Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2014


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Educational Studies (General Education)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Gary Shank

Committee Member

Rick McCown

Committee Member

Launcelot Brown

Committee Member

Ladislaus Semali


Education-primary, Educational leadership, Educational administration


Many people agree that a "child's teacher can make a bigger difference to his or her educational success than most other school variables" (Darling-Hammond, 2006, p. 19). Quality education as a result of quality teaching has been a subject of discussion in many countries (Karras, & Wolhuter, 2010). According to Nyerere (1967), "the purpose of education is to pass from one generation to the next the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the society, and to prepare the young people for their future membership of the society and their active participation in its maintenance or development" (p. 268). Following the history of Tanzania and her good inherited values, a country full of natural resources that needs an educated workforce, this goal has not been fulfilled. National Form IV examination results show mass failure of students. The mass failure is attributed to various reasons such as lack of resources, poor teaching environment and family background. Yet the foremost contributor is teaching quality based on the small number of programs for the training and professional development of teachers. Tao (2013) states that "certain actions are often cited as constitutive of poor teacher performance, such as absenteeism, teacher-centered `chalk and talk' pedagogies, inadequate subject knowledge and withholding content to support private tuition" (p. 2). The paper describes these teaching challenges, taking into account the context and the historical background of education in Tanzania from traditional education to the current system of education guided by the Tanzanian education policy of 1995. Given the importance of teachers and their position in society, the paper suggests the application of some traditional teacher qualities and values such as caring, listening, understanding, knowing the students, fairness, respect, social interaction with the students and promoting good moral and ethical values of society while maintaining good examples and commitment to students (Mushi, 2009).