Teachers’ competence-based assessment practices in chemistry among selected ordinary level secondary schools in Bagamoyo district Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated “teachers’ Competence-Based Assessment (CBA) practices in chemistry among selected ordinary level secondary schools in Bagamoyo district in Tanzania”. The study was guided by four objectives which were to: Explore teachers’’ understanding of Competence-Based Assessment (CBA) practices; examine teachers classroom instructional practices that support implementation of CBA practices in chemistry, Identfy teachers’ implementation of CBA practices in chemistry classes. The study employed a mixed methods research approach to collect data from 5 secondary schools in Bagamoyo District. The study involved 7 chemistry teachers, 5 heads of schools 4 laboratory technicians, one curriculum developer and 384 students, thus forming population of 401 participants. Data were collected through interview, questionnaires, focused group discussion; observations, documentary review, activity-based tasks, pictures and tests. The study employed a multiple case study where every chemistry teachers was a case. Quantitative data were analyzed through using IBM SPSS version 21 to obtain descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviations, frequencies and percentages. Also non-parametric analysis was used to compare mean of two groups through t-test and ANOVA. Qualitative data were analyzed through thematic analysis. The main findings of the study revealed the following: Teachers lacked clear understanding of CBA practices and its components. Teachers’ conceived CBA as assigning students a heap of questions to perform on their own issues of tests and examinations and issues of tests and examinations. The instructional practices used by teachers did not facilitate CBA practices since they were found incomplete, incorrect and not competence-based. Learning activities given to students contains improper and incomplete instructions which limits students learning for understanding. The analysis of teacher’s instructional practices revealed that teachers given instructions were not understood well by themselves and by students thus making them fail to answer well asked questions. Teachers implemented CBA practices were of traditional type and mainly partial CBA practices. Assessment methods techniques were not directed to students’ development of learning competences. Teachers were not competent implementing CBA practices including practical lessons. Teachers’ lack of knowledge, skills and abilities in constructing competence-based qustions and activities. Moreover teachers CBA practices do not consider subject-specific skills and technicalities particularly in chemistry. Majority 89(89%) students demonstrated limited abilities in reading, writing and interpreting and recognizing chemistry concepts. All 7(100%) teachers were unable to identify and assess students’ desired competences in their learning of chemistry. Independent samples t-test and ANOVA indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in performance between untreated (CBA practices) and untreated (traditional practices) classes (p-value=0.009). These results indicate that CBA practices improve students’ learning and understanding to competences level. Findings from guided and unguided questions show that there was statistically significant difference in performance between guided and unguided classes (p-value=0.000). Unguided class had significantly higher performance as compared to guided class, meaning that students have experienced traditional types of questions (Unguided) and not competence-based questions (Guided). Teachers’ are challenged by the nature of syllabi, lack of training, shortage of laboratory equipment, pressure from administrators and overcrowded classes. Fortunately this study proposed strategic material approach to be used in supporting teacher’s implementation of CBA practices in assessing students’ learning competences in chemistry as it was used in treated and untreated classes in this study.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF LC1031.T34K423)
Competency based education, Ability testing, Competence Based testing, Competence Training, Secondary school, Bagamoyo district, Tanzania
Kibani, L. H.(2018) Teachers’ competence-based assessment practices in chemistry among selected ordinary level secondary schools in Bagamoyo district Tanzania. Doctorial dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.