An evaluation of a South African thinking skills programme for primary school learners : a follow-up study

Nissen, Charlene (2001-03)

Thesis (M.Ed.)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There is a need for learners to be taught thinking skills in South Africa and any thinking skills programme which is implemented needs to have been formally and scientifically researched. Unfortunately, many of the available programmes have not been fully researched. The Keys to Thinking Programme is a thinking skills programme, which has specifically been designed for South African learners. The programme was only partially evaluated (Hermanson, 1998) and there was therefore a need to complete the research. This study has set out to do this. The research objective of this study is thus to complete the research started by Hermanson (1998) and to evaluate the Keys to Thinking Programme to determine its efficacy in enabling learners to become better thinkers. In order to determine this, the study focused on four main aspects to establish if learners were indeed better thinkers as a result of the implementation of the programme: 1. Enjoyment of the programme; . 2. Transfer of the various skills and concepts taught in the programme; 3. Metacognition - the awareness of learners about their own thinking; 4. The ability of learners to be aware of and apply the four thinking dispositions. The study was conducted within a qualitative framework and was descriptive in nature. The study was conducted at a high school in the Western Cape with a group of Grade 8 learners. This was to ensure continuity, because Hermanson had conducted the study with the same group of learners who had then been in Grade 7. The study was conducted for eight months. The following were the most important findings of the study: • The learners enjoyed the programme. • They were able to transfer skills and concepts which they had learnt in the programme to their school work and to other situations. • Learners were more aware of their thinking. • Learners were aware of and were able to apply the four thinking dispositions. It was therefore possible to conclude that on the whole the Keys to Thinking Programme was effective in enabling learners to be better thinkers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In Suid- Afrika bestaan daar 'n dringende behoefte om denkvaardighede aan leerders te onderrig. Dit is egter belangrik dat enige denkontwikkelingsprogram eers formeel en wetenskaplik geëvalueer word voordat dit geimplementeer kan word. Ongelukkig is dit so dat baie van die beskikbare programme nie ten volle nagevors is nie. Die Keys to Thinking program is 'n denkontwikkelingsprogram wat spesifiek vir Suid- Afrikaanse leerders ontwikkel is. Die program is slegs gedeeltelik geëvalueer (Hermanson, 1998) en daar was dus 'n behoefte om die navorsing van hierdie program te voltooi. Hierdie studie poog dus om dit te doen. Die navorsingsdoelstelling van hierdie studie is dus om die navorsing te voltooi en om die effektiwiteit van die program om leerders in staat te stelom beter denkers te wees, te evalueer. Dit is gedoen deur op die volgende vier hoof aspekte te fokus: 1. Genot van die program. 2. Oordrag van verskeie vaardighede en konsepte, soos deur die program onderrig. 3. Metakognisie - die bewustheid van leerders oor hul eie denke. 4. Die vermoeë van leerders om bewus te wees van en om die vier denkdisposisies toe te pas. Die studie is binne In kwalitatiewe raamwerk voltooi en is beskrywend van aard. Die studie is aan In hoërskool in die Wes Kaap voltooi, met In groep Graad 8 leerders. Die rede hiervoor was om kontinuiteit te verseker omdat die vorige studie met dieselfde leerders onderneem was toe hulle in Graad 7 was. Die vernaamste bevindinge van die studie is soos volg: • Die leerders het die program geniet. • Daar is bewyse dat oordrag wel plaasgevind het - na hul skoolwerk en in die algemeen. • Leerders was meer bewus van hul denke en om meer denkend te wees. • Leerders was meer bewus van en in staat om die vier denkdisposisies toe te pas. Die Keys to Thinking program was dus effektief om leerders in staat te stel om beter denkers te wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52102
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