College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Jeffrey Kuzmic, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Gayle Mindes, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Karen Monkman, Ph.D.

Abstract

The development of technology and innovation in any country depends on a strong investment in science education from the lower to the upper levels of education. In most of the Sub-Saharan African nations, science education curriculum and teaching still faces many issues and problems that are inhibiting the growth of technology and innovation in these nations. In order to address these issues, an interpretive qualitative study that aims to examine how Tanzanian secondary science educators perceive secondary science education was conducted in the summer of 2013. The purpose of this study is to investigate problems and educational issues that might be limiting the growth of science, technology, and innovation in the Tanzanian society. Additionally, this research investigates the impacts of the colonial legacy that relates to language, politics, and economics, as they affect science education in Tanzania secondary schools. This study focuses on the governmental four-year ordinary level secondary science education; it took place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The researcher interviewed nine secondary science educators: three secondary science teachers and six secondary science education administrators. The researcher also conducted classroom observations. The data results from both interview and classroom observations were contextualized with data from existing documentation on Tanzanian secondary science education and data from previous research. The emergent themes from the study indicate that most of the problems and issues that are currently facing secondary science education are historically connected to the impact of the colonization period in 19th and 20th centuries. This study suggests that in order to improve science education in Tanzanian society, the people, especially the elites, need to break away from an "Orientalist" mindset and start integrating the Tanzanian culture and science into the still existing Eurocentric science curriculum. In addition, the Tanzanian government needs to invest in industries and economic initiatives that will support strong science education at all levels of education, as well as the graduates produced through this system.

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