Teacher-led Professional Learning in Tanzania: Perspectives of Mathematics Teacher Leaders

  • Calvin Zakaria Swai University of Dodoma
  • Florence Glanfield University of Alberta
Keywords: Teacher-led Professional Learning, Mathematics Teacher Leaders, Tanzania, Rural Communities, Mathematics Teachers


This paper explores the perspectives of mathematics teacher leaders (MTLs) on teacher-led professional learning (TLPL). Shaped by notions of symbolic interactionism, the study employed a multisite case study design. Empirical data were collected through in-depth interviews. The study revealed the practice of TLPL influential in facilitating teacher participation and engagement in learning; encouraging long-term teacher collaboration and interaction; inviting integration of teaching experiences; inviting contextualization of professional learning; and more importantly, in promoting sustainability of professional learning of mathematics teachers. A significant implication of this study is that the education system of Tanzania needs to encourage and empower mathematics teachers to become teacher leaders for them to be able to lead and support the professional learning of mathematics teachers within their schools.

Author Biographies

Calvin Zakaria Swai, University of Dodoma

Calvin Zakaria Swai, PhD., is a Lecturer in the Department of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Dr. Swai’s scholarly activities and research focus on teacher education, teacher leadership, and curriculum studies. He’s made national and international conference presentations in all these areas of scholarship. Currently, Dr. Swai is actively engaged by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Tanzania in a 5-year teacher education support project, focusing on revitalizing the quality of primary, secondary, and teacher education in Tanzania.

Florence Glanfield, University of Alberta

Dr. Florence Glanfield, PhD, is a professor of mathematics education, and chair of the Department of Secondary Education, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Canada. Dr. Glanfield’s research interests explore the experiences that individuals (teachers and learners) as well as collectives / communities have with mathematics and learning mathematics. Dr. Glanfield collaborates with colleagues in all research projects and has engaged in research with Indigenous Canadian communities, urban Indigenous youth, elementary & secondary mathematics teachers, and primary teachers and teacher educators in Tanzania.