitive development postulated by sociocultural theory. The research has developed and tested methods for improving the quality of class...
Chapter
Full-text available
The increased popularity of tablets in general has led to uptake in education. This chapter builds upon the past research and experience of the authors, in particular the findings of a critical systematic literature review that reports on the use of tablets in schools (see Haßler, Major & Hennessy, 2015). The aim of that review is to determine if,...
Chapter
This chapter describes teacher strategies and experiences with interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and draws on the published research in this area to understand how a systemic approach to technology-based innovations in schools can contribute to quality education for all. It explores ways to support the cultural shift in teacher and learner roles that...
Article
Full-text available
The study reported in this article investigated the influence of a research-informed, school-based, professional development workshop programme on the quality of classroom dialogue using the interactive whiteboard (IWB). The programme aimed to develop a dialogic approach to teaching and learning mediated through more interactive uses of the IWB, th...
Article
Supporting and upskilling teachers are essential to enhancing the quality of learning in developing contexts – the focus of Education For All – yet little evidence exists concerning what kinds of teacher education are actually most effective and what changes in ‘quality’ are desired and feasible. This paper illustrates how a concrete, research-info...
Article
Full-text available
The research reported sought to develop a framework for systematically analysing classroom dialogue for application across a range of educational settings. The paper outlines the development and refinement of a coding scheme that attempts to represent and operationalise commonalities amongst some key theorists in the field concerning productive for...
Research
Full-text available
Supporting and upskilling teachers are essential to enhancing the quality of learning in developing contexts – the focus of Education For All – yet little evidence exists concerning what kinds of teacher education are actually most effective and what changes in ‘quality’ are desired and feasible. This paper illustrates how a concrete, research-info...
Research
Full-text available
Hennessy, S., Haßler, B., & Hofmann, R. (2015, in press). Challenges and opportunities for teacher professional development in interactive use of technology in African schools. Technology, Pedagogy and Education 24(5). Invited paper for Special Section on “Capacity Building for 21st Century Learning in Africa: A Focus on ICT Integration in Educatio...
Research
The increased popularity of tablets in general has led to uptake in education. We critically review the literature reporting use of tablets by primary and secondary school children across the curriculum, with a particular emphasis on learning outcomes. The systematic review methodology was used, and our literature search resulted in 33 relevant stu...
Article
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This paper examines the supporting and constraining factors influencing professional learning about interactive teaching and mobile digital technology use in low-resourced basic schools in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on a case study of iterative development and refinement of a school-based, peer-facilitated professional learning programme (“OER4Sc...
Book
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This publication provides recommendations, ideas, and support to improve teacher professional development in emergency contexts. This guide recognizes the vital role that teachers play in student success and offers policymakers and practitioners examples of effective teacher professional development and learning practices from a wide range of fragi...
Article
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This paper reports on the development and outcomes of the second phase of OER4Schools, a school-based professional development programme supporting interactive forms of subject teaching in conjunction with Open Educational Resources (OER) and technology in Zambian primary schools. We worked with partners to identify the needs of school-based contin...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the current literature related to Open Educational Resource (OER) development and practice concentrates on higher education, although a growing body of work is also emerging for the primary and secondary school sectors. This article examines the user perspectives of teachers and teacher educators, regarding: discovery of teaching resources;...
Chapter
In this chapter we describe how the T-MEDIA research process enabled us to explore how the participating history teacher used the interactive whiteboard (IWB) along with other resources to mediate learning in his classroom – and how development of the team’s shared understandings contributed to the formulation of intermediate theory (as outlined in...
Chapter
Conclusions drawn from the seven chapters in Section One were presented in detail at the end of Chapter 7. That chapter theorises about bridging between research and practice through reflecting on the methodological approach to theory building via collaborative review of lesson video resources.
Chapter
Developing intermediate theory together was the primary goal of the research collaboration, as described in the Section One Introduction. The process by which we achieved that goal is outlined in this chapter and then illustrated in greater detail in each of the following case studies (Chapters 2–4) and in Chapter 6.
Chapter
This case study illustrates how we worked with an expert secondary teacher who used interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology to foster construction of collective interpretations of poetry with an “anti-social” theme. As in the previous case study, we report how our collaborative thematic analysis of digital video recordings and other data from a seq...
Chapter
The preceding chapters have been building up a picture of how university researchers and in-service school teachers can work together to interrogate and refine theory through analysing and critically reflecting on classroom practices. They illustrate how classroom observations and collaborative analysis can begin to bridge the gap between theory an...
Chapter
The previous three case study chapters have illustrated how we worked with expert secondary teachers who used IWB technology to analyse and document their practices in the areas of history, science and English, and to co-construct with the participating practitioners and subject specialists an interpretive framework.
Chapter
The methodology developed in the T-MEDIA project was refined and extended to collaborative theory building about classroom dialogue and dialogic pedagogy through the “Dialogue and IWBs” project. This comprised three small-scale case studies of practice in English, history and personal, social, health and citizenship education.
