Reflecting on Five Decades of Teacher Professional Development in Tanzania: The Missing Dimensions

Hillary Dachi


The importance of teacher development need not be over stated. This is adducible by the fact that transformations, innovations and diffusions in education make it imperative that teachers have to continually change and adopt. This paper takes stock of the trajectory of teacher professional development in Tanzania by locating related initiatives in the macro-policies and education transformations spanning a period of nearly five decades. It identifies the missing dimensions for robust in-service continuous professional development programmes (CPD) for primary and secondary school teachers. The paper proposes the need to support a cost effective in-service CPD model, which is school based designed around a reflective practitioner approach, for which teaching is an interactive problem solving professional undertaking requiring continuous updating of key competences that teachers require for classroom practices.


Key words:      teachers’ professionalism; teachers’ continuous professional development; macro-policies; education transformations

Full Text:



Akyeampong, K. (2017). Teacher educators’ practices and vision of good teaching in teacher education reform context in Ghana. Educational researcher, 46(4), 194-203

Alphonce, N. R. (2003). Teachers and teaching in Tanzania. Paper presented at Youth Trust Education Symposium held at Diamond Jubilee Hall, Dar es Salaam 25th– 27th September.

Auala, R. (1999). In search of excellence in education in Namibia, UNAM Inaugural lecture Proceedings No.4, University of Namibia.

Bashir, S., Marlane, L., Ninan, E. and Tan, J. P. (2018). Facing forward: Schooling for learning in Africa, Washington, DC: The World Bank

Bolam, R. (2007). Professional development and professionalism. In Bush, T and Bell, L (eds.), The principles and practice of educational management (pp.103-118). London: SAGE Publications.

Brown, P., Dillabough, J. and Halsey, A. H. (eds.). Education, Globalization & Social Change (pp.673-691). New York: Oxford University Press (OUP).

Cardona, I. S., Lugo, J.S., Gonzalez, J.V. (2012). Exploring the potential of communities of practice for learning and collaboration in a higher education context, Procedia-social and behavioral sciences, 46, 1820 - 1825.

Carr, D. (2000). Professionalism and ethics in teaching. London: Routledge

Dachi, H. A. (2010). Coming to grips with increased urbanization and its effects on primary education in Tanzania: Emerging issues and research needs. The Ugandan journal of public policy studies, 23-58.

Dachi, H. A. (2017). Coming to grips with the challenge of teacher supply in Tanzania: Covering the gap of numbers and grappling with the quality of teachers. A paper presented at the international conference, ‘Rethinking the Teacher Education: Improvement, Innovation and Change’, 23rd-25th October, Kampala, Uganda, organized by the AKU, IED East Africa.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (eds.). (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world. What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Ertmer, P. (1999). Addressing first-and second-order barriers to change: Strategies for technology integration. Educational technology research and development (ETR&D), 47 (4), 47-61.

Ertmer, P. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? ETR&D, 53 (4), 25-39.

Fentiman, A., Sugrue, C., Wyse, D & Dachi, H. (2013). Pedagogy and leadership in a Tanzanian primary school: a ‘whole school’ approach exploring classroom realities in an urban setting, in MacBeath J and Younger M (2013)(eds). Millenium Development Goals Revisited, London (pp 21-34) London: Routledge

Fullan, M. (2001). The new meaning of educational change (3rd edition). London: Routledge

Galabawa, J. C. J & Malekela, G (1998). Innovations in higher education: Re-thinking the Tanzania Musoma resolution policy, Dar es Salaam: Faculty of Education University of Dar es Salaam

Galabawa, J. C. J (1990a). Implementing educational policies in Tanzania, World Bank Discussion Paper No.86, Washington DC: The World Bank

Galabawa, J. C. J (1990b). Innovations in higher education: A case study of the Musoma resolutions policy. Papers in education and development (PED), 14, 23-35.

