Socially Balanced Equity Education


Growing up I always thought I needed to work at a lucrative job and make tones of money so that I can escape poverty. As a kid, I thought being rich was the best thing ever. Growing up in a poverty stricken neighborhood, I have seen and experienced the real problems associated with poverty. And, I …

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Does Affect Impact Student Achievement?


Background: Educators are experiencing undue pressure to perform in education accountability driven by evidence-based instruction. The pressure to show adequate student performance on standardized tests causes many educators to allocate a larger portion of their classroom instructional time to test preparation instead of teaching higher-order learning and thinking skills (Tapia & Marsh, 2004). The shift …

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Chimney Tops, Smoky Mountains National Park


There were many good moments in Gatlingburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. However, this one was among the best. And the best days were many. I do not have a good recollection of the events of each day that we spent at the Great Smoky Mountains. I would say, this was either the third or fourth …

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Big Results Now: A Simple Solution to a Complex Problem


The tables have turned. Or am I seeing the work of a magician. Enough with the jokes! Seriously, Tanzania has been the laughing stock in East Africa with regards to its education system for a while. We all know that change do take time. Especially, meaningful and lasting change. Change  in education doesn’t happen overnight …

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Smoky Mountains National Park


This year we decided to chart a new course for our family summer vacation. We decided to take a path less traveled. Once you have been to the Sunshine State too many times, it becomes less difficult to choose to go elsewhere. I have no complaints with my vacations in Florida. Florida is always going to …

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Course Evaluation


Hello everyone. It was great to have you in my course this semester. I hope you enjoyed the experience. In my quest to make the course more enjoyable to you, I would like your input. Additionally, I hope you will find a way to use the information you learned in this course in the near …

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The Qualitative Method of Impact Analysis


The article entitled “The Qualitative Method of Impact Analysis” by Mohr (1999) attempts to qualify qualitative study design as a rigorous and explicit method for impact analysis (impact evaluation purposes). In this article, Mohr discusses the problems facing qualitative methods when it is used to study impact. He asserts, impact it fundamentally is a causation …

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The One Size Fits All Assessment Model: A disastrous approach.


In this analysis, I will discuss the book review entitled “Computers, Curriculum, and Cultural Change (2rd ed.)” by Bonita Wilcox (2005). I will review the four types of literacy discussed in the book review and how to incorporate these literacies in instruction. Finally, I will conclude by discussing the lessons I learned from reading this …

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The Challenges of Curriculum Change: Lessons from Alberta, Canada


The article entitled “The Challenges of Curriculum Change” by Kent den Heyer (2013) discusses an educational initiative in Canada’s Alberta Province.  The purpose of the Initiative was to move from a knowledge-based curriculum to a skills- or competence-based curriculum. In this analysis, I will first discuss the author’s argument regarding curriculum change. In addition, I …

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Evidence-Based Management of Education in Tanzania: A Cautionary Tale.


Education management and assessment is a challenging process. Most often, educational evaluators fail to evaluate education systems because of not having a complete understanding of the curriculum driving the education process. The not so sophisticated educational assessors view educational assessment as simple as a pass or fail exercise.  The assessment is often based on simplistic tests …

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A Mixed Method Study Design


By: Shaaban Fundi In this synthesis I will discuss my understanding of mixed method research design. I will also discuss which methods (qualitative or quantitative) that I will use to drive my research inquiry. In addition, I will discuss in detail the case study approach that I will use in my pilot study.  Finally, I …

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Educational Ideologies: Schiro’s Book Review


In this book review, I will discuss the four main educational ideologies presented in the book entitled "Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns" by Michael Schiro (2013). The ideologies I will discuss include: (1) the scholar academic ideology, (2) the social efficiency ideology, (3) the learner centered ideology, and (4) the social reconstruction ideology.  …

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Part II: Conversations with Educators Regarding Virtual Lab Usage in Science Education


