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Exploring grade 10 physical sciences learners’ views and preferences of instructional strategies in electricity.

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Physical Sciences is one of the subjects perceived by high school learners in South Africa and beyond as difficult. The examiners’ report from Department of Basic Education over the years have highlighted a poor performance in Electricity in the National Senior Certificate examinations. The researcher was then curious to find out other means of improving conceptual understanding of the topic in question. The aim of this research is to investigate Grade 10 Physical Sciences learners’ views and preferences of Instructional Strategies in Electricity. Instructional Strategies also known as “teaching strategies” give direction and approaches teachers have to follow in order to achieve the fundamental aims of instruction. The study explored three aspects: firstly, Grade 10 Physical Sciences learners’ views concerning Instructional Strategies used in Electricity. Secondly, the experiences of Instructional Strategies (i.e., teacher guidance, practical work and computer simulations) the present learners preferred during the exploration research. Thirdly, to understand factors that motivated learners to prefer the Instructional Strategies the way they do. The research approach in this study is qualitative. This approach allowed the researcher to generate data directly from the learners through constant interactions while observing their behaviour within their context. A sample of twenty-five Grade 10 Physical Science learners was conveniently selected from one of the township schools in Umlazi. Case study research design was adopted. This design was an exploratory type, treating learners as both the case and the unit of the study. An interpretive approach complemented with action research was used to collect data through questionnaires, video recordings and one-on-one interview for triangulation purposes. The transcripts further assisted in the formulation of themes that were used to answer the research questions. The analysis and interpretation of results indicate that learners enjoy the presence of their teacher in the classroom helping them throughout the lesson when working on assessments and practical experiments, which is why demonstration was selected as the most favourable Instructional Strategy amongst others. Furthermore, it was clear that teacher guidance was selected as the most preferred IS by the learners in comparison with practical work and computer simulation.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.