Enhancing democratic teaching and learning strategies in a civics classroom at secondary school level in Tanzania: an action research

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Shelina Walli

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Democratic Teaching and Learning Strategies refers to teaching techniques which provide opportunities for learners to be engaged in a dialogue with the teacher and among themselves to contribute in the process of learning. Unlike teacher-centered which suspended the voice of the learner and Learner-centered which implicitly ignored the voice of the teacher, democratic teaching is about balancing the voice of the teacher and that of the learner for them to equitably contribute in the learning process. The study sought to find out how Democratic Teaching and Learning Strategies with specific focus on the use of group discussions and Debates can be enhanced. The study was carried out in a day secondary school in Lushoto District by involving one collaborating teacher and a form four class which were purposefully selected. Through a qualitative participatory action research, data was collected by using multiple methods of interviews, document analysis, observations, questionnaire and focus group discussion. The findings from the study indicated that, lecture was the dominant strategy of teaching Civics and that, the use of group discussion had weaknesses because there were no specific criteria for forming the groups, objectives of the tasks were not shared, learners were not guided and there was less time for preparation and few reading materials which led to inadequate information and similar ideas across the groups. In addition, the findings indicated that the use of English language constrained learners to participate fully in group discussions and debates although it is the medium of instruction. However, it was found that enhancing the use of Democratic Teaching and Learning Strategies is possible provided that learners are guided and the teachers lowers themselves to the level of core-learners.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library