INTRODUCTION

Teaching in action (TIA) is a program aiming to promote learner centered pedagogy. It was started four years ago by association of Prof. Vavrus F and other tutors of Mwenge university college of Education. Since the time Mwenge university college of Education had been a center TIA promotion workshop for teachers from Moshi – Kilimanjaro catchment area under the sponsorship of Africaid and other nongovernmental organizations.

Tutaweza Tanzania working in connection with Tutaweza America has been involved in promotion of Education in Tanzania by sending teachers from partner schools to attend the workshop since year 2010. This year (2011) the workshop was conducted in September instead of July as usual due to changes of university and secondary school calendar because of general election held in October 2010.

In regard to the goal of Tutaweza, the board of directors were happy to send 8 teachers from Mbeya (partner schools) for the workshop.  The teachers sent to the workshop were for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Geography. We sent teachers from Hasanga (1-Geography), Oswe (2-Biology and Geography), Ilasi (1-Geography), James Sangu (1-Geography), Mbalizi (1-Chemistry), Mbeya Lutheran TTC (2-Biology and Mathematics).

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

The workshop included 56 private Secondary school teachers and Teaching college from Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya under facilitation of 12 facilitators from Mwenge University college of Education and one from university of Minnesota (Mr. Brent Ruter). The only teaching college included was Mbeya Lutheran TTC due to partnership with Tutaweza.

The workshop was well coordinated by Ms Martha Muraya – lecturer in history at Mwenge university college of Education.  Ms Martha took charge on TIA workshop after Fr. Victorin Selema who is in study at Nairobi University College. Everybody was happy to be at Mwenge University College because majority of participants were attending the workshop for the first time. One interesting thing is the increased number of women facilitators from only 2 women last year (2009) up to 5 this year out of 12 facilitators.

During official opening of the workshop (September 4th 2011) around 7.00pm up to 7.45pm) all speakers insisted on the need to improve teaching techniques in order to improve education in Tanzania. Every speaker show some hopes for the future of the community if education will be taken as first weapon for struggle towards poverty  and good leadership.

Mr. Bakari speaking during opening day of TIA workshop on September 4th 2011. In the right is Brent Ruter , facilitator from Minnesota university.

The principal (Fr. Philbert V) was very happy to see all guests ready for one week TIA workshop. The principal insisted on the need of learner-centered education. He advised teachers to help learners (students) to build up self-confidence to them so that cheating in different exams could be avoided. He pointed out one mistake of the teacher to be teaching in Swahili while they are required to teach in English. In so doing things become so complicated to the students because s/he will need to translate in English for the examination, he added.

He also pointed out the continuous low pass mark every year to be a big challenge and positive promotion for education improvement program like, “Teaching In Action (TIA)”. “We‘re thinking of how we can extend our program to include teachers from government schools”, he added. He also advised teachers to develop spirit of independent learning, use of library during teaching process, sharing idea with others and comment on TIA for future improvement.

On the picture speaking in front of TIA participants is Fr. Philbert V – the principal of Mwenge University College of Education.

TOPIC COVERED DURING THE WORKSHOP

Day one (Sept 4th 2011)

  • Syllabus review and reflection
  • Essential techniques
  • Discussion on challenging topics including professional lesson plan

Day two (Sept 5th 2011)

  • Teaching aids and case studies
  • Inquiry-based teaching/learning multiple intelligence & WHERETO
  • Review of challenging topics
  • Introduction to contents of micro teaching

Day three (Sept 6th 2011)

  • Active teaching methods for teaching large classes
  • Strategies for teaching mixed-ability classes (Inclusive Education)
  • Lesson plan and research

Day four (Sept 7th 2011)

  • Leadership and life skills education for education for secondary school students; bringing teaching TIA to your school
  • Feedback of research and discussion leadership

Day five (Sept 8th 2011)

  • Practice on micro teaching
  • Evaluation survey

METHODOLOGY OF TEACHING

It was very interesting to see teachers from all panels participating on discussion on the challenges of Teaching techniques in relation to government curriculum, teaching/learning materials, cultural influence and understanding capacity of the class.

Participants were very interested on giving out their comments on these challenges. For the use of Teaching In Action (TIA) technique, the workshop revealed the relationship between teaching technique used and teaching skills.

