Research on English language teacher training and gender equality in Africa is a strategic priority according to UN Sustainable Development Goals 4.c and 5 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Mustapha & Mills, 2015). Several British Council reports – “Gender in Nigeria” (2012), “The 51%” (2016a), “Meeting the Challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals” (2016b) and “Developing Skills Programming Through a Gender Lens” (2020) – reinforce the link between gender inequality and poverty.

The THEMIS project (Evaluating gender equity and equality in the English language teacher curriculum, ICT policies and learning materials in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa) addresses this agenda by evaluating the English language curriculum of teacher training courses in four African ODA countries. THEMIS builds on previous research (Tom-Lawyer, 2014) and an ELTRA project which uses the CIPP Curriculum Evaluation model in Nigeria, extending it to a comparative study of Botswana, Ghana and South Africa.

THEMIS is significant in that it analyses several areas of the teacher training curriculum from a gendered perspective:
i) the barriers facing English language teachers;
ii) ICT policies and the impact on pedagogy; and
iii) English language materials, gender representation and teacher adaptation.

THEMIS adopts a mixed methods approach in which quantitative data will be collected using questionnaires and qualitative data via narrative enquiry, semi-structured interviews, observation and documentary analysis.

THEMIS will produce case studies from four ODA countries to investigate gender inequality aimed at teacher trainers, trainee teachers, curriculum designers and policymakers.