Participation of secondary school biology teachers in professional learning communities in Dodoma region, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to assess participation of secondary school biology teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in three districts of Dodoma region namely Dodoma City, Kongwa and Chamwino districts. Specifically the study: identified activities conducted in Professional Learning Communities’; assessed the participation of biology teachers in PLC. The study was guided by situated learning theory (SLT) and employed quantitative research approach using cross-sectional survey research design. A total of 48 public secondary schools and 15 private secondary schools were involved from which 119 biology teachers and 39 heads of schools were selected. Stratified random sampling was used to selectrespondents of the study and data were collected using questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics in which chi-square test at significate level of 0.05 were used. Findings revealed that there were a number of PLC activities which were not conducted equally by biology teachers as there were popular activities which were departmental meeting, sharing teaching resources and sharing ideas about classroom practices. Activities which were least conducted are improvisation of teaching aids and discussing biology contents. In terms of teachers participation in PLC findings revealed that most of teachers participated in PLC, also there were no significant difference between PLC participation and teachers’ gender, age, education qualification, work experience, also between rural and urban districts. However, the findings showed that there were significant differences in PLC participation between private and public school biology teachers. Lastly, in case of challenges, shortage of time, lack of awareness and knowledge about PLC, lack of commitment among teachers on PLC were the main constraints for teachers to participate in PLC as the result other PLC activities were not conducted by teachers and some of teachers were not participating in PLC at all. the study concluded that secondary school biology teachers were participating in PLC regardless of their differences in gender, age, education qualification, work experience, and district location (urban and rural), though private school teachers participated more in PLC compared to public school teachers. However there is minimal interaction with neighbor school. It was recommended that heads of school and teachers should be aware of the importance of having PLC in their schools. This needs to be accompanied by having PD courses at pre-service training and provision of PLC guide to both government and private secondary schools so that all activities could be conducted in relation to their teaching and learning environment. Besides Government school’s administrators should reserve enough time for teachers to participate in PLC activities. For instance, heads of schools can set one day per month in which teachers meet for PLC activities the whole day.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF LB1775.8T34C324)
Teacher in professional, Biology teachers, Science teacher, Secondary school, Dodoma region, Tanzania
Chalo, P. (2019). Participation of secondary school biology teachers in professional learning communities in Dodoma region, Tanzania. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam