Faculty of Education
School of Teacher Training
Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Selected Highlights from Research Findings
In this study we provide a snapshot of teacher perspectives on and experiences with teaching large under-resourced science classes. The revision of the science learning area in Curriculum 2005 towards a more open, learner-centred inquiry based system of Outcomes Based Education (OBE) is expected to transform the classroom practices of teachers and the learning environment. In many South African schools, large under resourced classes are a major constraint that limits effective science teaching. Our research has confirmed that large class instruction is a complex process affected by a multiplicity of factors. The study addresses an important reality affecting science classes and has allowed us to glean useful and instructive insights for improving teaching under conditions of disadvantage. The results are due to be published in book form.
Contact person: Prof GOM Onwu.
This work, based on a sustained, qualitative investigation into the instructional decision-making of Grade Nine Natural Science teachers, asked how and why these teachers make strategic curriculum decisions at the interface of three different curriculum authorities (the inherited curriculum, the new curriculum and the recently revised curriculum). The main finding is that teachers do not make extensive use of their considerable decision-making space, a phenomenon described as passivity in decision-making. It was found, further, that a number of decision-making frame factors have a bearing on teachers’ tendency to abdicate their decision-making authority and autonomy in favour of commercial textbooks.
Contact person: Mr NT Stoffels.