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y5XRBJb-Eo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUsBOaftq4cVpXbQAvRYCGhQ In this video I interviewed a science special education educator regarding his experiences with virtual labs in science education. I started the interview by asking him to describe his education background and how he became an educator. In addition, I asked him to describe his educational philosophy and how that philosophy fit in with …

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Part I: Conversations with Educators Regarding Virtual Lab Usage in Science Education


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7U_ptOLIuI In this video I interviewed a physics educator regarding his experiences with virtual labs in science education. This was my first interview with teachers. I started the interview by asking him to describe his education background and how he became an educator. In addition, I asked him to describe his educational philosophy and how …

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Recomendations for Successful Curriculum Revisions


The article entitled “Principles of Effective Change: Curriculum Revision That Works” by Johnson (2001) describes a study conducted to determine factors for successful curriculum revision for teachers and school administrators in southern Iowa, United States. The purpose of the study was to determine the key elements that will affect the success of curriculum revisions at …

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Change Theory and Curriculum Development


In this reflection I will discuss the article entitled “Creating a Climate of Rapid Response to Needs for Change” by Blanchard (1978). I will present the steps that Blanchard used to develop an alternative curriculum (model) for a high school.  This curriculum addressed the school’s current and future needs that were identified during discussions with …

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Social Efficiency and Learner Centered Ideologies in Education


Reading through chapters 4 and 5 of the book entitled Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns by Schiro (2011), I gained an in-depth understanding of what the Learner Centered and the Social Efficiency ideologies represent. In this week’s brief reflection of the two chapters, I will base my discussion on how the two ideology …

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Summer Vacation: St. Simons, Jekyll, and Savannah, Georgia.


We usually take our June vacation somewhere by the beach in the hot and swampy Florida. This year I was in for a change. Not changing the beach scene, but changing the vacation location altogether. It gets boring going down to the Sunshine State when you have already seen and done all the beaches and …

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Tanzania Education System: Why Change It?


Each year and each time the National Examination results (Standard Seven, Form Four, and Form Six) are announced, the discussion regarding the failures of the education system in Tanzania pops up.  The central question in these discussions is whether or not the education system is meeting its goals of educating the Tanzanian youth? TWAWEZA's  data (2011-2012) from a cross-sectional studies …

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Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and Ballet Recitals


 There are so many ways to spend your week-end here in Atlanta without going into your wallet. Don’t take this literally though, because you will have to shell some cash for gas, drinks, and food. For starters, there are numerous outdoor festivals going on each week-end; the many parks, lake Lanier activities, and the nearby …

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High Stakes Standardized Testing in America: The History


This essay will explore the history of testing in American education, the introduction of standardized testing in American Secondary Education, the philosophical underpinning of these events, the historical perspectives, and the ethical standpoint that led to where we are today. In addition, the essay will also touch on the ontological perspectives, axiological perspectives, and the …

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Scientific Cheating Catalog: The Mismeasure of Man


Scientific Cheating Catalog: The Mismeasure of Man The book “the mismeasure of man” chapters 3 and 4, Gould discusses further some of the ways that scientists have cheated either intentionally or unintentionally. I have cataloged some of those instances I found to be fascinating in these two chapters below. 1) Francis Galton (1822-1911) was Darwin’s …

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Transformation Theories: A Reflection


By: Shaaban Fundi In this essay I will discuss transformative theory of learning through four different lenses or approaches. These approaches include Mezirow’s psychocrtitical approach/theory, Daloz’s psychodevelopmental perspectives, Paulo Freire’s sociocultural theory and Boyd’s psychoanalytical approach. I will then, discuss the similarities and differences among these four lenses of transformative learning. Furthermore, I will discuss …

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Andragogy: My Education Philosophy


I believe that education is a collaborative process between the educator and the students. I feel that educators should recognize that students bring their own experience and skills to the classroom. In other words educators should view their students as active partners in the learning process and not as passive participants. In so doing, the …

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Antique Car Show, Embry Hills, Georgia


First I will admit my ignorance to cars—new and olds. Today I took a spin in my neighborhood just looking for something beautiful to take a shot of. An expectedly I ran into a car show. This is an annual event where people showcase their vintage cars. It was beautiful all around. Enjoy the shots …

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Will the “Kiswahili only” Language of Instruction Model be the Answer for the Massive Failures in Tanzania?


This debate come and go every year when the dismal pass rates of our secondary and primary school students are announced. This year, this same debate came with a twist. The guardian newspaper reported recently that the Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training Philipo Mulugo and the government of Tanzania are in the process of drafting …

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Tanzania Form IV Results 2011: Abysmal Again.


Once again, it is that time of the year when the Form IV results from the Tanzania National Examination Council comes out.  To be specific, the 2011 Form Results were officially announced yesterday.  This is the time when I post the snippets of what has happened with the numbers. My prediction looking to the future …

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Analyzing the Mv. Spice Islander Investigation Report in Light of Mv. Nyerere Ferry Sinking in Mwanza.


According to credible reports, “MV Spice Islander” had a maximum human loading capacity of 600 passengers. However, at the time of its sinking, it was carrying 2470 passengers. That is four times the maximum allowed. Further reports says, 941 passengers survived, 203 passengers lost their lives and 1326 passengers are still missing. I’m saddened by …

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Tanzania STD 7 Results 2011: The ups and the downs.


There is a Swahili saying that goes like “when elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers”. This saying came to my mind today as I was reading articles and comments related to the release of the 2011 Standard Seven Examination results in Tanzania. A total of 983,545 students sat for Standard Seven Examination in 2011. …

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What Made 2011 Special for Me?


This was an incredible year. I finally had the opportunity to visit Soweto. It was an incredible moment for me to see the houses of both my favorite South African leaders, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.  I also had the opportunity to work with my co-workers to organize an event to raise funds for the Mutombo Dikembe Foundation. …

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Tanzania @ 50: Lets Celebrate??


Tanzania turned 50 years old yesterday. I should correctly say---Tanganyika as there was no Tanzania during the 1961 Independence Day. Tanzania is just a union between two independent states—Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Pemba and Unguja) in 1964. Enough said. Progress is engulfing my mother land. If car ownership is an indication of how we’re progressing as the …

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Sokoine: The Old Leadership in Tanzania


After uhuru celebrations overload yesterday. Today I am reflecting on what has happened to the new order of leadership in Tanzania. I remember when I was little. I mean very little back then in the early 1980s. A young energetic prime minister tragically died on a terrible car accident close to Morogoro. He died on the-then-newly opened tarmac road from Dar Es …

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Tainted Waters.


Last week I attended Advanced Placement Environmental Science Educators Training at Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw University is located  in the north-western part of the massive metropolis called Atlanta. During the training I learned different inquiry (lab) based methods of teaching advanced placement environmental science to students. It was a great week filled with fun experiences. As …

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Neutrinos: Is “physics as we know it” nearing an end???


By: Shaaban Fundi, I read with interest the article by Charles Krauthammer on the http://www.nydailynews.com today about the discovery of neutrino particles that travels faster than the speed of light. If this experiment and the discovery happen to be correct, then most–if not all of the Einsteinian theories in physics will be absolute. It will set a …

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Suggestions for Teaching English to Native Swahili Speakers.


Shaaban Fundi, Last week I conducted several interviews with Swahili speaking students at a local community college in Atlanta. Amongst the interviewees: three were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, one from the United Republic of Tanzania and four were from the republic of Burundi. The eight students spoke Swahili with different dialects. By definition, …

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English as a Second Language of Instruction in Tanzania


By Shaaban Fundi English language learning in the Tanzanian Education System can be characterized as being “problem-solving” oriented. The type of problem solving that does not include exercises that cultivate higher-order thinking skills. The main goals are: 1) to obtain enough knowledge of English to reach a minimal level for a specific purpose, such as …

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Tanzania, Tanzania, Nakupenda kwa Moyo Wote!


After spending three weeks in Tanzania and seeing people from all walks of life, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on my experience. Generally, Tanzania is a great country with tremendous potential and opportunities. The country is endowed with a vast amount of natural resources (lakes, oceans, rivers, trees and minerals) and huge chunks of …

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The Rock City, Mwanza


By: Shaaban Fundi After spending a week on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar (Nungwi in particular), you would think that nothing can top those amazing "wow" moments. However, Mwanza is stunning on its own right. Arriving in Mwanza, you fly on top of Lake Victoria. The first things you will see are those cropping up rocks …

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Soweto, South Africa (2011).


SOWETO Many many years ago I had an opportunity to read a book called Mine Boy by Peter Abraham. The book was one among several other books on the reading list of the Secondary School English Curriculum in Tanzania. Since reading Mine Boy, I have had an u-n-d-i-m-i-n-i-s-h-i-n-g thirsty too see the Soweto township. Today …

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Julius Nyerere: A critical look at Nyerere’s Leadership


JULIUS NYERERE: THE LEGEND OF AFRICA’S ELDER STATESMAN. Compiled by Nina Mbabazi Rukakaire PART 3: The move to the left of Center. In March 1959, Governor Turnbull proposed an increase in TANU’s role in the government. His first move was to appoint five members to the twelve man cabinet. Julius Nyerere of course was against …

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Julius Nyerere: A Ugandan Perspective.


By Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire, JULIUS NYERERE: THE LEGEND OF AFRICA’S ELDER STATESMAN. PART 1: How he saw it in the end. Julius Kambarage Nyerere, founding father of Tanzania and often times defined as the “Elder Statesman” of Africa was by far the most interesting of all African leaders. Not only did he lead Tanzania to …

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Tanzania: Changing its Education System


I am sharing two videos today. The first video is really nice and talks about issues related to high failure rates in the Tanzanian Education System and it is particularly so for the sub-county (ward) secondary schools. The first video is in Swahili and the second is in English. Please watch both videos and help change …

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Serengeti Road: German government offers a solution


The African Regional Manager for the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Mr. Gelrald Bigurube, confirmed that the German government will finance construction of tarmac roads that will link dozens of rural villages adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. He also said that the World Bank and the German government are also ready to finance southern route that …

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Jenerali Ulimwengu’s Kind Words to Poor Ugandans


While I agree wholeheartedly with Generali Ulimwengu’s words of wisdom to poor Ugandans, the same words need to go around to Kenya with their political families as well as Tanzania. Jenerali, your own neck of the woods is indeed practicing the same in case you haven't noticed. Or was this just a way of sending …

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Tanzania: Dynamite Fishing Returns, Unabated!!!


While working for Frontier Tanzania in the late 1990s I saw firsthand the devastating impact dynamite fishing had on coral reefs, the lives of the fishermen, and fish abundance in southern Tanzania. As an Asistant Marine Reserach Coordinator, I collected baseline data on the levels of biodiversity and habitat destruction using various marine survey techniques. The data …

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Tanzania-Born Freelance Journalist Based in Atlanta.


I had a virtual conversation with Mr. Mahadev, Desai over the week-end here in Atlanta. He is a prolific Tanzania (Tanganyika) born writer and a freelance journalist of Indian decent. He writes for various Atlanta newspapers including the Atlanta Dunia magazine, Khabar magazine or NRIPULSE newspaper. To read more about Mr. Mahadev’s biography and the …

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Unlock the Potential of a Tanzanian Child


There are so many talented children in Tanzania, but most of their potentials is being wasted before it can be realized. This kid in the video below could be the next Will Smith. The lack of resources and programs to foster children talents in science, arts, acting, story telling and the like will result to …

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The Headline You Won’t See in the Tanzanian Media Today!!!


“The headline you won't see in the Tanzanian media today, "JK Sack Defense Minister and Army Chief." And what you will see is JK visits "Munitions Victim in a Hospital". With photo of His Excellence kissing an injured baby. BUTIAMA TUMEZIKA MENGI.” A quote from- Henry Suffa. The leadership in Tanzania is very predictable. Meetings will be held over this …

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