Toward formative assessment: implication of teachers’ feedback for primary school pupils’ learning in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The present study was prompted by the prevalence of unimproved competences in various learning skills among the majority of primary pupils for more than a decade since the adoption of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBT) in Tanzania in 2005. CBT insists in the use of formative assessment for the improvement of pupils’ learning. The purpose of this study was to explore the implication of formative assessment in teachers’ feedback for primary school learning. The study had three objectives: to determine the nature of teachers’ feedback, to examine pupils’ interpretations of teachers’ feedback, and to examine parents’ response to teachers’ feedback in the context of primary schools in Tanzania. This study was guided by Sociocultural Learning Theory of Levy Vygotsky (1978). This theory views learning as the process by which students develop competence through guidance from more knowledgeable and more competent adults and peers. The study employed qualitative research approach and descriptive multiple case study design in which two public primary schools from Ubungo District in Dar es Salaam Region were involved. Data were collected through focus group discussions involving 13 pupils, interview with 12 parents, review of pupils’ exercise books, test, and examination marked scripts, and parent report forms. The findings indicate that teachers’ feedback for pupils learning did not inform pupils and parents of the specific competences that pupils needed to improve in learning. Teachers’ feedback for primary school pupils’ learning in the context of the present study, is by far not formative but summative because it focuses on learning achievement rather than learning improvement. The study, therefore, recommends the Ministry responsible for education, quality assurers, researchers and other stakeholders of primary education to emphasise the use of correctional and instructional comments in marketing classroom exercise, and internal tests and examinations in order to improve pupils’ learning. Another study can be conducted in other parts of Tanzania involving pupils and teachers from both public and private primary schools using observational method to assess the use of formative assessment practices during classroom interaction.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF LB1060.T34M349)
Learning, Feedback, Primary school teachers, Tanzania
Malya, L.J. (2020). Toward formative assessment: implication of teachers’ feedback for primary school pupils’ learning in Tanzania. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam