A systematic review of the implementation of learner-centred pedagogy in low- and middle-income countries

Nozomi Sakata, Nicholas Bremner, Leanne M Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides a comprehensive descriptive overview of the implementation of learner-centred pedagogy (LCP) in low- and middle-income countries. Considerable time, money, and resources have been invested in LCP in many countries worldwide, and yet we still lack a comprehensive body of evidence regarding its implementation and outcomes. This systematic review aimed at going beyond the limitations of individual studies, confined by time, context and samples, in order to offer stronger applicability and generalisability to wider contexts. The dataset for analysis consisted of 94 journal articles published between January 2001 and December 2020, selected based on explicit inclusion/exclusion criteria. A team of three researchers utilised EPPI-Reviewer and QSR NVivo to import, screen, and analyse the texts. The literature on LCP implementation was mapped by key variables such as country, educational setting, study participants, and methods. Firstly, the study found that despite LCP being explicitly promoted in numerous contexts, most classrooms were still predominately teacher-centred. Secondly, the review identified a wide range of constraints and enablers of LCP implementation, spanning across the individual, classroom, school, policy, and wider society levels. Thirdly, although several positive and negative outcomes of LCP emerged from the study, the review found that the objective evidence on LCP outcomes was somewhat limited, indicating that there is an urgent need for additional research to evaluate LCP outcomes. A conceptual framework of LCP implementation is presented, and implications for policy and future research are discussed. The video abstract for this article is available at https://youtu.be/57EsnDUe_QQ.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3365
JournalReview of Education
Issue number3
Early online date13 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A total of four studies suggested that if enough support is provided by policy officials, they may become enablers of LCP implementation. For example, Roberts et al. ( 2015 ) reported that financial support from and interactions with ward education officers supported the implementation of a learner‐centred after‐school programme in Tanzania. In China, Sun and Gao ( 2019 ) argued that frequent communication with and exceptional support from authority figures had helped teachers implement a learner‐centred ‘flipped’ approach. Finally, Niesz and colleagues (Niesz & Krishnamurthy, 2013 ; Niesz & Ryan, 2018 ) praised the leader of an activity‐based learning movement in India, who consulted with his colleagues and inspired those below him in the system to put the changes into practice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 British Educational Research Association.


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