Hot discussion arose on the matter of mono sexual schools and co-education school system and on inclusive or exclusive technique of teaching. Participants tried to show the effects of mixing up  faster learners and slow learners and the challenges associated with teaching large groups.

Gender issue was a big issue although many participants from women side wanted to be considered in girls to be considered in the same level as men not with favor. Juliana Malamsha from co-education school was total contrary to the way people want to favor women. She said, “I am a woman, so I don’t like the way people think of women! We ‘re in the same level so we don’t need to be considered differently. Such way of thinking make many women feel to be unable to struggle themselves without the help of men”, she added.

On the other hand, Gunderida Ntana wanted special consideration for women and especially girls due to biological point of view. She noted out some differences associated with her stand including menstrual cycle and its effects to girls.

In the left picture, at the middle (participant speaking with signs of hands) is Ms Gunderrida Ntana is showing her feeling towards consideration of girls in school. In the right (at the center- a woman with African clothes- kitenge speaking with sign of right hand) is Ms Juliana Malamsha expressing their feeling during discussion. Both pictures took during teaching practice of large classes.

SUMMARY OF THE WORKSHOP

 During the workshop all teachers we‘re able to learn how to deal with challenging topics of their subjects. Challenging topics dealt were the following: classification of living things and inheritance of genetic materials from parent generation (Biology), qualitative analysis and use of end point indicator (Chemistry), survey and photography interpretation (Geography), three dimension geometry and probability (Mathematics) and to prove different laws relating to the topics of electricity and light (Physics).

The teachers had chance to learn and to practice how to teach large groups and micro teaching for different intelligence classes. It was very interesting to see how teachers shared their idea in reference to teaching experiences.

On top of that it was so nice to see how teachers show their skills on how to prepare and use less costly teaching aids. There are essential questions which are necessary to be asked before preparation of lesson plan;

  • How to make teaching aids from free or less expensive materials that provide students for centered learning.
  • How teachers can use students to help gathers and help to create teaching aids from human and field resources
  • Resources could be balloon, white flour, papers, source of heat, manila papers, maker pens, glue, etc.

SUMMARY BY PICTURES

Biology

The left picture shows facilitator Focus Kabuzi (right) sharing with participants of the workshop on DNA replication. In the same picture, Mr. Norton Mwakapenda (left) sharing idea on the topic. The right picture shows Mr. Wilium Justine (Mbeya Lutheran TTC) sharing something with other teachers during micro teaching practice

Chemistry

In the left picture (right) is Yustus Kapala (Mbalizi High School) helping fellow participant how to make teaching aid from a piece of manila paper. In the right are chemistry teachers of the workshop observing the effect of fire on dry grasses.

Geography

In the left picture are geography teachers waiting for facilitator to start on of the session during the TIA workshop. In front from right are Robert Mwasenga (Oswe), Florencey Lutengano (James Sangu) and behind them is Victoria Mwanyalu (Hasanga). In the right are geography teachers during field study of survey. Second from the right is Peter Hebron (Ilasi)

Mathematics

In the left picture, Ndusye Mwakipesile (Mbeya Lutheran TTC) -middle insisting on his idea during the workshop. In the right picture, standing is Theresia B.Mkenda (facilitator)  observing participants’ discussion

Physics

The above pictures shows physics teachers busy with calculation for drawing graphs from data obtains during their practical proofs of Ohm’s laws.

EVALUATION 

On the day of evaluation I had meeting with country director of Africaid (Tait Fllint) together with mentor (Anande Nnko)Beside other issues we shared our working experience and different challenges regarding education system of Tanzania

Then I had meeting with Brent Ruter (facilitator) a lecturer from Minnesota University. We shared on the possibility of having TIA workshop in Mbeya so that we can have many participants. Hopefully all what I shared with those people sometimes in the future will work regardless  how long it will take for this idea to be implemented.

In connection to that, Brent show interest on visiting Mbeya and Southern zone of Tanzania in the year 2012 as a part of trying to see the possibility of TIA in southern part of the country. If this will work with Brent Ruter, the possibility of visiting Tanzania is March and April 2012.

Prepared by:  Andrew C. Mbughi, Tutaweza In Country Director

 

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