Exploring grade 12 learners’ understandings of, and problem-solving approaches to work-energy-power in physical sciences in high schools.Ukhuphenya abafundi bebanga 12 Ukuqonda kanye nezindlela zokuxazulula izinkinga ekusebenzeni kwamandla kagesi esifundweni sePhysical Sciences ezikoleni zamabanga Aphezulu eLimpopo.
Maharaj, Jayanthi Siva Kumaree.
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Learners in high schools are performing poorly on the topic Work Energy Power as is evident in the National Senior Certificate Examinations (NSC) since 2008. The purpose of this study was to explore Grade 12 learners’ understandings of, and problem-solving approaches to Work-Energy-Power in Physical Sciences in high schools. The combination of Phenomenography and Variation Theory (VT) have been found to be best suited as an approach with which to tackle the research questions in this study as it enabled the researcher to probe into learners’ understandings and problem-solving approaches through their (the learners’) eyes which was the purpose of this study. This research employed a mixed methods approach as it used both quantitative and qualitative methods underpinned by pragmatism and interpretivism. The mixed methods approach was heavily weighted on the qualitative aspect with the quantitative aspect focusing primarily on descriptive statistics that was used to inform the qualitative aspects. The sample comprised of 100 National Senior Certificate Physical Sciences Paper One examination scripts and eight Grade 12 Physical Sciences learners. This sample was selected from six schools in one province in South Africa. The sampling method involved convenience sampling and typical case sampling, which is a type of purposive sampling, at different stages of the sampling process. A semi-structured interview schedule, Think Aloud Questionnaire (TAQ) and the NSC examination scripts were used to collect raw data. The TAQ (Appendix 10) was the instrument that was used to gain insights into the “thinking” of learners using the Think Aloud Method. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected via document analysis, thematic analysis and Think Aloud, all of which were underpinned by phenomenography and VT. The use of several data collection instruments and methods assisted with ensuring trustworthiness by triangulation. It was found that learners display seven alternative conceptions (ACs) about work, four ACs about energy and three ACs about power. Seven problem-solving approaches (PSAs) among Grade 12 Physical Sciences learners were identified, and these were missed the point state (MPS), limited (L), plug-and-chug-trial (PACT), layman’s approach (LAY), by elimination (BE), not shown (NS) and linked and integrated state (LIS). All the PSAs had problem-solving difficulties (PSDs) embedded in them except for the LIS approach. It was also found that awareness, simultaneity, discernment, reason, logic and clarity are important conditions for learners to fully understand scientific phenomena and successfully solve problems in physics. The last three conditions in the previous sentence, namely reason, logic and clarity, are being proposed in this study as additions to the current discourse on learning proposed by VT. The four patterns of variation namely contrast, generalisation, separation and fusion have been employed in this study as a possible explanation for the prevalence of alternative conceptions and problem-solving difficulties among Grade 12 Physical Sciences learners.IQOQA Abafundi ezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu abenzi kahle esihlokweni sokuSebenza kwaMandla kaGesi njengoba kubonakala emiphumelweni yabo kazwelonke yesitifiketi sikamatikuletsheni, i-National Senior Certificate Examinations (NSC) kusukela ngo-2008. Inhloso yalolu cwaningo kwakunguphenya ukuqonda kwaBafundi beBanga 12 ngeZindlela zoKuxazulula iziNkinga esifundweni sePhysical Science ezikoleni zamabanga aphezulu. Ukuhlanganisa iNjulalwazi yoShintsho kanye neyoHlalanto, i-Variation Theory (VT) sekutholakale ukuthi yikhona okungcono nokulungele indlela yokumelana nemibuzo yocwaningo kulolu cwaningo njengoba kuvumela umcwaningi ukuhlokoloza ukuqonda kwabafundi kanye nezindlela zokuxazulula izinkinga ngokwamehlo okubona kwabafundi. Lolu cwaningo lusebenzise izindlela zocwaningongxube njengoba kusetshenziswa zombili izindlela, eyocwaningozinombolo kanye neyekhwalithethivu, ezesekelwe izinhlelomqondo zenjulalwazi yokungenzeka kanye neyomhumusho. Indlela yocwaningongxube ibukwe kakhulu ngasohlangothini lwekhwalithethivu, bese kuthi ingxenye yocwaningozinombolo yona yagxila kakhulu ekuchazeni izinombolo. Isampula ibandakanye amaphepha ayi-100 okuhlola i-Physical Sciences iPhepha Lokuqala lokuhlola umatikuletsheni kanye nabafundi abayisishiyagalombili beBanga 12 be-Physical Sciences. Uhlaka lwezingxoxo esizakuhleleka, izinhlamibuzo zokucabanga ngokukhuluma, i-Think Aloud Questionnaire (TAQ) kanye namaphepha okuhlola e-NSC kusetshenzisiwe ukuqoqa imininingo. I-TAQ ibe ithuluzi elisetshenzisiwe ukuthola ukuzika ekucabangeni kwabafundi besebenzisa indlela yokuCabanga beKhuluma. Yomibili imininingo yocwaningozinombolo kanye neyekhwalithethivu kwaqoqwa ngokuhlaziya amadokhumenti, ukuhlaziya kwezindikimba kanye nokuCabanga ngokuKhuluma. Kutholakale ukuthi abafundi bakhombisa okunye ukuqonda okuyisikhombisa okwehlukile, i- alternative conceptions (ACs) mayelana nomsebenzi, ama-AC amane mayelana namandla kagesi kanye nama-AC amathathu amandla. Izindlela eziyisikhombisa zokuxazulula inkinga, ama-problem solving approaches (PSAs) phakathi kwabafundi beBanga 12 be-Physical Sciences atholakala futhi lokhu kwaba amagebe ezimo ezingatholakalanga, ama-missed the point state (MPS), okungaphelele, oku-limited (L), ama-plug-and-chug-trial (PACT), indlela kaLayman, i-layman’s approach (LAY), ngokususa, okusho ukuthi, by elimination (BE), okungaveli, okusho ukuthi- not shown (NS) kanye nesimo esixhumene kanye nesiyinhlanganisela, okusho ukuthi, linked and integrated state (LIS). Wonke ama-PSA ayenezinkinga zokuxazulula izinkinga, ama-problem solving difficulties (PSDs) ayeyamaniswe nawo ngaphandle kwendlela ye-LIS. Kwatholakala futhi ukuthi ukuqwashiseka, ukwenzeka kanye kanye, ukwahlulela okucacile, isizathu, umqondo kanye nokucaciseleka kuyizimo ezibalulekile kubafundi ukuze baqonde ngokugcwele isimo esinobusayensi kanye nokuxazulula izinkinga ngempumelelo esifundweni sePhysics. Izimo ezintathu zokugcina emushweni owandulela lo, okuyisizathu, isimo sokuqonda kanye nokucaciseka, kuyaphakanyiswa kulolu cwaningo njengezengezo kucwaningonto oluhlaziywayo ekufundeni okuphakanyiswe i-VT.