A study of the implementation of the new diploma biology methods syllabus in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study focused on the implementation of the new Diploma biology methods syllabus in Tanzania. The study adapted Stufflebeam’s CIPP model of curriculum evaluation, where it examined the context in which the new biology methods syllabus was introduced and implemented. In addition the study examined inputs, which were needed to sustain its implementation, the processes necessary for implementation and the nature as well as quality of programme. The study was carried out in two teachers colleges in Tanzania mainland, which prepare science teachers; and in TIE and MoEC, which manage the programme. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Data were collected through interview guides, questionnaires, analysis of documents and classroom observations. Findings from the study revealed that, college tutors in the sample were aware of objectives stated in the biology methods syllabus and they supported the idea of introducing the new teacher education curriculum. However there was an acute shortage of instructional materials and equipment necessary for the implementation of the new curriculum. Hence, both college tutors and student teachers got problems in the implementation stage. Essential stages in the systematic process of material production by TIE were skipped. But, materials were produced and validated by few experts from TIE and they were not tried out in small or large scale before going into full scale implementation. College tutors received the materials at different times and without orientation workshops. Participatory methods were rarely used during training and the lecture method dominated. Most of the college tutors were unable to translate the objectives from the syllabus into classroom practices. The new teacher education curriculum at diploma level had not been evaluated since its implementation (2000). It appears from this study that evaluation of student teachers’ cognitive achievement was carried out well by NECTA. From the above findings it is recommended that: For curriculum changes to succeed, learning conditions should be improved by providing necessary facilities such as adequate instructional materials. Curriculum materials should be validated and distributed early before the time of implementation. Teachers’ training colleges should be encouraged to use local materials more than commercial materials, which are more expensive and sometimes less relevant. Seminars and workshops could provide them with knowledge and skills on how to improvise materials using locally available resources. For effective use of participatory teaching strategies and to reduce different interpretations of the syllabus among college tutors, it is suggested that a peer collaboration strategy be employed during implementation. In this strategy, two or more college tutors should work together and share ideas on how to improve their teaching.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH315.5.M3)
Implementation, Biology
Maro, W (2004) A study of the implementation of the new diploma biology methods syllabus in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.