Enhancing '0’level biology teachers, pedagogical skills and content knowledge through peer collaboration: an exploratory study

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
Failure rate in biology has been dramatically high in o-level secondary schools as compared to other science subjects (physics and chemistry), that is more than 50% score F in form four national examination. Among other reasons quality of biology teachers has been articulated as a major problem. Pre-service training alone is not enough to make teachers competence to teach a particular subject effectively. Professional development is a way of supporting them to grow professionally. The purpose of this study was to carry out an in-depth exploration about teaching and learning of biology, teachers' professional development and their attitude towards peer collaboration. The study involved 7 secondary schools flom Iringa region. Tbe sample included 19 biology teachers, 7 heads of departments and 105 Form Four students. The data were collected through questionnaire, interview and classroom observation. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used in the presentation and analysis ofdata. The major findings of this study were as follows; fustly an acute shortage ot qualified o-level biology teachers was found in all sampled schools Secondly very few teachers were attending in service education and a considerable number of other teachers had never attended any in service education since they started teaching. Thirdly, most of the Hackers found some topics difficult to teach, to understand or obtain teaching aids. Those topics included genetics, evolution, coordination, classification, safety and health and respiration. Predominant teaching method was lecturing wile other techniques, which actively involve students in the learning, were rarely used and some were not used at all. Teaching competence was more serious problem for fomi six leavers than for diploma teachers Sixth, peer collaboration was not practiced in schools, It was concluded that problems of teaching and learning biology were associated with shortage of qualified teachers, poor pre'service training and lack of professional development programs for o-level biology teachers
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QH320.M87)
Biology, Study and teaching, Teachers, Education, Teaching
Mushi, A. (2007) Enhancing '0’level biology teachers, pedagogical skills and content knowledge through peer collaboration: an exploratory study, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam