Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education

First Advisor

Associate Professor Geoff Lummis

Second Advisor

Professor David McKinnon


Many countries have made considerable changes to their education systems in response to the forces of globalisation. Tanzania is no exception. The most recent educational change attempt in Tanzania relates to the introduction of the 2005 Tanzanian Inquiry and Student- Centred Curriculum.

Sound change-leadership is a necessary condition for the realisation of change, particularly in influencing its adoption. Within the descriptive qualitative research paradigm, this study employed a Type IV (embedded and multiple) case-study design to examine and describe science teachers’ lived experiences in dealing with this latest Tanzanian curriculum and the role played by school-based leaders in influencing such experiences. The study was carried out in three case-study schools. Data regarding change leadership were collected from both teachers and school leaders by means of personal interviews, observations, and document reviews. Data regarding science teachers’ levels of adoption of this curriculum and related concerns, all of which helped to gauge the effectiveness of change-adoption leadership provided by School-Based Leaders, were collected using semi-structured interviews and a Stage of Concern Questionnaire and were triangulated through document reviews and inclass observations.

The findings show that school-based leaders in all case-study schools guided adoption of change primarily using authoritarian strategies. Nevertheless, there was some evidence to suggest that school-based leaders in the high performing and the medium performing casestudy schools tended to employ additional strategies that inclined towards collective and empowering leadership approaches. This difference appeared to covary with the science teachers’ levels of use of this curriculum and their concerns about it in the three case-study schools. Adoption challenges and those affecting leadership of change are also detailed.

These findings extend the ongoing academic discussion about the leadership of adoption of educational changes in schools. The understanding of pedagogical change gained through this study has implications for both policy and practice, and these are discussed in the last chapter. Leaders of these and other schools in equivalent contexts may use findings of this study to reflect upon their change-leadership practices in schools and improve the way they enhance pedagogical transformations and the professional development of their teachers.


Paper Location