Secondary school mathematics teachers’ utilization of professional development programs in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The role of professional development is to provide teachers with knowledge and skills to improve both instructional strategies and learning outcomes in terms of examination results. Although secondary school mathematics teachers in Kenya have attended professional development (IN-SET) in SMASSE and other programs, the examination results in mathematics at the KCSE has not significantly improved. This study explored how teachers of mathematics in secondary schools utilise knowledge and skills gained in professional development programs (PD) in the teaching and learning process and the challenges that hinder effective implementation of the strategies gained. The study sought for evidence that PD gains are reflected in planning and lesson delivery. A qualitative case study design was used to conduct the research in a boys’ secondary school in Machakos County, Kenya, with four trained mathematics teachers, one female and three males who had attended at least two PD programs and had a teaching experience of more than five years. Data collection methods used were face-to-face interviews, lesson observations and document analysis. Findings from the study suggest that secondary school mathematics teachers’ capacity has been enhanced through PD and to some extent, the teachers are implementing the PD knowledge and skills in the classroom. However, the extent of implementation has been affected by several challenges, among them; large classes and the demand to cover the syllabus early to pave way for revision of the high-stakes KCSE examinations. This means, if the challenges are minimised and follow-up sessions provided, the teachers are likely to improve on the level of utilization of the PD gains and the learner achievement would probably improve to a significant level. These findings have the implications that proper implementation of PD gains in mathematics classrooms is inadequate and therefore recommendations for teachers, curriculum developers, and the MOE are discussed.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library