Exploration on the use of constructive feedback in teaching and learning of biology in Mbeya city secondary schools Tanzania: a study of selected Mbeya city secondary schools

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Date
2012
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The study explored the use of constructive feedback in teaching and learning of biology in Mbeya city secondary schools. The study examined and documented different types of feedback used in teaching process, and explored the challenges facing teachers on using constructive feedback in teaching/learning of biology. The study employed quantitative approach aided by qualitative elements; it employed a descriptive survey design where stratified random sampling was used to obtain 320 students from eight sampled schools. Purposive sampling and simple random sampling technique were used to obtain 20 biology teachers. The study used lesson observation schedules, post-classroom observation interviews, documentary review guide and questionnaires to obtain respective data. Data analysis used descriptive statistics analysis together with Kruskal-Wallis H-test for quantitative data while content analysis was used for qualitative data. The study found that; non-constructive feedback was commonly used in the teaching and assessment process. Three quarter of all feedback was used in introductory part of the lesson while only 25% was used in conclusion part of the lesson. Discouraging feedback dominated in reviewed documents and was mentioned in students’ questionnaires. Lack of trained biology teachers, lack of experience on using constructive feedback, lack of teaching materials/laboratory chemicals and large number of students per class was the challenges which hindered the implementation of constructive feedback in teaching. Conclusively, the findings show that constructive feedbacks in Mbeya city secondary schools were rarely used in teaching biology subject. Further more students’ attitude toward learning biology was discouraged by the feedback from biology teachers which did not support or promote learning because most of them were non-constructive, non specific and personalized to individual student’s problems in learning, which in wrong run it may contribute to poor performance. The study recommends that; MoEVT should have proper policies, and plans in place for recruiting and training more biology teachers to match with the large number of students in schools. More over in-service training programmes should be used to orient on job teachers on how to use constructive feedbacks. Teachers’ feedback to students learning should be timely, personalized to students and specific to problem and context so as to build learners’ confidence in the subject. The study was delimited to eight Mbeya city secondary schools sampled from 49 schools. There is a need to explore the use of constructive feedback in teaching biology subjects to a bigger sample so that the results obtained could be useful for modifying the feedback system for the purpose of improving teaching of biology subject.
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Keywords
Biology, Secondary schools, Mbeya city, Tanzania
Citation
Simbeye, F. M (2012) Exploration on the use of constructive feedback in teaching and learning of biology in Mbeya city secondary schools Tanzania: a study of selected Mbeya city secondary schools, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx)