Exploration of teachers’ use of learner centred assessment methods in secondary schools in Kilolo district, Iringa region

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University of Dar es Salaam
The importance of learner-centred assessment has been broadly reflected in recent curriculum reforms worldwide, as many countries have recognized the need for changing traditional teacher-centred assessment to learner-centred assessment. As an initiative to understand how the curriculum changes and reforms in assessment methods from teacher-centred to learner-centred are being implemented in Tanzania, this study sought to explore mathematics teachers’ use of learner-centred assessment methods in secondary schools in Kilolo district, Tanzania. The study was guided by three research objectives, namely to: Examine learner-centred assessment methods used by mathematics teachers; Explore mathematics teachers’ instructional activities that demonstrate the usability of learner-centred assessment methods; and, explore challenges that influenced mathematics teachers’ use of learner- centred assessment methods. The study was informed by the constructivism learning theory and employed qualitative research approach guided by multiple case study design. The study involved Mathematics teachers, heads of school, school inspector and students from six secondary schools. Data were collected using the following methods: classroom observations, interviews, focus group discussions and documentary review. Data were analysed through thematic analysis. The findings reveal that mathematics teachers were lacking knowledge on learner-centred assessment methods and they were not using learner-centred assessment methods in their daily teaching and learning process. Teachers’ instructional activities did not actively engage learners in the learning process and therefore did not reflect the use of learner-centred assessment. Furthermore, mathematics teachers faced several challenges that hindered the implementation of learner-centred assessment such as overcrowded classrooms, lack of in-service training, unfamiliarity with the learner-centred assessment, and inadequate number of mathematics teachers. Based on the findings of the study, the study concludes that: Learners’ competences in mathematics were not effectively assessed in secondary schools since teachers relied on traditional methods of assessment. Assessment was not integrated in classroom teaching and learning since teachers were not prepare and use instructional activities that demonstrate the use of learner-centred assessment methods. The study, therefore, recommends: Provision of INSET to mathematics teachers to equip them with knowledge and skills of using learner-centred assessment methods. Similarly, mathematics teachers should be encouraged to use learner-centred assessment methods to effectively support learning competences among students.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LB1777.4.T34K532)
Mathematics teachers, Education, Secondary, Student-centerd learning, Students, rating of, Kilolo district, Iringa District, Tanzania
Kihaga, H (2019) Exploration of teachers’ use of learner centred assessment methods in secondary schools in Kilolo district, Iringa region.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.