Pedagogical Beliefs of Teachers in Tanzania: Experience of Pre-service and In-service Teachers of University Students

Michael Msendekwa


This study investigated the pedagogical beliefs of pre-service and in-service teachers working toward a degree in education at a university in Tanzania. A total of 702 pre-service and in-service teachers from year one and three participated in the study. The Teaching and Learning Conception Questionnaire [1]; [2] was used to measure student-teachers’ pedagogical beliefs. Factor analysis of data from the Teaching and Learning Conception Questionnaire resulted in a two-factor solution very similar to that found by other researchers [1]; [3], with the factors representing a traditional conception and a constructivist conception. Student-teachers had a mean of 4.24 on the constructive conception whereas a mean of 3.20 on traditional conception, on a five-point scale where 1 = ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 = ‘strongly agree.’ MANOVA found significant main effects of year of study, F(1, 606) = 22.11, p = .001, ƞ2= .04, and Teacher type, F(1, 606) = 8.67, p = .001, ƞ2 = .01, for the traditional conception. Third year students were closer to neutral in their beliefs about the traditional conception than first year students, and in-service teachers closer to neutral than pre-service teachers. For the constructivist conception, there was a significant interaction of teacher type and year of study for constructivist conception, F (1, 606) = 10.68, p = .001, ƞ2 = .02.  In year one, in-service teachers held more strongly to the constructivist conception than pre-service teachers, but in year three, there was no difference between these groups. 


Pedagogical beliefs; pre-service teachers; in-service teachers.

Full Text:



Chan, K. W., & Elliott, R. G. (2000). Exploratory study of epistemological beliefs of Hong Kong teacher education students: Resolving conceptual and empirical issues. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 28(3), 225-234.

Lee, J., Zhang, Z., Song, H., & Huang, X. (2013). Effects of epistemological and pedagogical beliefs on the instructional practices of teachers: A Chines perspective. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38 (12).

Yilmaz, H., & Sahin, S. (2011). Pre-service teachers’ epistemological beliefs and conceptions of teaching. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(1).

United Republic of Tanzania. (2008). National monitoring report on implementation of primary education development programme phase two (PEDP II). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 170-198). New York, NY: MacMillan.

Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2001). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

McCombs, B.L., & Whistler, J.S. (1997). The learner-centered classroom and school. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publisher.

Bruner, J.S. (1967). On knowing: Essays for the left hand. Cambridge, Mass: Havard University Press.

Ellis, A. K. (2004). Exemplars of curriculum theory. Mamaroneck, NY: Eye on Education.

Kafyulilo, A. C., Rugambuka, I. B, & Moses, I. (2012). The implementation of competency based teaching approaches in Tanzania: The case of pre-service teachers at Morogoro Teachers Training College. Universal Journal of Education and General Studies, 1(11) pp.339-347

Mosha, J. H. (2012). A case study of learning materials used to deliver knowledge and skills- or competency-based curricula (in Tanzania). Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Msendekwa, M. (2010). Application of learner-centered approach in Tanzania primary schools: The case of Dodoma municipality. (Unpublished Masters of Arts in

Rweyemamu, A. (2012). Poor delivery of curricula, not faulty exams, explains failures. IPP Media. Retrieved from

Vavrus, F., Thomas, M., & Bartlett. L. (2011). Ensuring quality by attending to inquiry: Learner-centered pedagogy in sub-Sahara Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa

Brooks, J., & Brooks, M. G. (1999). In search of understanding: the case for the constructivist classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD Publications.

Isikoglu, N., Basturk, B., & Karaca, F. (2009). Assessing in-service teachers’ instructional beliefs about student-centered education: A Turkish perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 25(2) 350-356.

Beck, J., Czerniak, C. M., & Lumpe, A. T. (2000). An exploratory study of teachers’ beliefs regarding the implementation of constructivism in their classroom. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 11(4), 323- 343.

Prawat, R. C. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning: A constructivist perspective. American Journal of Education, 100(3), 354-395.

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.

Hasweh, M. Z. (2003). Teacher accommodative change. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19, 421-434.

Chai, C.S., Teo, T., & Lee, C. B. (2009). The change in epistemological beliefs and beliefs about teaching and learning: A study among pre-service teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37, 351- 362.

Schommer-Aikins, M., & Easter, M. (2008). Epistemological beliefs’ contributions to study strategies of Asian American and European Americans. Journal of Education Psychology, 4, 920-929.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London, UK: Sage Publications.

Aypay, A. (2011). The adaptation of the teaching- learning conceptions questionnaire and its relationships with epistemological beliefs. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 11(1), 21- 29.

Otting, H., Zwaal, W., Tempelaar, D., Gijselaers, W. (2010). The structural relationship between students’ epistemological beliefs and conceptions of teaching and learning. Studies in Higher Education, 35(7), 741- 760.

Eren, A. (2009). Examining the teacher efficacy and achievement goals as predicators of Turkish student teachers’ conception about teaching and learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 34(1), 69-87.

Klein, M. (1996). The possibilities and limitations of constructivist practice in pre service teacher education in mathematics. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia.

Yates, S. (2006). Elementary teachers’ mathematics beliefs and teaching practices after a curriculum reform. In J. Novotna, H. Moraova, M. Kratka, & N. Stehlikova (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th International Group for the Psychological of Mathematics Education, 5, 433- 440. Prague: PME.

Perkkila, P. (2003). Primary school teachers’ mathematics beliefs and teaching practices. In M. A. Mariotti (Ed.), Proceedings of CERME 3: third conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education 28 February- 3 March 2003 in Bellaria, Italy.


  • There are currently no refbacks.




About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).