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A Framework for Integrating DE


To support the integration of Development Education into the Professional Masters in Education (PME), Network members have established a framework that integrates Development Education using four interlinked approaches - introductory Development Education, Development Education aligned with related components of the programme, Development Education in subject methodologies, and Development Education on school placement. This is represented in the framework below:



Supporting documents:


5 Principles for Good DE in ITE

To support the application of the integration framework, Network members have established five principles to ensure that Development Education is critical, engaging and sustainable into the future.

Click on each principle to learn more:

+ 1.   Development Education is about teaching differently, rather than teaching more

Development Education is an educational process that supports students to critically examine the world, its development and its interdependencies and to act, both locally and globally, to make it a more just, equitable and sustainable place.

The challenge to teachers is to identify the relevance to their subject area, to recognise the cross curricular links and to work with colleagues to provide students with multiple perspectives through their schooling experience.

There is a need to support teacher educators and student teachers in this process

+ 2.   Good Development Education is that which promotes critical thinking about development and underdevelopment

Good Development Education does the following:

  • Engages participants in dialogue/discourse on development and relating issues
  • Addresses the complex issues of the causes of underdevelopment and not merely the symptoms of underdevelopment
  • Considers multiple perspectives (northern and southern perspectives, contesting sides in debates)
  • Critiques sources of information, biases, ideologies
  • Challenges negative stereotypes. Attempts to break down the dominant ‘Us’ (developed)/ ‘Them’ (underdeveloped) dichotomy
  • Avoids the ‘easy’ solution e.g. buying fair trade, donating to charity
  • Is cognisant of potential conflicting ideologies (that of the student vs. that of DE)
  • Draws on expertise of partner NGOs and minority groups (in coherent manner)

+ 3.   Development Education results in transformation on a number of levels including personal, perspectival, professional and programmatic

  • Development Education contributes to the professional formation (& transformation) of the student teacher, nurturing a disposition of action for change. It fosters the development of informed viewpoints on issues relating to social justice and equity (a transformational journey), encouraging student teachers to articulate their views and take action to substantiate them.
  • At programmatic level, Development Education draws upon a variety of cross curricular components that relate to Development Education.

+ 4.   Development Education is effective when it is integrated across the programme, with multiple entry points

An integration model may include:

  • An introduction to the concept of Development Education (e.g. what it is, why it is important, pedagogical approaches, relevance to subject areas), providing students with an adequate ‘starting point’
  • Links to Development Education-related topics within existing curricula:
    • e.g. student teachers’ perspectives on the role of the teacher
    • e.g. what is your philosophy on education – what does teaching mean to you?
    • e.g. psychology – mindset of ‘Us’ and ‘the other’, stereotyping
    • e.g. critical pedagogy,
    • e.g. problematising disciplines/subjects as sole framing of curriculum or ways of seeing the world
  • Opportunities for student teachers to led research and inquiry projects relating to Development Education. They are encouraged to view DE as a learning process for themselves as much as for their pupils, thus freeing themselves of unrealistic expectations of instant success. (Bracken and Bryan, 2010)
  • Links to reflective practice and portfolio, and provision for Development Education is made in the assessment criteria for School Placement
  • A focus on subject pedagogies/methods with an understanding that every subject has a role to play in educating about development issues

Becoming confident and competent to deliver effective and critical Development Education in the classroom requires gradual exposure to Development Education over time; the opportunity to explore issues, perspectives, preconceived ideas; to reflect upon personal beliefs and values and global responsibilities. With this in mind, teaching and learning strategies adopt an incremental and multi layered approach, acknowledging the complex nature of many development issues and the challenges that adopting a Development Education approach can pose for teachers in the classroom, and allowing the student teacher space and time to construct their understanding and approach.

+ 5.   Evaluation of the impact of Development Education is central to improving teaching and learning strategies

Development Education is a complex and far reaching concept and it is only through engagement over time that student teachers become confident to tackle issues in the classroom. For the teacher educator too, consideration must be given to the effectiveness of the teaching-learning strategies employed and how well the equip student teachers to engage with and teach Development Education.

Learning in this area should feed into the Ubuntu Network evaluation/impact framework.