Galabawa, J. C. J. (2001). Developments and issues regarding Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Tanzania. A paper commissioned by ADEA for its biennial meeting, Arusha, Tanzania (October)

Goldhaber, D. (2011). Licensure: Exploring the value of this gateway to the teacher workforce. In Hanushek, E; Machin, S and Woessmann, L (eds.). Handbook of the Economics of Education, 3, (pp. 315-340). Amsterdam: Elsevier

Green, A. (2006). Education, globalization and the nation state. In Launder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J. Halsey, A. H (Eds.). Education, globalization and social change, (pp. 192-197). New York: Oxford University Press (OUP).

Hardman, F., Abd-Kadir, J. and Tibuhinda, A. (2012). Reforming teacher education in Tanzania. International Journal of Educational Development, 32, 826–834.

Hardman, F. and Dachi, H. (2012). Evaluation of school-based INSET pilot programme, final report submitted to UNICEF, Dar es Salaam.

Hardman, F., Hardman, J., Dachi, H., Elliot, L., Ihebuzor, N., Ntekim, M. and Tibuhinda, A. (2015). Implementing school-based teacher development in Tanzania, Professional development in education, 41 (4), 602-623, DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2015.1026453.

Hardman. F., Ackers, J., Abrishamian, N., O’Sullivan, M. (2011). Developing a systemic approach to teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa: Emerging lessons from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Compare: A journal of comparative and international education, 1-15, DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2011.581014.

Hargreaves, A. (2006). Four ages of professionalism and professional learning. In Launder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J and

Halsey, A.H. (eds.) (2006). Education, globalization and social change (pp.673-691). New York: Oxford University Press

Hartman, J. (1994). The state in Tanzania: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. In Himmelsrtand, U; Kinyanjui, K and Mburugu, J (eds). African Perspectives on Development: Controversies, dilemmas and openings , Nairobi: East African Publishing House

Hassler, B., Hennessy, S. & Hofmann, R. (2018). Sustaining and scaling pedagogical innovation in sub-Saharan Africa: Grounded insights for teacher professional development, Journal of learning for development (JL4D), 5 (1), 58 – 76.

Henessy, S., HaBler, B. and Hofmann, R. (2015). Challenges and opportunities for teacher professional development in interactive use of technology in African schools, Technology, pedagogy and education, 24 (5), 537-54.

Hoyle, E. & Peter, J. (Eds.). (1995). Professional knowledge and professional practice. London: Cassell.

Hoyle, E. (1995). Teachers as professionals. In Anderson, L (ed.). International encyclopedia of teaching and teacher education (pp. 11-15). Oxford: Elsevier.

Ishumi, A. G. M. (1984). Teaching all things to all men. Valedictory lecture to the 1984 education graduates, Department of Education University of Dar es Salaam.

Ishumi, A. G. M. (1988). The teaching profession and the challenge to the graduating teacher. Valedictory lecture to the 1988 education graduates, department of education University of Dar es Salaam.

Ishumi, A. G. M. (1994). 30 years of learning: Educational development in eastern and southern Africa from independence to 1990. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Ishumi, A. G. M (2013). The teaching profession and teacher education: Trends and challenges in the twenty first centure, African education review, 10(1), 89-116. Doi:10.10180/18146627.2013.855435.

Ishumi, A. G. M. (1986). Universal primary education and teacher training: A review of approaches and practice in Tanzania. Papers in education and development, 11, 1-21.

Ishumi, A. G. M. (2009). Preparation of education professionals: Past, present and future direction. A key note at the launching of the school of education at the University of Dar es Salaam, 16th May.

Janus, H. & Kaijzaer, N. (2015). Big results now? Emerging lessons from results based-aid, Discussion paper 4/2015, Bonn: German Development Institute,

Johnson, D. & Maclean, R. (eds.). (2010). Teaching, professionalization, development and leadership: A Festrichift for Professor Eric Hoyle, Oxford: Springer

Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G. & Wachira, P. (2008). Computer technology integration and student learning: Barriers and promise. Journal of science education and technology, 17, 560-565, DOI: 10 1007/s 10956-008-9123-5

Klingebiel, S. & Janus, H. (2014). Results –based aid: Potential and limits of an innovative modality in development cooperation, International development policy, 6 (1), 2-15, Doi: 10.4000/poldev.1746

Komba, W. L. & Nkumbi, E. (2008). Teacher professional development in Tanzania: Perceptions and practices, Journal of international cooperation in education, 11 (3), 67-83.

Lai, M. & Lo, L. N. K. (2007). Teacher professionalism in educational reform: The experiences of Hongkong and Shangai, Compare, 37 (1), 53-68

Lei, J. & Morrow, B. (2010). Teachers’ adoption of technology innovation into pedagogical practices, Education Information Technology. 15, 143-153.

Loucks-Horsley, S., Hewson, P. W., Love, N. & Stiles, K. E. (1998). Designing professional development for teachers of Science and Mathematics, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

Malekela, G. A. (1984). After UPE what next. Apaper presented at the International Symposium on village based teacher training and universal primary education in Tanzania, Marangu, (Moshi) 19th – 24th November.

Mbilinyi, M. (1979). Contradictions in Tanzanian education reform. In Coilson, A (ed.), African socialism in practice: The Tanzania experience (pp.217-227), Nottingham: England Spokesman.

Menter, I. & Pollard, A. (1997). Work and identity in the primary school. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Mhando, E. S. (2009). Teacher professionalism in perspective. A Paper presented at the Tanzania Teachers’ Union (TTU) national stakeholders conference, Morogoro 27th-31st December.

Mhando, E. S. (2012). Reflective teacher essays on education, Morogoro: Elimu Reflective Networks

Mmari, G. R.V (1980). The Implementation of the Musoma resolutions: The University of Dar es Salaam admissions experience. In Ishumi, A.G.M & Maliyamkono, T.L (eds). Education and social change: Readings on selected issues and cases (pp.164-193), Dar es Salaam: Black Star Agencies.

Mkumbo, K., Mgalla, Z., Shukia, R. & Kanukisya, B. (2016). Schooling and learning in Tanzania: Trends and issues in basic education. In Munene, I.I. (ed). Achieving education for all: Dilemmas in system wide reforms and learning outcomes in Africa Lanham, MD: Lexington Books

Mtebe, J. S., Dachi, H. & Raphael, C (2011). Integrating ICT into teaching and learning at the University of Dar es Salaam, Distance education, 32 (2), 289 – 294. DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2011.584-854.

Ndulu, B. J. & Mwenga, F. W. (1994). Economic adjustment policies. In Bankan, J.D (ed.). Beyond capitalism Vs Socialism in Kenya and Tanzania (pp 101-127), London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Oduro, G. K.T., Michael, F., & Dachi, H. (2013). Leading and managing change in schools, in Tikly, L and Barret, A. M. (eds). Education quality and social justice in the global south: Challenges for policy, practice and research (pp. 141-153) London: Routledge

Nsubuga, E. H. K. (2000). The teacher as a professional. Kampala: MK Publishers.

Nyerere, J. K. (1967). Ujamaa (Socialism), London: Oxford University Press (OUP).

Nyerere, J. K. (1968). Freedom and socialism. London: OUP.

Olsen, M. (2006). Neo-liberalism, globalization, democracy: Challenges for education. In Launder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J. and Halsey, A. H. (Eds). Education, globalization and social change (pp 261-287). New York: OUP.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2011). Building a high quality teaching profession: Lessons from around the world. Paris: OECD publishing

O’Sullivan, M. C. (2010). Educating the teacher educator – a Ugandan case study. International journal of educational development, 30 (4), 377-387.

Oxford Policy Management (OPM)(2017). Impact evaluation of education quality improvement programme in Tanzania (EQUIP-T)- mid line issue note 1: The changing context for teacher in-service training – reflection on equip Tanzania experience, Dar es Salaam, e-Pact Consortium.

