Exploring mathematics teachers’ perceptions of professional development in Tanzanian secondary schools: a case study of two public secondary schools in Ilala municipality in Dar es salaam

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Veronica Sarungi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Japhet Mtenzi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study focused on mathematics teachers’ perceptions of professional development (PD) in Tanzanian secondary schools. The study was conducted in two public secondary schools in Ilala Municipality, in Dar es Salaam. The schools were selected purposively. The participants of this study were head teachers, academic teachers, heads of mathematics departments, and mathematics teachers. The data collection methods used in this study included interviews, surveys, focus group discussion (FGD), and document analysis. The findings of this study were analyzed qualitatively through thematic analysis. The study found out that, teachers perceived professional development as programs to improve teaching as well as continuous learning. According to the findings, the benefits of teacher professional development (TPD) included; development of knowledge and skills, building of teachers’ confidence, grades promotion, and social interaction amongst themselves. In addition, the study found that, mathematics teachers were supported in professional development by their schools, District Educational Office (DEO), Municipal Council, Regional Education Office (REO), and government through Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MOEST). The kind of support that they were getting included: financial support, PD opportunities, PD resources, and provision of PD trainers. Finally, the study revealed the challenges of PD which were lack of funds, limited time to attend professional development programs, shortage of trainers, among other challenges of professional development. According to the findings of this study, it is recommended that, awareness for both informal and formal PD programs should be increased since this study found that, there was lack of participation in informal PD programs. Further, the PD programs should be organized so as to address teachers’ needs according to their actual contexts. Lastly, the shortage of teachers should be addressed in order to reduce teachers’ workload hence leading to teachers’ participation in PD programs.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library