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Title: Aspiration and reality in the teaching and learning of science in Tanzania
Author: Wedgwood, F. Ruth
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This study examined Tanzanian science educators’ views about the type of knowledge that should be promoted in schools and the models of learning that guide their practice. Data relating to practitioners were generated through lesson observations and follow up interviews with teachers, trainees and tutors at six secondary schools and one teacher training college. These data were supported by ethnographic observations, analysis of curricular materials and interviews with policy makers. Findings indicate that many teachers based their science teaching on a model of science as a set body of codified knowledge that needs to be learned verbatim. This body of knowledge is replicated and conserved through hand-copied student notes. Teachers interpreted the ability to reproduce the resulting “sacred text” orally as evidence of successful learning. Observation, analysis and knowledge manipulation were not highly valued. Many aspects of the observed folk pedagogy were similar to those found in highly oral societies. Aspirations to achieve modernity have led to the rapid expansion of the education system, high resource demands for science teaching in terms of equipment and the use of English as the medium of instruction. The teachers shared these high aspirations and yet were faced with realities that made them unattainable. Teachers lacked robust content knowledge, schools lacked books and apparatus and students lacked access to understanding due to the language barrier. This appeared to have contributed to the development of a survivalist pedagogy that had become culturally engrained and resistant to change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available