Working with challenging behaviors in public preschools in Tanzaniania: A qualitative study on strategies used by preschool teachers in Tanga City
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The problem of managing provoking behavior of pupils in school is receiving a considerable attention globally. There are various theories and practices which have been put forward of how best to tackle pupil’s difficult behaviors both at school and in the homes. Various studies have been conducted to see how practioners address the challenge. However, little has been done on behavior management in Tanzania. This dissertation focuses on challenging behaviors in Tanzania by examining strategies used by preschool teachers in Tanga city in addressing challenging behaviors among preschool children. Qualitative method was used to collect data from four preschools in Tanga city where interview was the main instrument complemented by observation. Data are presented and analyzed through an inductive thematic analysis approach, where little or no predetermined theory, structure or framework is used to analyze data. I focused on the actual data itself to derive the structure of the analysis. The results reveal that preschool children in Tanga city display behaviors related to school work, behaviors related to social relations and behaviors related to attitudes. Informants mentioned some of the factors they believe put a child at high risk of displaying challenging behaviors, such as social and family related reasons and some related to communication. It was found that both proactive and reactive strategies are used by preschool teachers in Tanga city in dealing with challenging behaviors. The study establishes that the status of preschool education in Tanzania is low compared to that of other levels of education. Preschool teachers lack the necessary training on preschool education whereas school infrastructures are also poor. This calls for a review focusing on improvements and reformation of the preschool programs and structures in the country. The study likewise found that one of the biggest challenges facing preschool teachers in Tanzania is lack of training. All the four informants had no training on preschool education.