Addressing cultural diversity in early childhood classes: what are teachers competencies?

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas Bakuza

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Joachim Tamba


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Addressing cultural diversity (CD) has become an issue of discussion worldwide particularly in early childhood care and education institutions, on how practitioners address the learning needs of children from a diverse cultural background (DCB) in their classrooms. In Tanzania particularly in Korogwe town, like another different part of the world, early childhood classes are populated with children from the DCB. Yet, little is on documents on how practitioners address the LNC from the DCB. The purpose of this study was to investigate the competences of early childhood practitioners (ECPs) in addressing the LNC from the DCB. The study adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design. The study was conducted in Korogwe town in Tanga region Tanzania where the targeted population were headteachers, academic masters and mistress and early childhood classroom practitioners (ECCPs). The study used interviews, observation and documents analysis as intruments for data collection. The findings of the study indicate that ECPs were addressing the learning needs of children from diverse cultural background without any segregation and by using various approaches to ensure effective children’s learning. However, the findings show that training was insufficient to ECPs in addressing the LNC from the DCB. As a consequence of insufficient training, ECPs avoided some of the cultural issues in their classes such as teaching children about diversities, incorporating cultural practices in their lesson, the use of prior knowledge of the children and celebrating cultural diversity in their institutions believing that by including that aspect they will create tribalism and religious biases to children. The study recommends training to ECPs during pre-service and in-service to strengthen their competencies in addressing the LNC from the DCB for the better attainment of the effective children’s learning. In addition, policy and curriculum developers should find a way in which they can include cultural aspect particularly in pre-primary classes where the foundation of the child’s achievement is generated.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library