Mathematics Teachers’ Use of National Assessment Feedback Reports in Improving Pedagogical Practices in Secondary Schools
Keywords:Assessment feedback, mathematics performance, pedagogical practice, national assessment.
AbstractDespite its importance in contributing to economic development, the trend of Mathematics performance has been low. The National Examinations Council of Tanzania (NECTA) provides Mathematics assessment reports to the schools, highlighting students’ strengths and weaknesses and recommending teachers to improve their teaching and learning practices. However, Mathematics performance in national examinations is still poor. This study examined how Mathematics teachers utilise Form Two National Assessment - Students’ Item Response Analysis (FTNA-SIRA) feedback reports to enhance their teaching practices. Specifically, the study focused on teachers’ perceptions and use of assessment feedback reports and their challenges. This qualitative study employed a phenomenology design that purposively selected 33 participants from ten (10) districts after obtaining their consent. The study used interviews and open-ended questionnaires to collect and analyse information using thematic analysis. Mathematics teachers admitted they hardly access feedback reports, and most of them revealed that they could not use them despite understanding their importance. Three Mathematics teachers from urban areas admit that using assessment feedback they accessed from the NECTA website improved their classroom teaching practices. However, underutilisation of the feedback is due to frailty in utilising online copies, reports remaining at the district or heads of schools’ offices, and low motivation and skills in implementing the recommendations provided. Underutilisation of assessment feedback hardly informs any pedagogical improvement, which risks the continuation of poor Mathematics performance. The study recommends establishing strategies for teachers’ effective use of assessment feedback for improving pedagogical practices, including capacity building, feedback use framework and motivation.