An Assessment of Challenges Primary School Teachers’ Face in the Implementation of Integrated Social Studies Subject in Rungwe District, Mbeya Region-Tanzania
Keywords:Social Studies subject, Challenges, fluid relationship
AbstractThe study assessed challenges primary school teachers’ face in the implementation of Social Studies subject in Rungwe District, Mbeya region. The study applied a qualitative study approach founded on the interpretive philosophy which believes on studying issues from the natural settings i.e. realistic environment. The study was carried out in six (6) purposive selected primary schools. The study was augmented by the social constructivism theory. Use of social constructivism theory was undermined by its principle belief that the teacher just like the learner is borne independent and that he/she needs to practice such freedom wherever he/she is. The argument is that the teacher or the learner is a social and autonomous being rich of life experience and that classroom practices need to appreciate that and see that at some point, the teacher becomes the learner and the learner becomes the teacher while the two live in a fluid relationship and not that of a cat and rate relationship. The study used classroom observation, documentary review and semi-structured interview to collect data from a group of 13 participants including six Social Studies teachers, six head teachers and one school inspector officer. Collected data were analyzed using content analysis. Based on the study findings; inadequate supply of social studies T/L resources, teaching in overcrowded classrooms, shortage of qualified and experienced Social Studies teachers, lack of acceptance level of integration body of knowledge, and lack of in-service training about implementation of the new Social Studies subject seemed to limit and adversely impact teachers’ practices. As a result, Social Studies teachers rarely taught the lesson in connection to pupils’ day to day life i.e. linking theories of the subjects to the students’ real life experience. Actively engaging teachers in any educational or curriculum innovation was seen important for future improvement.