To explore how science teachers use practical activities in a lesson: a case of a community based secondary school in western Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Mussa Mohamed

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The research study was conducted to explore how teachers in a community-based secondary school in Kigoma region used practical activities in a science lesson. The qualitative case study design used to study a single community school namely Tudigite (pseudo name) by involving 3 science teachers (who were teaching physics, chemistry and biology in form one by that time of data collection) and 12 students (6 girls and 6 boys) from the 3 form 1 streams. Purposive sampling was employed to select the 3 science teachers while stratifies random sampling used to get the 12 students from form 1 streams. Data from science teachers and students were collected through interviews (basing on the semi-structured interview guide) and focus group discussion (basing on the discussion schedules) respectively. Other methods of data collection namely classroom observation and documentary analysis were employed to corroborate interview and focus group discussion responses. The findings of the study showed that science teachers used practical activities in their lessons but rarely and with difficult due to lack of adequate resources, time constrains, overcrowded classes and teachers’ background knowledge on how to use practical activities. It was also found that the kind of practical activities used by science teachers in their lesson included teacher demonstrations, hands-on activities and field activities. The use of practical activities were pronounced to be the best way of making learning of science fun, interested and motivating to learners. However, conclusions and generalizations cannot be made because the samples (3 teachers and 12 students from form 1 class and only 1 school covered) were too small in size. The school and learners studied were too few to make meaningful generalizations and conclusions for all community based secondary schools in the country. Further researches by using a large sample should be carried out in future.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library