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Ms Freda Wolfenden

Ms Freda Wolfenden

Senior Lecturer in Education and Development

The Open University Faculty of Education and Language Studies Department of Education

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I am currently Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies responsible for Curriculum, Qualifications and Scholarship.   

I came to the OU in 2004 from a background in secondary school science teaching in London and overseas.  I have also worked as an Advisor for a local Education Authority in England, materials producer, project director and manager in a number of education organisations in the UK and in Asia. 

Since joining the OU I have directed a number of teacher education programmes including the online professional development programme for teachers,, and the Masters in Education.  

From 2008 to 2012 I was Director of the TESSA programme.  TESSA – Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa ( , is a large research and development initiative exploring the use of Open Educational Resources to improve the quality of pre-and in-service teacher education at scale.  I secured over £2.5 M to support TESSA development and TESSA OER use  is now embedded in teacher education programmes across 10 countries and I am now focussing on leading research associated with the programme. In 2009 the Open University was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for TESSA and in 2011 TESSA was a WISE Award winner (

In 2009 I established the Malawi Access to Teaching Saltire Scholarship programme; this enables women in rural areas to achieve qualifications and relevant school experience prior to entry to teacher training.  In 2013 this model is  being extended to Sierra Leone as part of a Girls' Education Challenge project. 

Teaching Interests

I teach on the Masters in Education  at the OU and between 2007-2010  directed this programme.  My particular interest is in Education for Development (ET821) and I have taught on a number of other courses in the programme.  I am currently also teaching on the Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning.

Current Research Projects

TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa):  Continuing research on sustainable pedagogic change in  teacher education; the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) to support teacher educators and teachers in developing new pedagogic practices in countries in Sub Saharan Africa ( Publications on OER( creation and adaptation for different contexts), teacher professional development and developing women teachers, particularly in rural areas.

last updated 15-Aug-2013