Investigations on an alternative approach to enhance o-level chemistry teachers’ pedagogical skills and content knowledge in six selected secondary schools of Dar-es-Salaam region

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Date
2010
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Unversity of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study aimed at exploring alternative strategies that can be used to improve O-level chemistry teachers‟ pedagogical skills and content knowledge as one of the measures to improve chemistry performance, which has been poor for several years. The study was carried out in Dar es Salaam region of Mainland Tanzania. A total of six schools were randomly selected from the region whereby in each district, one private and one government schools were chosen. The sample consisted of 120 Form Four students, 20 from each school; 20 O-level chemistry teachers; and 6 heads of chemistry departments. Data were collected through questionnaires, interview and classroom observations. Data analysis involved both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative analysis was used to analyze data collected through questionnaire and classroom observations, while qualitative analysis was used to analyze data obtained from interviews. Findings revealed that majority of teachers (96%) were qualified for the teaching profession. Many of them (55%) had working experience of six years and above whereas the rest were new in the profession, having taught for only five years and below. However, some (27.3%) teachers had never attended any in-service training program since they started working. Results from classroom observations revealed that lecturing was the predominant teaching method used in teaching chemistry at ordinary level. Overall, teachers did not employ teaching aids and techniques to arouse learners‟ interest. The study revealed that some teachers found some topics difficult to teach. They included: qualitative analysis, electrolysis, mole concept and chemical equilibrium. Coincidentally, the same topics were listed by students as difficult to understand. Teachers suggested seminars and workshops; interschool subject association; team teaching; in-door departmental meetings; motivation of teachers; and mentoring as alternative ways to improve their teaching. The study concluded that academic qualifications alone do not necessarily mean competence. It also concluded that teacher professional development programs are important for updating their knowledge. It was further concluded that teachers, if given a room to express their opinions, could be one of the means of combating problems in teaching and learning chemistry. It was recommended that since teachers suggested interschool subject association, in-door departmental meetings, mentoring, and team teaching as means of improving their teaching skills and knowledge, the school heads under the support of Ministry of Education and Vocational Training should sensitize teachers to use these methods instead of claiming that the government has no money to train them.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QD22..M83)
Keywords
Chemistry teachers, Pedagogical skills, Secondary schools, Dar es Salaam
Citation
Mugizi, F. (2010) Investigations on an alternative approach to enhance o-level chemistry teachers’ pedagogical skills and content knowledge in six selected secondary schools of Dar-es-Salaam region, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam