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postgraduate thesis: Enhancing teachers' competencies on learner-centred approaches throughlearning study in Tanzanian schools

TitleEnhancing teachers' competencies on learner-centred approaches throughlearning study in Tanzanian schools
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Pang, MF
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
AbstractDespite being exposed to the Learner-Centred Approach (LCA) through traditional teacher professional development since 2000, teachers in Tanzania have generally failed to implement LCA in secondary schools. However, previous studies on the learning study in different parts of the world have shown encouraging results in developing teachers’ competencies. This study investigates how the learning study guided by the variation theory can enhance teachers’ competencies using the LCA in Tanzania secondary schools. It addresses two questions: what are the changes of teachers’ understanding of LCA through learning study rounds in a Tanzanian secondary school? And, what are the changes of teachers’ capability of implementing LCA through learning study rounds in bringing about student learning in a Tanzanian secondary school? A group of three teachers (John, Benja & Peter) in a school implemented learning studies for a period of one year. All forms two (N= 255) and three (N=240) students took part in three research lessons. The study adopted case study and phenomenographic research approaches. It used teachers’ interview protocols, lesson video recordings, lesson preparatory meetings, teacher’s journals, and students’ tests as research instruments. The teachers’ experiences and implemention of the LCA were studied before and during the three rounds of learning studies. Data were analysed using variation framework and SPSS version 16.0 for students’ tests. The study has two main findings. First, teachers involved in the three learning study rounds changed their understanding of LCA. They changed from seeing LCA as methodological (before the learning study) to treating it as subject content and even as far as seeing it as object of learning (during the learning studies) orientations. These changes were gradual and differed slightly, depending on the particular aspect(s) (the method, the content or the object of learning) a teacher focused more on than other aspects at a given time. Second, guided by the variation theory through learning studies, teachers’ capability to implement LCA improved progressively in slightly different ways, which in turn improved student learning. The teachers changed from simply making classroom pedagogical arrangements before the learning study to engaging the learners in either the content or the object of learning and enabling them to discern critical aspects of the objects of learning in terms of variation and invariance of those aspects during the learning studies. The study concludes that implementing learning study - guided by the variation theory - may be effective in enhancing teachers’ ways of conceiving and practicing LCA with a primary focus on student learning. In addition, as teachers increase their understanding of learning study and the use of variation theory they may advance their understandings in designing and teaching LCA lessons, thereby increasing possibilities for student learning. Such a conclusion lends credence to the variation theory which purports that powerful ways of acting originates from powerful ways of seeing. It also extends this theory to teacher learning of the LCA pedagogy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectTeacher effectiveness - Tanzania.
Student-centered learning - Tanzania.
Dept/ProgramEducation

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorPang, MF-
dc.contributor.authorMsonde, Charles Enock.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.description.abstractDespite being exposed to the Learner-Centred Approach (LCA) through traditional teacher professional development since 2000, teachers in Tanzania have generally failed to implement LCA in secondary schools. However, previous studies on the learning study in different parts of the world have shown encouraging results in developing teachers’ competencies. This study investigates how the learning study guided by the variation theory can enhance teachers’ competencies using the LCA in Tanzania secondary schools. It addresses two questions: what are the changes of teachers’ understanding of LCA through learning study rounds in a Tanzanian secondary school? And, what are the changes of teachers’ capability of implementing LCA through learning study rounds in bringing about student learning in a Tanzanian secondary school? A group of three teachers (John, Benja & Peter) in a school implemented learning studies for a period of one year. All forms two (N= 255) and three (N=240) students took part in three research lessons. The study adopted case study and phenomenographic research approaches. It used teachers’ interview protocols, lesson video recordings, lesson preparatory meetings, teacher’s journals, and students’ tests as research instruments. The teachers’ experiences and implemention of the LCA were studied before and during the three rounds of learning studies. Data were analysed using variation framework and SPSS version 16.0 for students’ tests. The study has two main findings. First, teachers involved in the three learning study rounds changed their understanding of LCA. They changed from seeing LCA as methodological (before the learning study) to treating it as subject content and even as far as seeing it as object of learning (during the learning studies) orientations. These changes were gradual and differed slightly, depending on the particular aspect(s) (the method, the content or the object of learning) a teacher focused more on than other aspects at a given time. Second, guided by the variation theory through learning studies, teachers’ capability to implement LCA improved progressively in slightly different ways, which in turn improved student learning. The teachers changed from simply making classroom pedagogical arrangements before the learning study to engaging the learners in either the content or the object of learning and enabling them to discern critical aspects of the objects of learning in terms of variation and invariance of those aspects during the learning studies. The study concludes that implementing learning study - guided by the variation theory - may be effective in enhancing teachers’ ways of conceiving and practicing LCA with a primary focus on student learning. In addition, as teachers increase their understanding of learning study and the use of variation theory they may advance their understandings in designing and teaching LCA lessons, thereby increasing possibilities for student learning. Such a conclusion lends credence to the variation theory which purports that powerful ways of acting originates from powerful ways of seeing. It also extends this theory to teacher learning of the LCA pedagogy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47229858-
dc.subject.lcshTeacher effectiveness - Tanzania.-
dc.subject.lcshStudent-centered learning - Tanzania.-
dc.titleEnhancing teachers' competencies on learner-centred approaches throughlearning study in Tanzanian schools-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4722985-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4722985-
dc.date.hkucongregation2011-

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