Department of Science and Technology Educationhttp://hdl.handle.net/10500/64262015-05-27T04:07:00Z2015-05-27T04:07:00ZThe role of mathematics in first year students’ understanding of electricity problems in physicsKoontse, Reuben Doublehttp://hdl.handle.net/10500/186022015-05-14T01:00:43Z2015-04-01T00:00:00ZThe role of mathematics in first year students’ understanding of electricity problems in physics
Koontse, Reuben Double
Mathematics plays a pertinent role in physics. Students' understanding of this role has significant implications in their understanding of physics. Studies have shown that some students prefer the use of mathematics in learning physics. Other studies show mathematics as a barrier in students' learning of physics. In this study the role of mathematics in students' understanding of electricity problems was examined. The study undertakes a qualitative approach, and is based on an intepretivist research paradigm.
A survey administered to students was used to establish students' expectations on the use of mathematics in physics. Focus group interviews were conducted with the students to further corroborate their views on the use of mathematics in physics. Copies of students' test scripts were made for analysis on students' actual work, applying mathematics as they were solving electricity problems.
Analysis of the survey and interview data showed students' views being categorised into what they think it takes to learn physics, and what they think about the use of mathematics in physics. An emergent response was that students think that, problem solving in physics means finding the right equation to use. Students indicated that they sometimes get mathematical answers whose meaning they do not understand, while others maintained that they think that mathematics and physics are inseparable.
Application of a tailor-made conceptual framework (MATHRICITY) on students work as they were solving electricity problems, showed activation of all the original four mathematical resources (intuitive knowledge, reasoning primitives, symbolic forms and interpretive devices). Two new mathematical resources were identified as retrieval cues and sense of instructional correctness. In general, students were found to be more inclined to activate formal mathematical rules, even when the use of basic or everyday day mathematics that require activation of intuitive knowledge elements and reasoning primitives, would be more efficient.
Students' awareness of the domains of knowledge, which was a measure of their understanding, was done through the Extended Semantic Model. Students' awareness of the four domains (concrete, model, abstract, and symbolic) was evident as they were solving the electricity questions. The symbolic domain, which indicated students' awareness of the use of symbols to represent a problem, was the most prevalent.
2015-04-01T00:00:00ZEvaluating problem solving proficiency of grade 12 physical science learners in Highveld Ridge East and West circuits when solving stoichiometry problemsTigere, Edwinhttp://hdl.handle.net/10500/182412015-02-14T22:13:26Z2014-11-01T00:00:00ZEvaluating problem solving proficiency of grade 12 physical science learners in Highveld Ridge East and West circuits when solving stoichiometry problems
Tigere, Edwin
The aim of this study was to evaluate the problem solving proficiency of Physical Science learners in Highveld Ridge East circuits in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between proficiency in conceptual and algorithmic problem solving, to compare the percentage of algorithmic and conceptual problems that were correctly and incorrectly answered, problems not attempted at all and finally to categorize Physical Science learners according to their stoichiometry problem solving proficiencies. The target population for this study was Grade 12 Physical Science learners in Highveld Ridge East and West circuit in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. To achieve the aim of this study and its subsequent objectives random sampling was used to select the three schools and the sample after a stoichiometry achievement test was administered by Physical Science teachers, who were teaching the participants at their respective schools. The researcher scored the tests using a memorandum.
The results of this study indicated that learners’ proficiency in both algorithmic and conceptual problem solving was low, there was a weak positive correlation between algorithmic and conceptual problem solving proficiency, the percentage of solutions that were correctly solved was the lowest compared to the percentage of incorrect solutions and problems not attempted. The other result of this study was that there were no grade 12 Physical Science learners with high algorithmic and high conceptual abilities, a few learners had high algorithmic and low conceptual abilities and the majority of the learners had low algorithmic and low conceptual problem solving abilities. This implies that Physical Science teachers in these circuits should focus on developing both algorithmic and conceptual problem solving strategies when teaching stoichiometry.
2014-11-01T00:00:00ZPreparing Pre-Service Teachers to Teach in Rural SchoolsHeeralal, P.J.H.http://hdl.handle.net/10500/145582014-12-20T22:03:56Z2014-09-01T00:00:00ZPreparing Pre-Service Teachers to Teach in Rural Schools
Heeralal, P.J.H.
Teacher training institutions, have to date, paid little or no attention to train teachers to teach in rural schools. This paper
examines what needs to be done by teacher training institutions in South Africa to address the issue. Pre-service teachers
following the Bachelor of Education programme at a South African university were interviewed to ascertain what needs to be
done in order to address the professional needs of pre-service teachers to teach in rural schools? The data indicated that preservice
teacher were not given the opportunity to be exposed to teaching in rural schools during their teaching practice and the
curriculum content of the Bachelor of Education degree did not include aspects that relate to aspects of rural teaching, making
it difficult for rural schools to retain teachers. Based on the findings the following recommendations are made: modules that
have a specific focus on teaching in rural schools be included in the curriculum and that every student is required to spend at
least one practice teaching session in the course of the Bachelor of Education programme in a rural school. Education faculties
must ensure that they have staff members who have experience in teaching at rural schools to teach the modules that relate to
rural teaching. It is also recommended that incentives be offered to teachers who teach in rural schools.
2014-09-01T00:00:00ZMentoring Needs of pre-Service Teachers During Teaching Practice. A Case Study at a South African UniversityHeeralal, P.J.H.http://hdl.handle.net/10500/145022014-12-06T22:02:08Z2014-01-01T00:00:00ZMentoring Needs of pre-Service Teachers During Teaching Practice. A Case Study at a South African University
Heeralal, P.J.H.
Mentoring of students during teacher training is an important component in developing competent teachers. Different student
have different needs and hence need to be mentored differently. The manner in which it is done will determine how successful
a teacher will be in performing his/her duties and responsibilities when the teacher takes up a full time teaching post at a
school. Mentoring has to be done in a way that meets the needs of the student and has an impact on the student and his
future career. Often, on entering the teaching profession, the novice teacher will not be inducted into the profession by means
of an induction program at the school, but will be required to commence with the normal duties and responsibilities. The
teacher will need to “find his footing” on his own and this can lead to frustration, stress and disillusionment on the part of the
teacher. However, if the student, while in training, receives mentorship in a structured and meaningful way, it will assist in
easing the trauma that the novice teacher experiences on entering the teaching profession.Data was gathered from
student teachers by means of a structured questionnaire to explore student’s teachers mentoring needs. The
data was analysed with the view of identifying the mentoring need of pre-service teachers so that mentors assist
student teachers in meeting their needs and overcoming some of the challenges that they may face on entering
the teaching profession.
2014-01-01T00:00:00Z