Perraton, H., Creed, C. and Robinson, B. (2002). Teacher education guidelines: Using open and distance learning. Paris: UNESCO

Rogan, J. (2004). Professional development: Implications for developing countries. In Kalafunja, O; Hosea, K and Ottevanger, W (eds.) (pp. 155-170). Reforming science and mathematics education in sub-saharan Africa. Dar es Salaam: University of Dar-es Salaam TEAMS Project.

Shekighenda, L. (2011, October 15). Experts: teachers cause of poor performance. The Guardian p. 1, p. 2.

Shivji, I. G. (1989). Education: An IMF casualty. Southern Africa political and economic monthly (SAPEM), 16-17.

Shivji, I.G. (2009). Accumulation in an African periphery: A theoretical framework. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.

Showers, B., Joyce, B. & Bennett, B. (1987). Synthesis of research on staff development: A framework for future study and state of the art analysis. Educational leadership, 45 (3): 77-87.

Snoeyink, R. & Ertmer, P. (2001). Thrust into technology: how veteran teachers respond. Journal of educational technology systems 30 (1), 85-111. DOI: 10.2190/YDL7-XH09-RLJ6-MTPI

Sockett, H. (1993). The moral base for teacher professionalism, New York: Teachers College.

Tikly, L. & Dachi, H. (2009). Social justice in African education in the age of globalization. In Ayers, W; Quinn, T and Stoval, D. (eds) (pp. 120-137). Handbook of social justice in education. London: Routledge.

Tikly, L. (2011). Towards a framework for researching the quality of education in low income countries. Comparative education, 47 (1), 1-23

UNESCO. (2011). Tanzania Education Sector Analysis: Beyond primary education, the quest for balanced and efficient policy choices for human development and economic growth, Dakar/Dar es Salaam: Regional Bureau for Education in Africa/ Dar es Salaam cluster Office.

UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS). (2006). Teachers and educational quality: Monitoring global needs for 2015, Montreal, Canada: Author

UNICEF. (2009). INSET strategy and operational plan linked to the teacher development and management strategy (TDMS), 2008-2013, Dar es Salaam, UNICEF Tanzania.

UNICEF. (2013). Tanzania annual report 2013. Dar es Salaam: UNICEF Tanzania.

United Republic of Tanzania. (URT). (1993). The Tanzania education system for 21st century: Report of the task force, Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Dar es Salaam

URT. (1995). Education and training policy. Dar es Salaam: MoEC

URT. (1996). Child development policy, Dar es Salam: Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

URT. (2007a). Teacher education development and management Strategy (I), Dar es Salaam: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT).

URT. (2007b). Teacher education development and management strategy (II), Dar es Salaam: MoEVT.

URT. (2010). In-Service education and training strategy for primary school teachers: 2009-2013, Dar es Salaam: MoEVT

URT. (2014). Education and training policy, Dar es Salaam: MoEVT.

URT. (2017a). Basic education statistics in Tanzania (BEST), 2012 -2016, Dar es Salaam: Ministryof Education, Science and Technology (MoEST)

URT. (2017b). Education sector development plan: 2016/17-2020/21, Dar es Salaam: MoEST

Van den Akker, J. and Thijs, A. (2002). Curriculum reform and teacher professional development. In Osaki, K., Hosea, K. and Ottevanger, W. (2004)(eds). Reforming Science and Mathematics Education in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dar es Salaam: University of Dar-es Salaam TEAMS Project pp. 23-38.

Villegas-Reimers, E. (2003). Teacher professional development: An international review of literature, Paris: IIEP-UNESCO.

Wood, D’ Bruner, J. S. & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology, 17, 89-100.

World Bank (2014). Tanzania-big results now in education program project, Washington, DC: International Development Association (IDA)/The World Bank Group, Downloaded on 10/8/2018.


  • There are currently no refbacks.