An examination of Grade 9 learners' process skills and their scientific investigation ability

Conana, Christiana Honjiswa (2009-12)

Thesis (MEd (Curriculum Studies)--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die prosevaardighede en die vermoë om ‘n wetenskaplike ondersoek uit te voer deur graad nege leerlinge, is ondersoek. Die begrip van hierdie vaardighede, byvoorbeeld waarneming, meting en data versameling, sowel as die beredenerings wyses tydens die oordrag van die bevindinge (resultate) van die ondersoek, is ook geëvalueer. Die proses in totaliteit is geëvalueer deur die gebruik van drie take insluitende geskrewe ondersoeke, onderhoude en waarnemings. Twee-en veertig Natuurwetenskap leerlinge van die primêre skool het aan die ondersoek deelgeneem. Die geskrewe ondersoek was die grondslag (fundamentele) aktiwiteit om die leerlinge se begrip van ‘n wetenskaplike ondersoek te evaluur. Die onderhoude was onderverdeel in vyf afdelings insluitende die doel, die belangrikheid, die voordele van die verstaan van prosesvaardighede, sowel as die probleme en uitdagings ondervind terwyl die leerlinge aktief betrokke was by of self besig was met die uitvoering van wetenskaplike ondersoeke. Die meerdeheid data (inligting) was verkry deur die waarneming van leerlinge wat saamwerk tydens die uitvoering van die ondersoekeie ondersoeke. ‘n Ontleding van die leerlinge se prestasie in die opdragte, individueel, sowel as in groep verband is gedoen. ‘n Ontleding van die leerlinge prestasie het getoon dat min leerlinge voldoende (bevredigende) begrip toon aangaande data (inligting) versameling en die oordra (kommunikasie) van die bevindinge (resultate). Die resultate van die ontleding onthul (toon) dat die gedeeltelike bereiking van die vereistes vir die uitvoering van ‘n wetenskaplike ondersoek die norm was. Hierdie leerlinge se waarnemings en meetings was onakkuraat, kon slegs sommige veranderlikes identifiseer, het slegs basiese wyses gebruik om die inligting (data) te versamel en te verwerk, en die oordrag (kommunikasie) van resultate was onvoldoende.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study explored Grade 9 learners’ process skills and their ability to conduct a scientific investigation. The understanding of these skills, for example observation, measurement and data collection, that these learners drew upon, and the way they reasoned while communicating their findings in the investigation, were also examined. This whole process was evaluated using three tools: a written survey, interviews, and observations of 42 Natural Sciences learners at the primary school. The written survey was the base-line tool to evaluate the learners’ understanding of scientific investigation. The interviews were done in five categories: the purpose of scientific investigation, the role and the advantages of understanding process skills, the problems and challenges encountered when learners are performing scientific investigations and experiences gained in conducting a scientific investigation. The main body of data was obtained from observing learners working cooperatively in the actual process of conducting scientific investigations. An analysis of their performance of tasks, both individually and as part of the group, was conducted. An analysis of the sample of learners’ performances revealed that few learners display a satisfactory understanding of how to collect data and communicate their findings. Instead, only a partial achievement of the requirements of conducting a scientific investigation was the norm. These learners observed and measured inaccurately, identified only some variables, established only simple trends in the process of collecting data, and did not form enough structure to communicate their findings.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3056
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