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Journal of Education and Practice, v7 n33 p83-92 2016

The purpose of this study was to examine current pedagogical practices in early childhood education and care in Tanzania, a reflection from policy and practices to the implementation of Learner-Centred Pedagogy and to put forward possible improvements for the future. In 2005 a new pre-school education curriculum introduced a learner-centred pedagogy so the first intention of this study was to find out how this pedagogy was being used in the classroom context. Anecdotal experiences indicated that classroom teachers continued teaching using traditional methods, i.e teacher-centred pedagogy even after the new curriculum development which introduced child-centred learning. Child-centred pedagogy has the potential for promoting children's creativity, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, learning dispositions as well as socio-emotional/behavioural development skills. This study employed qualitative methodology and a case study approach. A total number of 28 people were participated in the study, whereby six were teachers, 12 children, and four parents in one rural and one urban pre-school (local level) and six government education officials (national level). Data was generated by using semi-structured interviews and focus-group discussions guided by a series of open-ended questions, as well as classroom observation and documentary reviews. Findings showed that teachers were not using child-centred approaches in teaching and learning due to a lack of knowledge of the methods of using the new approach, and large classes with untrained teachers with insufficient teaching and learning materials and facilities. This study recommends for future practice that changes need to be made, for government policy makers to address the challenges identified. It needs the provision of initial teacher education, professional development, and to be richly resourced, so that qualified teachers may be able to translate philosophy to practice and promote children's meaningful learning and development.

Descriptors: Child Care, Teaching Methods, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Foreign Countries, Student Centered Learning, Creativity, Problem Solving, Qualitative Research, Social Development, Emotional Development, Preschool Curriculum, Teacher Attitudes, Preschool Teachers, Critical Thinking, Skill Development, Case Studies, Rural Schools, Urban Schools, Parent Attitudes, Observation, Semi Structured Interviews, Instructional Materials, Teacher Education, Futures (of Society), Child Development, Focus Groups

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Autor: Mligo, Ignasia; Mitchell, Linda; Bell, Beverley


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