Quality enhancement in teacher education : Tanzanian teacher educators’ conceptions and experiences
Keywordsteacher education, quality, teacher educator, professional development, phenomenography, phenomenology
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AbstractThe overall aim of this study was to investigate and examine teacher educators’ conceptions and experiences of quality of teacher education. The research interest therefore was two-fold: a) to deepen understanding of the concept quality and b) scrutinize experiences of teacher educators of quality enhancement. To achieve this ambition the study was conducted in the context of a newly established university college-based teacher education in Tanzania. Two research questions guided the study. The first focused on investigating how teacher educators conceived quality in the domain of teacher education and the second intended to explore teacher educators’ experiences of quality enhancement. The theoretical framework of the study centered on the concepts of teacher education, quality, and criteria for quality enhancement. Phenomenographic and phenomenological approaches under the main umbrella of qualitative research design were selected. Twenty five teacher educators participated in the study. Interviews were used for the collection of the data. The results of the first research question, in brief, indicate that teacher educators’ conceptions of quality are expressed in two main categories, namely, outstanding academic scholarship and adequate professional scholarship. Quality as outstanding academic scholarship was illustrated by two subcategories: excellence and positive transformation. While the former was composed of two aspects, the latter was demonstrated by three aspects. Quality as adequate professional scholarship was described in three sub-categories. The first was improved teaching competency, consisting of two aspects. The second was conscious research orientation, which is displayed by three aspects, and the last was enhancing the ability to reflect, represented by two aspects. The results of the second research question, which focused on exploring teacher educators’ experience of quality enhancement, were classified into two main categories of description: insufficient programs of teacher education and unsatisfactory professional development of teacher educators. From the two categories, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges related to programs of educating teachers, particularly curriculum development and implementation, and the professional development of educators, were exposed. Since the ambition of conducting the study was to deepen the understanding by producing insight that would act as a platform for appraising and enhancing the quality of teacher education, the results hopefully can be used for the development of the quality of teacher education in Tanzania.
TypeDoctoral dissertation (monograph), Doktorsavhandling (monografi), Väitöskirja (monografia)