Chapter
The focus and methods of the Dialogue and IWBs project were described in Chapter 1. The participants were three teachers who had integrated IWB use and dialogic teaching into everyday practice. They participated in five intensive workshops designed to raise further their awareness of the nature and functions of classroom dialogue.
Chapter
This case study offers a vivid example of how we worked with an expert secondary teacher who used interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology and other digital resources strategically to support “active learning” about the process of photosynthesis. As in the previous case study, we report how our collaborative thematic analysis of digital video record...
Chapter
This chapter reports on a follow-up study carried out by Hennessy and Deaney 1 year after the T-MEDIA project collaborative analyses. Its aim was to assess the subsequent impacts of the process of critical reflection and theory building. The study elicited structured and personalised accounts from the eight teachers of impact on pedagogical thinkin...
Chapter
The focus and methods of the T-MEDIA project and the development and structure of the resulting multimedia CPD resources were described in Chapter 1. Subsequent chapters have described the process of how two of us as university researchers worked closely with the teachers to develop intermediate theory. Chapter 8 then investigated the extent to whi...
Book
This book presents a fresh approach to bridging the perceived gap between academic and classroom cultures. It describes a unique form of research partnership whereby Cambridge University academics and school teachers together grappled with and reformulated theory - through in-depth case studies analysing practice using interactive whiteboards in fi...
Article
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The study explored uses of educational technology as echoed in teachers' beliefs and practices with ICT. The research is situated in Cyprus where ICT in education is still at an early stage, and is premised on the argument that teachers' limited use of technology in the classroom can be explained by the lack of incorporation of an effective pedagog...
Article
This paper explores how the interactive whiteboard (IWB) might be harnessed to support student learning through classroom dialogue. This powerful and increasingly prevalent technology opens up opportunities for learners to generate, modify, and evaluate new ideas, through multimodal interaction along with talk. Its use can thereby support rich new...
Article
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Background/Context: This article describes how we refined an innovative methodology for equitable collaboration between university researchers and classroom practitioners building and refining theory together. The work builds on other coinquiry models in which complementary professional expertise is respected and deliberately exploited in order to...
Article
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This paper reports on the work of a teacher–researcher collaborative group in the UK, who explored the idea of ‘a dialogic approach’ to classroom interaction and examined its relationship to use of the interactive whiteboard (IWB) in orchestrating classroom talk. We focus on how the co‐inquiry process within this group led to the articulation of fr...
Article
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The study reported examined the level of integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into whole‐class teaching, and considered the teachers’ attempts to align technology use with their pedagogical approach and lesson objectives. The purpose was to explore the link between the integration level, teacher attitudes, and subsequent...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) as a tool for encouraging and supporting classroom dialogue. The authors’ concern here is with the promotion of ‘dialogic’ communication between teachers and students, which is now widely recognised as educationally valuable. In this study they investigated how teachers could use the t...
Article
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This paper synthesises the research literature on teachers" use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in primary and secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on improving the quality of subject teaching and learning. We focus on the internal factors of influence on teachers" use, or lack of use, of technology...
Article
This case study is set in the context of an extraordinarily rapid influx of interactive whiteboards in schools in the UK. The focus is on pedagogical strategies used to harness the functionality of this powerful technology to support teaching and learning in science. The study offers a vivid example of how one expert secondary teacher used the IWB...
Article
Full-text available
Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) have rapidly become an integral feature of many classrooms across the UK and elsewhere, but debate continues regarding the pedagogical implications of their use. This article reports on an in-depth case-study from the wider T-MEDIA project (Teacher Mediation of Subject Learning with ICT: a Multimedia Approach). A key...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘T‐MEDIA’ project analysed and documented how teachers exploit the use of projection technologies – data projectors and interactive whiteboards (IWBs) – to support learning in secondary‐school subject lessons. The research involved collaboration between university researchers and four pairs of UK teachers (of English, mathematics, science and h...
Article
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From analysis of teacher-nominated examples of successful technology-supported practice in secondary-school mathematics, the use of graphing software to teach about algebraic forms was identified as being an important archetype. Such practice was investigated through case study employing evidence from lesson observation and teacher interview. The p...
Article
Full-text available
From preliminary analysis of teacher-nominated examples of successful technology-supported practice in secondary-school mathematics, the use of graphing software to teach about algebraic forms was identified as being an important archetype. Employing evidence from lesson observation and teacher interview, such practice was investigated in greater d...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Context This work draws on a “participatory” approach to research collaboration that respects the teacher's “voice” in building on and extending the interactive “colearning” agreements between researchers and practitioners that work toward improving practice. Both parties in these agreements act as agents of (reflexive) inquiry, actively...
Article
The idea of ‘interpretative flexibility’ underpins new approaches to studying technological artefacts and curricular resources in use. This paper opens by reviewing – in this light – the evolving design of dynamic geometry, its pioneering use within classroom projects, and early sketches of its mainstream use in ordinary classrooms. After examining...
Article
Abstract This paper outlines the work of the Conceptual Change in Science project, funded as part of the ESRC InTER programme. The aims of this research project are to clarify and describe the process of change in learners' conceptual understandings of natural phenomena. The domain of reasoning selected for study is that of mechanics. Computer soft...