The Perspectives of Physical Education Teachers in Tanzania on Teacher Professionalism

Stephen Mabagala


The notion of teacher professionalism is contested and contestable because it is used differently hence making it difficult to define. This study examined the perspectives of physical education (PE) teachers in Tanzania on teacher professionalism. The study went beyond theoretical definitions of teacher professionalism to explore what it means on the practical level. Specifically, the study utilized a descriptive survey design to gather data on PE teachers’ perspectives on teacher professionalism. A focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted and questionnaires with closed questions were administered to 52 PE teachers. The findings indicated that teacher professionalism is exhibited in many ways and includes knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours. These are subject and pedagogical knowledge, character, commitment to change and continual improvement, communication, service to the community and working relationships. Based on the findings it is concluded that the perspectives of PE teachers in Tanzania on teacher professionalism matches most of the descriptions of teacher professionalism in the literature. It is thus recommended that pre-service teachers should have courses on teacher professionalism in order to develop and nurture their understanding of the profession they are aspiring to join. The government should encourage and facilitate in-service teachers to attend professional development courses and training in order to keep them informed of professional demands and standards.


Key words: Perspectives, physical education teachers, professionalism

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