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How teachers construct teaching-learning sequences in chemistry education in the further education and training phase.

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The purpose of this study was to understand how teachers design and implement teaching-learning sequences. A teaching-learning sequence can be described as a well-coordinated step by step series of teaching and learning activities designed to improve chemistry knowledge. This study investigated how physical science teachers plan teaching-learning sequences for chemical bonding in the Further Education and Training Phase (Grade 10 to 12). In South Africa, learners in grades 10 to 12, study Physical Science which is a combination of physics and chemistry topics. The main goal of the study was to understand the different patterns of teaching-learning sequences used by physical science teachers to teach chemical bonding and establish the reasons for using such sequences. A convenience sample of 227 practising physical science teachers completed a survey questionnaire, and 11 participants were selected for semi-structured interviews. This mixed method study also included an analysis of policy documents and a popular textbook. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed separately and outcomes were compared, combined, and discussed. In this thesis, I present an argument about how teachers design and implement teaching-learning sequences for chemical bonding. I propose a teaching-learning sequence for teaching chemical bonding in the FET Phase. Three aspects emerged on sequencing chemistry topics or concepts. Firstly, teachers suggested a variety of different sequences for teaching both the topics in general chemistry and for the concepts in the specific topic of chemical bonding. There were some similarities among the sequences. In general the sequences suggested did not match that provided in the curriculum documents. Secondly, teachers indicated that they used policy documents to establish the prescribed general chemistry content to be taught but their teaching of the topic of chemical bonding was usually based on previous teaching sequences and they make minor changes every year. Thirdly, they gave various reasons why they used different teaching-learning sequences. For example, sequencing to facilitate learning requires a logical order of topics and recognition of prior knowledge. They indicated that chemical bonding was particularly problematic and teachers’ knowledge was considered a significant factor to the design and success of a teaching sequence.


Ph. D. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2013.


Science--Study and teaching (Higher)--South Africa., Chemistry--Study and teaching (Higher)--South Africa., Chemistry--Programmed instruction., Theses--Education.