Gender Equity in Primary Teachers' Pedagogical Decision-Making in Tanzania
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Gender inequities in many Sub-Saharan African societies continue to raise concerns in these nations. Disentangling factors contributing to such inequities warrants further research. The specific goals of this international study were to better understand teacher perceptions of gender equity and explore how teachers might use gender equitable practices in their teaching. Only a few studies have examined gender equity in Sub-Saharan African classrooms. This study is the first to examine gender equity in teacher pedagogical practices with primary boys and girls in Tanzania. This investigation is a mixed methods study employing both qualitative and quantitative research. The data collected includes both a Teacher Attitudes Survey (TAS) (Anderson, 2005) and observational data. The TAS survey asks teachers to describe their beliefs about boys' and girls' education (academic capability and performance, non-academic behavior, and the importance of education) and their teaching practices. In addition, observations were conducted to help to untangle the complex relationships between beliefs and behavior by examining the extent to which survey responses were observable in teaching practices. Specifically, observations enriched the self-reported survey data by clarifying hidden gender inequities in the classroom which influence the use of gender equitable teaching strategies. Data from this study were in contrast to Anderson's (2005) study in Benin where teachers' overall EIC use by student gender was small and not statistically significant. Tanzanian teachers reported that they call on boys more often, give boys more leadership opportunities, and provide boys with more positive feedback than girls (p <.05). While these findings contained examples of teacher bias, teachers in this study thought more highly about students' academic capability and performance than the perspectives found among Benin teachers in training (Anderson, 2005). Qualitative findings highlight the gender equity challenges teachers face in question content due to constraints in relating the national curriculum to the lived experiences of Tanzanian girls. This provides a possible explanation for teachers' reported struggle in using EIC strategies with girls as often as boys. In addition, observations illuminated hidden gender inequities in teachers' practices when leading outdoor activities and in teachers' classroom management techniques. This discussion provides important teacher perspectives to assist government leaders and researchers in developing gender equity training in Tanzania.