Natuurwetenskaponderwysers se vakinhoudelike kennis en begrip van die Aardwetenskappe
Thesis (MEd (Curriculum Studies))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
The numerous changes to the South African education system since January 1998 have had far reaching effects on schools and the training of educators (Government Gazette, 31 May 2002:13). Changes in subject content have occurred in various subjects, and the General Science (now Natural Science) syllabus is no exception. The General Science syllabus previously catered mainly for Chemistry, Physics and Biology, but the Curriculum 2005 (C2005) Natural Science syllabus includes subject matter on Physical Geography (Climatology, Astronomy, and Geomorphology) (Department of Education, 2002b:6). The problem with this is that educators that previously taught General Science are not necessarily qualified to present the Physical Geography component of the new syllabus. This study investigates the impact of the changes in the new curriculum. The review of existing literature on curriculum development in Natural Science education in South Africa emphasises key changes made in the development and implementation of C2005 and the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS). It also explores the characteristic features of misconceptions, before considering specific misconceptions in Natural Sciences. The first part of the two-tiered empirical investigation is based on the results of questionnaires and interviews completed by different groups of Natural Sciences educators. The questionnaires, which drew in part on existing questionnaires used in similar studies, were based on information used for the literature review. The second part of the empirical investigation consisted of interviews conducted with Natural Sciences Departmental Heads at randomly selected schools. An attempt was made to determine how these senior educators experienced the implementation of C2005 and RNCS and what their attitude to the new curriculum were. The data obtained from the questionnaires and the subsequent interviews were categorised, interpreted and coded for statistical processing.