Pre-service Teachers’ perceptions on science and mathematics curricular materials in enhancing inquiry based education in public Universities in Tanzania

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Date
2014
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
This study assessed science and mathematics pre-service teachers’ perceptions on curricular materials in enhancing inquiry-based education at the selected public universities in Tanzania. The study then focused on analysing the content of the curricular documents used for the preparation of science and mathematics teachers at the selected public universities. Furthermore, the study investigated the challenges encountered by the members of academic teaching staff (lecturers) in implementing inquiry-based education. The study employed mixed methods research approach in which both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. In gathering quantitative data, a cross sectional survey design was used to guide the study in data collection using structured questionnaires to assess pre-service teachers’ perceptions on inquiry-based education. Moreover, rubrics for content analysis in identifying the extent to which inquiry-based education was covered in the curricular documents at the selected universities were employed. On the other hand, phenomenological qualitative design was used to guide the study in qualitative data collection using reflective discussion and writings with pre-service teachers, semi-structured interviews with lecturers and acting heads of the relevant departments and direct field observations. Mixed methods research approach was used to obtain detailed and balanced data in depth and breadth. The study was conducted in two public universities located in two different regions, Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. The study findings indicated that the inquiry-based education was addressed in all the documents analysed and it was implemented with limited use of teaching and learning resources at the selected public universities in Tanzania. It was also observed that science and mathematics pre-service teachers had diverse perceptions of different concepts associated with science and mathematics education. Furthermore, independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare the pre-service teachers’ perceptions scores for males and females in testing the study hypotheses. It was found that there was no significant statistical difference in scores for males [M= 1.87, SD= .855] and females [M= 1.87, SD= .85; t (128) = -.0351, P= .482]. The magnitude of difference in the means was very small (eta squared =.0000096). In addition, the study findings revealed shortage of senior and experienced members of academic teaching staff in both colleges that affected pre-service teachers’ supervision of practical based activities that hampered effective implementation of inquiry-based education to pre-service teachers. It was concluded that the implementation of inquiry-based education at the selected public universities was conducted with limited teaching and learning resources which pre-services teachers perceived as not adequate for them to learn through inquiry based approach. The researcher therefore, suggests the use of adequate teaching and learning facilities and recruit more experienced members of academic teaching staff in order to train teachers in a more interactive and competitive means.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF Q183.4.T34P38)
Keywords
Science teachers, Inservice training, Sciences, Mathematics, Community colleges, Inquiry based learning, Tanzania
Citation
Paul, J. (2014) Pre-service Teachers’ perceptions on science and mathematics curricular materials in enhancing inquiry based education in public Universities in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam