The use of practical activities to address grade 11 learners' conceptual difficulties in electricity and magnetism

Kotela, Beauty (2013-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study investigated the use of a practical activities-based approach to Physical Sciences teaching using TRAC equipment to address learner conceptual difficulties in Electricity and Magnetism (E&M). TRAC uses practical activities based on the school curriculum to complement the theory through the utilisation of data logging equipment linked to a computer. The participants in this study were a group of black Grade 11 learners (n=47) from a township school in the province of the Western Cape, South Africa. Their ages range from 16 to 21, with isiXhosa the home language of most of them. A mixed methods approach was utilized to gather the research data. Quantitative data was collected, using pre- and post-testing of learners to determine their conceptual difficulties in E&M, as well as to measure the effect of the practical activities-based approach in addressing learner conceptual difficulties in E&M. Null hypotheses were formulated for the six concepts and t-tests were used to find any statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test. Qualitative data was obtained from the learner transcripts, as well as from the questionnaires and observation schedules. The results indicated significant improvements in learner understanding of the concepts in five out of the six tests as well as reducing commonly held misconceptions in E&M. It is recommended that careful scaffolding should be done during a practical activity in order for learners to make the connection between the domains of observables and ideas.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingstudie het die gebruik van ‘n praktiese aktiwiteitsgebaseerde benadering tot Fisiese Wetenskappe onderrig met behulp van TRAC apparaat ondersoek. Die doel was om leerders se konseptuele haakplekke in Elektrisiteit en Magnitisme (E&M) aan te spreek. TRAC maak gebruik van ‘data logging’ apparaat om die teorie deur middel van praktiese aktiwiteite wat op die skoolkurriulum gebaseer is, te komplementeer. Die deelnemers in die studie was ‘n groep swart Graad-11 leerders (n=47) uit ‘n swart woongebied in die Westelike Provinsie, Suid Afrika. Hulle ouderdomme strek van 16 tot 21 met isiXhosa as die huistaal vir die meerderheid van hulle. ‘n Gemengde metode benadering was gebruik om die navorsingsdata te versamel. Kwantitatiewe data was deur ‘n voor- en natoets van die leerders versamel om hulle konseptuele haakplekke in E&M te bepaal. Die effek van die praktiese aktiwiteitsgebaseerde benadering om die leerders se konseptuele haakplekke in E&M aan te spreek was ook gemeet. Nul hipotese was vir die ses konsepte geformuleer en t-toetse was gebruik om statisties-beduidende verskille tussen die voor- en natoets te bepaal. Kwalitatiewe data was van die leerders se oorgeskryfde onderhoude sowel as vraelyste en observasieskedules verkry. Die resultate toon ‘n beduidende verbetering in leerders se begrip van die konsepte in vyf van die ses toetse sowel as ‘n afname in algemene wanbegrippe in E&M. Dit word aanbeveel dat versigtige opbouing gedurende die praktiese aktiwiteit gedoen moet word sodat die leerders ‘n verband tussen die domein van waarneembares en idees kan maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85788
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