thesis_access.pdf (5.56 MB)
Download file

Influences and Outcomes of Social Constructivist Curriculum Implementation on Tutors’ Beliefs and Practices in Teacher Education Colleges in Tanzania

Download (5.56 MB)
posted on 15.11.2021, 00:18 by Nzilano, Josta Lameck

Professional learning and development (PLD) has been one of the strategies for improving the quality of teachers and education by shifting the teaching focus from knowledge acquisition to knowledge construction/meaning-making. This research investigated the influences and outcomes of implementing a social constructivist curriculum on tutors' beliefs and practices as a result of their PLD experiences in Tanzania’s teacher education colleges. Specifically, the research investigated tutors in social science subjects (geography, history and civics) who responded to four questions: What are tutors’ understandings of a social constructivist approach to teaching? What are tutors’ beliefs about the role of social constructivist approaches (SCA) in teaching? Do tutors integrate social constructivist approaches in teaching, and if so, how this is achieved? What are tutors’ suggestions for future teaching of social science?  The research employed a qualitative case study approach and nine social science tutors were purposely selected from three colleges of teacher education. Information was gathered through open semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, documents analysis, and reflective journals. Data were thematically analysed and presented in themes, tables, figures, photos, and graphs. Transfer of training, critical pedagogy and social constructivist theoretical lenses informed and maintained the researcher’s direction of research undertakings from proposal development to the final thesis report.  Results indicated that a variety of PLD experiences shaped tutors’ understandings of SCA, which influenced their practices in transferring the knowledge constructed to the job. Tutors employed SCA in teaching by embracing socio-cultural and economic situations. The research indicated that contextual influences such as centralised education policies and curricular activities, PLD experiences, and contingent teaching challenges influenced tutors’ teaching beliefs in the implementation of SCA. Tutors’ practices and beliefs were constrained by the reform process in socio-cultural and economic situations in which tutors demonstrated limited pedagogical approaches.  Moreover, the study suggested significant needs to improve the teaching of social science by changing classroom situations, class sizes, and leadership practices in policy development and implementation, all of which has implications for the education system to ensure sustainability of the transfer of training on job setting.  The researcher recommended a continuum of PLD experiences on the job, increasing the relevance to the job setting for tutors’ training, considering the use of native languages for teaching, ensuring effective supervision and implementation of educational policies, and rethinking the system of education to address SCA grounded in indigenous values and norms. It was concluded that tutors, student teachers, and community ideologies should primarily inform policy development and implementation, not the Government alone. Similarly, it was recommended that international policy transfers to a country such as Tanzania should be critically examined before adoption (to a recipient country) so that it can be implemented effectively. This study contributed to existing literature, at national and global policy levels, for the adoption of SCA in non-Western settings, and demonstrated the use of different worldviews to understand the case.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy


McDonald, Lex; Hynds, Anne