An Investigation into How Grade 5 Teachers Teach Natural Science Concepts in Three Western Cape Primary Schools

Beata Set, Joanne Hadman, Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala


Purpose: The rationale behind this study was to investigate how three Grade 5 Natural Sciences teachers in three
Western Cape primary schools teach science concepts so as to enable the researcher to gain a deeper understanding and
more insightful perception of the ways in which the pedagogical practices of South African primary school teachers
influence conceptual learning in the science classroom.
Methodology: The sample comprised three teachers in a specific metropole district in the Western Cape. A qualitative
approach was employed to ensure the collection of rich data.
Results: The findings indicated that teachers tend to ignore learners’ misconceptions in class, that they rely heavily on
everyday empirical examples, that they fail to link these empirical examples to scientific concepts and that they devote
little talk time to explaining scientific concepts.
Recommendations: Based on its findings the study proposed a model of classroom practice that focuses on
promoting effective science learning with the aim of developing and transforming the everyday, familiar knowledge
of learners into new understandings of school-based scientific concepts and processes.
Conclusion: The data from the study suggested that there may almost certainly be serious shortcomings in the
instructional practices of teachers and that such shortcomings are not confined to the three schools in the sample but are
to be found in township primary schools in general. In addition, these shortcomings may require immediate
intervention on the part of senior curriculum specialists as well as teacher training higher education institutions (HEIs).

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Copyright (c) 2017 World Journal of Education


World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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