Teaching thinking skills in science to learners with special needs : an evaluation study

Galyam, Nilly (2004-12)

Thesis (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Effective use of thinking skills and processes affects every aspect of our lives. This study investigates the nexus between an alternative approach to science teaching with an emphasis on teaching thinking skills, and the special needs of learners in two South African classrooms. Two cycles of intervention programmes with an emphasis on thinking skills were introduced to learners with special needs and evaluated. The aims of this study are to critically explore whether and to what extent teaching science to learners with special needs using selected Instrumental Enrichment instruments can: • Contribute to the development of basic and science thinking skills and the transfer of these thinking skills and processes to other disciplines; • Provide learners with special needs with an interactive science programme that is suitable for their special needs; and • Increase student engagement in the science classroom as well as positively influence the classroom learning environment. The study was conducted using action research as a method for teachers-researchers to investigate the teaching-learning situation in situ for the purpose of improvement and change of practice as well as for the benefit of the learners who participate in the intervention. Cross-referencing triangulation was used, in which different perspectives obtained from different sources - the teacher's, the observer's and the learners' -were combined as a way to increase the validity, credibility and dependability of the findings. This research report offers insights into science instruction, the acquisition of science content knowledge and the improvement of thinking skills in learners with special needs. The research also deals with the transfer of thinking skills taught in one discipline into another, and raises questions about the assumptions regarding this issue in Curriculum 2005. It also throws light on the inclusive approach, underpinning the South African educational policy of inclusive education and its suitability for learners with special needs.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die effektiewe gebruik van denkvaardighede en -prosesse het 'n invloed op elke aspek van ons lewens. Hierdie studie ondersoek die verband tussen 'n alternatiewe benadering tot wetenskaponderrig met 'n klem op die onderrig van denkvaardighede en die spesiale behoeftes van leerders in twee Suid-Afrikaanse klaskamers. Twee siklusse van intervensieprogramme, met 'n klem op denkvaardighede, is aan leerders met spesiale behoeftes bekendgestel en geëvalueer. Die doel van die studie is om krities ondersoek in te stelof, en tot watter mate die gebruik van geselekteerde Instrumentele Verrykking in wetenskaponderrig aan leerders met spesiale behoeftes: • 'n bydrae kan maak tot die ontwikkeling van basiese en wetenskaplike denkvaardighede en die oordrag van hierdie denkvaardighede en prosesse na ander dissiplines • 'n interaktiewe wetenskapprogram, gepas vir hul behoeftes, kan voorsien • leerderbetrokkenheid in die wetenskapklas kan verhoog en ook die klaskamerleeromgewing positiefte beïnvloed. Die studie is gedoen deur aksie-navorsing te gebruik as 'n metode vir die onderwysernavorsers om ondersoek in te stel na die onderrig-leer situasie in situ met die doelom praktyk te verbeter en te verander en om ook tot voordeel te wees van die leerders wat aan die intervensie deelneem. Kruisverwysende triangulasie is gebruik waarin verskillende perspektiewe wat verkry is uit verskillende bronne - van die onderwyser, die waarnemer en die leerders - gekombineer is as 'n manier om geldigheid, geloofwaardigheid en betroubaardheid van die bevindings te verhoog. Die navorsingsverslag bied insig in wetenskaponderrig, die verwerwing van wetenskapinhoudkennis en die verbetering van denkvaardighede by leerders met spesiale behoeftes. Die navorsing handelook oor oordrag van denkvaardighede wat in een dissipline onderrig is na 'n ander en bevraagteken die aannames rakende hierdie kwessie in Kurrikulum 2005. Dit belig ook die inklusiewe benadering wat onderlê word deur die Suid-Afrikaanse onderwysbeleid oor inklusiewe onderwys en die geskiktheid daarvan vir leerders met spesiale behoeftes.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50114
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