Towards designing a professional development programme for primary mathematics teachers in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study “Towards designing a professional development programme for primary Mathematics teachers in Tanzania" is an attempt to conduct an in-depth context analysis on the teaching and learning of Mathematics. The study assesses teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge and analyses the major hindrances to the primary mathematics teaching and learning in Tanzania. The model used for making this study was developed based on Stufflebeam (1971), Van den Akker (1998) and Omari (1995) ideas. Their ideas were used in comprehending the problem for this study. In analysing the teacher’s pedagogical skills, the study looked at the level of classroom interactions, teaching and learning strategies, and the use of teaching aids and other instructional materials such as textbooks and geometrical instruments. The study further explored the institutional support to teachers in terms of supply of instructional materials, facilitation to INSET participation and other school management support issues. In order to achieve these, the study was governed by an over all research question, “What are the major hindrances for better classroom practices of primary mathematics teachers in Tanzania and how can this be addressed? ” This question was instrumental in the data collection processes and analysis. The study took place in six primary schools within Dar-es-Salaam City. There were classroom observations, which involved 12 Mathematics teachers across grades A, B, C and diploma. Four data collection instruments were used. They were focus group discussion (N=48), questionnaires (N-50), interviews (N=9), and classroom observation checklist (N=12). The study revealed that the major hindrances for better performance of primary Mathematics teachers were shortage of instructional materials, teachers’ inadequate academic and pedagogical skills and lack of adequate school/management support. Teachers used lecture method and, in some cases, supplemented by questions and answers technique. Teachers had no lesson plans and presented poor lessons, non-interactive, poor classroom management strategies and demonstrated no use of teaching aids, and therefore poor pedagogical practices. Moreover, large class-size, overcrowded classes, and poor working and learning conditions were among the identified major hindrances. Based on the findings and drawn conclusion, some recommendations to MoEC, TIE, NECTA and Inspectorate were drawn. These include the provision of regular and comprehensive in-service training coupled with exemplary teacher support materials, the valid examinations and adequate instructional materials especially the textbooks and teachers’ guides. Moreover, the needs to rationalise the class size were also recommended. Lastly the study provides the suggestions for further research.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF LC1072.P5.7W36)
primary mathematics, development programme, teaching and learning, pedagogical skills, geometrical instruments
Wangeleja, M J N (2004), Towards designing a professional development programme for primary mathematics teachers in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam