An investigation of assessment for learning practice in pre-primary classrooms in Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nipael Mrutu

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study investigated assessment for learning practices in pre-primary school in Tanzania. It studied assessment strategies that teachers are using in order to collect informed data about teaching and learning outcomes. It further looked into factors that make teachers opt to use certain strategy and the challenges that pre-primary teachers experience when conducting assessment for learning. The study involved four pre-primary teachers from a purposely selected pre-primary school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The study employed qualitative approach and exploratory case study research design where by data were collected through one-on-one semi-structured interviews, non-participatory classroom observation and document analysis. The findings from the study indicate that theoretically teachers know assessment strategies that are suitable for pre-primary learner. But their theoretical base is not evident in the actual classroom practice. Additionally study revealed that, there are some factors that make teachers prefer certain assessment practices out of the many. The study identified factors such as personal beliefs on assessment, limited knowledge of actual application of assessment strategies and high expectations from stake holders including parents. Moreover, it was found out that teachers encounter operational, language barrier, lack of guidance and policy oriented barriers that hinder assessment practices. Based on the research findings the study recommends on regular in-service training on classroom assessment strategies and procedures for pre-primary school teachers. Furthermore it is recommended that pre-primary assessment policy should be known by the community at large in order to reduce interference that teachers face from parents during its implementation. Finally the government of Tanzania supported by education stakeholders both local and international should put some plans in place that will ensure that, assessment guidelines for pre-primary classroom are followed by all schools that use Tanzania pre-primary school curriculum. The government should furthermore create conducive pre-primary classroom environment that will enable teachers to carry out their crucial task of teaching and assessing with less challenges.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library