Queen Abieyuwa Onalaja

Department: Graduate School of Education
Discipline: Education
Research Centre/Unit: Ed.D. SNIE

Project Summary

My interests in removing barriers to learning and participation; specifically, delivering a range of literacy intervention and my concerns for some of my pupils' poor comprehension skills has resulted in the research journey I hope to begin during my thesis stage. My overall objective is to develop and/or improve primary school pupils' reading comprehension skills by improving teachers' classroom practice in teaching reading comprehension. 

For an overview of my proposed research can be found at: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3656


Wider Research Interests

My other research interest lies mainly in removing barriers to teaching and learning [Inclusive Education (IE) in its broadest sense, which entails including all groups that are at risk of exclusion]. One way in which I feel this can be achieved in Nigeria is through teacher education and teacher professionalism. 

In recent times, there have been many complaints about the state of education in Nigeria and the quality of teacher that are emerging through the various teacher training establishment. Our government is trying through the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN); other bodies; and by putting into place relevant laws and policies to transform the teaching profession. The government supposes that these initiatives will have a positive impact on the quality of education offered to learners, but I believe that this approach alone is not sufficient. 

I think that the concept of teacher professionalism can and should be addressed during initial teacher training programmes for pre-service teacher and through mandatory professional development courses for in-service teachers. Whilst I recognise that various elements contribute individually to the concept of professionalism; however, it is my view that the teacher professional identity plays the most significant role.Thus, the government and all stakeholders in the education sector should be providing better opportunities for teachers to negotiate and develop their professional identity as one of the means of professionalising teaching in Nigeria, rather than relying primarily on teacher registration with the TRCN as evidence of teacher professionalism.