Marking and giving Feedback on Pupils’ Class Assignments in Tanzanian Primary Schools: Implications for Pupils’ Learning

Marking and giving Feedback on Pupils’ Class Assignments in Tanzanian Primary Schools: Implications for Pupils’ Learning

Author(s) by Aneth A. Komba
Pages 159-168
Keywords feedbacks, Marking, pupils’ learning, Tanzania, written class assignments.
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Abstract


This study examines how teachers mark and comment on pupils’ classwork in Tanzanian rural primary schools. It: examines the primary school teacher certificate and diploma curriculum to identify how these equip student teachers with the skills required to mark and comment on pupils’ classroom exercises competently; explores how teachers mark pupils’ class work; examines comments/feedback provided on pupils’ class work; and determines the implications of teachers’ feedback for pupil learning. The approach employed was a qualitative visual methodology using a basic/generic qualitative design. Camera, interview and document review were used as the major data collection tools. A sample of 20 pupils, 200 classroom exercises on various subjects in 20 primary schools, two academic masters and two tutors from two public teachers’ colleges informed the study. Observation data collected through camera were analysed using visual content analysis while those collected through interviews and documents were analyzed using thematic and content analysis respectively. The findings indicate that the student teachers had not received any training while at teacher training college on how to mark and comment on pupils’ work and so, once employed, they performed this important activity largely by relying on their past experience as pupils. Other findings indicate good and poor practices related to marking and providing feedback. The poor practices include the teachers’ tendency to tick incorrect answers, offer positive comments on poor quality work, provide negative, abusive, unclear and written comments to pupils who were unable to read, provide comments in English which remained unclear to the pupils. The poor practices provide inaccurate information regarding pupil progress, discourage pupils from learning and attending school, and create a threatening classroom environment. This study recommends the inclusion of module on marking and commenting on pupils’ work during teacher training.

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