Parents as first teachers: use of storytelling in rural and urban family settings in Tanzania

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The University of Dodoma
Across the world parents are considered to be the first and most continuous teachers of children. Appropriate childrearing practices help them to contribute positively in all domains of child development. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of parents as first teachers focusing on storytelling in Tanzania with specific attention to urban and rural families. In order to conduct this study, socio-cultural theory by Lev Vygotsky (1978) was used to guide the conduct of this study. A qualitative research approach guided by a case study design and qualitative data collection methods namely, focused group discussion, semi structured interview and documentary review were used. A sample of 105 was selected (parents = 52; children = 51; Cultural District Officer = 1 and Community Development Officer = 1). Except for children who were sampled through stratified sampling strategy, all other informants were sampled purposively. The data were analyzed deductively and inductively for the main themes and sub- themes respectively. The main findings of the study were: (i) the state of storytelling among young children is declining (ii) parents have abandoned the traditional ways of childrearing like storytelling (iii) the forms and contents available in the study settings are the same as those from rural and urban settings and (iv) the main challenges of storytelling among children include: time to narrate stories as well as competition from modern technology especially television, radio and mobile phone. The study concludes that while storytelling was used by parents in rural and urban settings, parents in urban areas relied on the use of TV due to time constraints while their rural counterparts used oral storytelling.
Dissertation (MA Education)
Rural family settings, Urban family settings, Childrearing practices, Child development, Storytelling, Tanzania
Nyangahondi , K. (2015). Parents as first teachers: use of storytelling in rural and urban family settings in Tanzania. Dodoma: The University of Dodoma