The role of practical work in the teaching and learning of Physical Sciences in the context of high-stakes examinations.Indima edlalwa ukwenziwa komsebenzi ekufundisweni nasekufundweni kwe-Physical Science uma kubhekwa isimo sokuhlola esibucayi.
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Practical work implementation continues unchanged despite a lack of empirical evidence on its value. Enduring ideas about the role of practical work are used to justify exorbitant outlays on equipment, despite anecdotal observations to the contrary. To date, studies have mostly focused on resources, objectives achieved and teacher perceptions. Gaps in South African studies include how practical work is conceptualised in the curriculum, perceptions of its purpose, and implementation in the context of high-stakes examinations. To answer the focus question on the role of practical work, three research questions were used to explore the i) rationale ii) characteristics and iii) why practical work was done in particular ways. Using a qualitative research design, 24 teachers and four subject advisors were interviewed, the Physical Sciences CAPS curriculum document was analysed, and nine practical work lessons were observed. The first finding was that assessment determined practical work implementation. This was achieved by the influence of the role players at different curriculum implementation levels. Secondly, the respondents’ claims that doing practical work helps learn content, develop skills, and is an assessment requirement were also reflected in the CAPS document. However, it was found that the learning of content and not skills was prioritised. Thirdly, in the teacher-directed lessons, theory was revised, phenomena illustrated, basic skills practised, and data collected for the report write-up. Fourthly, the respondents held some commonly held misconceptions about practical work. These included doing practical work motivated learners, mirrored how scientists work, and the manipulative skills learnt were essential for learners’ success with tertiary studies and science careers. However, the activities appeared to only generate situational interest amongst the learners. Fifthly, not all abstract concepts could be illustrated through the concrete activities, and some phenomena were difficult to generate. In summary, the role of practical work in the teaching and learning of Physical Sciences in the context of high-stakes examinations was found to support the learning of theory and for assessment. Contributing to the literature, an adapted Lesson Observation Framework to determine the nature and effectiveness of the tasks and a revised classification system appropriate for resource-constrained contexts are proposed. IQOQA Ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla kuyaqhubeka ngendlela efananyo nakuba bungekho ubufakazi maqondana nosizo lwakho. Kunemibono ephambili mayelana nendima edlalwa ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla uma kuchithwa izimali ezinkulu kuthengwa izinto zokusebenza nakuba kungenabufakazi obubonakalayo ngakho. Kuze kube manje ucwaningo lugxila kwizinsizakusebenza, imigomo efezekile kanye nezindlelakubuka zawothisha. Amagebe akhona ocwaningweni eNingizimu Afrika ambandakanya indlela ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla okubukwa ngayo kwikharikhulamu, indlelakubuka yenhloso yako, kanye nokusetshenziswa kwayo uma kubhekwa isimo sokuhlola esibucayi. Ukuze kuphenduleke umbuzo mayelana nendima edlalwa ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla, kwabuzwa imibuzo emithathu yocwaningo ukuhlola i) izizathu, ii) izimpawu, nokuthi iii) kungani ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla kwenziwa ngendlela ethile. Kwalandelwa uhlobo locwaningo oluyikhwalithethivu, kwatholwa izinhlolomibono yothisha abangama-24 kanye nabahloli bezifundo abane. Kwahlaziywa umqulu wekharikhulamu i-CAPS yesifundo sePhysical Science. Umphumela wokuqala kwaba ukuthi ukuhlola yikhona okulawula ukusetshenziswa komsebenzi wezandla ngenxa yamandla alabo ababamba iqhaza emazingeni ahlukene okulandelwa kwekharikhulamu. Okwesibili, abacwaningwayo bathi ukwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla kusiza ekufundweni kokuqukethwe esifundweni, kuthuthukisa amakhono, kanti futhi kungenye yezinto okumele zihlolwe njengokulandelwa komqulu we-CAPS. Njengoba kwenziwa nakwamanye amazwe ase-Afrika ukufundwa kokuqukethwe esifundweni kuhamba phambili, okuyinto ephambene nokwenziwa kwamanye amazwe lapho amakhono ehamba phambili. Okwesithathu, ezifundweni eziqonde kuthisha kwabukezwa okubhaliwe kwachazwa izinto, kwenziwa amakhonongqo, kwaqoqwa imininingo ukuze kubhalwe umbiko. Okwesine, abacwaningwayo babenolwazi olungashayi emhlolweni mayelana nokwenziwa komsebenzi wezandla. Lolu lwazi olungesilo lumbandakanya ukuthi umsebenzi owenziwayo ukhuthaza abafundi, ukhombisa ukuthi ososayensi basebenza kanjani, ukukwazi ukuwenza kudingekile uma uqhubeka nezifundo zemfundo ephezulu kanye nemisebenzi yesayensi uma usuqede ukufunda. Nokho-ke kwatholakala ukuthi imisebenzi yayilivusa ilukuluku langaleso sikhathi kubafundi. Okwesihlanu, akuwona wonke umsuka wolwazi lwezinto ezingabonakali okwakulula ukuthi uchazwe ngemisebenzi yezinto eziphathekayo, kanti futhi kwakunzima ukwakha ezinye zezinto. Ekugcineni, indima edlalwa ukwenziwa komsebenzi ekufundisweni nasekufundweni kwe-Physical Science uma kubhekwa isimo sokuhlola esibucayi iyakuxhasa ukufundwa kokubhaliwe kanye nokuhlola. Kuphakanyiswa ukuthi kwenziwe i-Lesson Observation Framework ezothola ukusebenza ngendlela efanele kwemisebenzi eyenziwayo kanye nohlelo lwezigaba olubukeziwe.