Exploration of mathematics tutors’ provision of formative feedback to student teachers: case of a government teachers’ college in Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Anjum Halai

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Peter Kajoro


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Formative feedback plays a vital role on improving students’ learning abilities and modifying learning behaviours. Teacher education programme must provide an opportunity to the teachers to recognize the significance of formative feedback and incorporate it in their practice (Heritage, 2007). In this sense tutors in teachers in pre service teacher education are professionals who could ensure that student teachers develop relevant knowledge and skills in relation to formative feedback. This study aimed at exploring if and how mathematics tutors provide formative feedback to student teachers in one government teachers college in Tanzania. Four data collection methods were employed; interviews, observation, focus group discussion and document review. The findings indicate that mathematics tutors use two main types of formative feedback; verbal and written forms; in the verbal form mathematics tutors provided explanations, clarifications of concepts, provision of hints and oral comments while in written form mathematics tutors used directions for reading hard copies of marking rubrics with explanations of question, solutions and marks, text books to get more clarification of mathematics concepts, displaying results on the notice boards with marks and grades, writing answers on the boards and returning student teachers’ marked scripts with marks and grades. The findings further showed that formative feedback benefited student teachers as it increased student teachers’ learning abilities because it developed knowledge, increase efforts towards learning and improved experiences on providing formative feedback. Moreover mathematics tutors were benefiting because formative feedback led them to learn mathematics knowledge and skills. However, mathematics tutors revealed that time limit; numbers of student teachers and complaints from student teachers hindered the process. The findings from the study suggest that there should be clear emphasis on provision of formative feedback in the course of the teacher education programme and that continuous professional development must be provided to mathematics tutors.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library