Towards the democratisation of senior phase school science through the applicatin of educational technology

Waghid, Faiq (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this dissertation I report on an action research study in relation to the democratisation of science education in a Grade 10 life sciences classroom at a local high school through the application of educational technology, more specifically social network media such as Facebook. I argue that action research for social justice with the support of educational technology can contribute towards cultivating critical teaching and learning in the science classroom, thus contributing to the democratisation of science education in schools. In the main, this study shows that educational technology can contribute to the democratisation of science education in classrooms in relation to teaching contentious issues in the current life sciences school curriculum on three levels: firstly, learners and educators can experience enhanced levels of participation, collaboration and deliberation through Facebook; secondly, learners can construct personal learning contexts as a testament to the sense of autonomy they have (and can acquire) in learning about life sciences, particularly as they endeavour to nurture their critical and problem-solving skills, construct and apply life sciences knowledge, and integrate understandings of life sciences into the context of societal change; and thirdly, learners and educators can cultivate equal partnerships in the sense that equality refers to their insistence to „rupture‟ and „disrupt‟ pedagogical activities in the life sciences classroom. Finally, this study also reveals that critical teaching and learning in the life sciences classroom cannot be oblivious to poststructuralist thought on learning to think and act rhizomatically as opposed to hierarchically and linearly, and that exercising one‟s individual autonomy through a claim to intellectual equality can simply be pedagogical ingredients that can further enhance democratic science education in schools.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie proefskrif doen ek verslag oor ‟n aksienavorsingstudie in verband met die demokratisering van wetenskaponderwys in ‟n Graad 10 lewenswetenskappe- klaskamer in ‟n plaaslike skool deur die toepassing van onderwystegnologie, meer spesifiek sosiale netwerkmedia soos Facebook. Ek argumenteer dat aksienavorsing vir sosiale geregtigheid met die ondersteuning van onderwystegnologie kan bydra tot die kultivering van kritiese onderrig en leer in die wetenskapklaskamer, wat dus bydra tot die demokratisering van wetenskaponderwys in skole. Hierdie studie bewys hoofsaaklik dat onderwystegnologie op drie vlakke kan bydra tot die demokratisering van wetenskaponderwys in klaskamers met verwysing na omstrede vraagstukke in die huidige lewenswetenskappe-skoolkurrikulum: eerstens kan leerders en opvoeders hoë vlakke van deelname, samewerking en beraadslaging deur Facebook ervaar; tweedens kan leerders persoonlike leerkontekste konstrueer as bevestiging van hulle sin van outonomiteit wat hulle bekom (en kan aanleer) deur leer oor die lewenswetenskappe, veral soos hulle poog om kritiese en probleemoplossingsvaardighede uit te bou, wetenskapskennis te konstrueer en toe te pas, en betekenisse van lewenswetenskappe in die konteks van sosiale verandering kan integreer; en derdens kan leerders en opvoeders gelyke verhoudings kweek in soverre gelykheid verwys na hulle aandrang daarop om pedagogiese aktiwiteite in die lewenswetenskappe-klaskamer te „verbreek‟ en te „ontwrig‟. Ten slotte wys hierdie studie dat kritiese onderrig en leer in die lewenswetenskappe-klaskamer nie onbewus kan wees van poststrukturalistiese denke oor die aanleer van risomatiese eerder as hiërargiese en liniêre denke en optrede nie, en dat die uitleef van individuele outonomie deur aanspraak te maak op intellektuele gelykheid die pedagogiese inspuiting kan wees wat benodig word om demokratiese wetenskaponderwys verder in skole te bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85577
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