Theses and Dissertations (Science and Technology Education)
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/6442
2015-05-30T12:37:06ZThe role of mathematics in first year students’ understanding of electricity problems in physics
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18602
The 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 problems
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18241
Evaluating 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.
2014-11-01T00:00:00ZExploring effects of incorporating English language in secondary school science education : a case of secondary school physical sciences learners in Mpumalanga Province
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/14275
Exploring effects of incorporating English language in secondary school science education : a case of secondary school physical sciences learners in Mpumalanga Province
Hlabane, Alfred Sipho
This study investigated the effects of incorporating English language teaching in
Physical Sciences education. The sample was selected from Physical Sciences Grade
10 learners in a school in Mpumalanga Province and comprised an experimental group
who were taught through a workbook that incorporated language teaching in science
lessons and a control group who were taught via the normal textbook prescribed by the
Department of Basic Education. Pre- and post-tests were administered to both groups
and a sample of learners participated in a focus group interview. Two educators were
also individually interviewed.
The results revealed that incorporating language teaching in science lessons not only
improves learners’ academic performance but also their comprehension skills, and
encouraged the application of learner-centred methods of teaching. The study
recommends that Physical Sciences textbooks include English language activities with
the view of incorporating language teaching in Physical Sciences content lessons.
2014-02-01T00:00:00ZThe impact of enrichment programs on the performance of gifted science learners
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/14261
The impact of enrichment programs on the performance of gifted science learners
Charamba, Erasmos
In the majority of schools gifted learners are given the same quantity and quality of academic work as their non-gifted classmates. In some cases gifted learners are left to look after themselves when they are done with class work or worse still, asked to teach their non-gifted classmates.
Some educationists advocate for a differentiated curriculum between gifted and non-gifted learners. This study sought to establish the impact of enrichment programs to gifted Science learners. Forty gifted learners were identified and drawn equally into one of the two groups — experimental or control.
These learners wrote a pre-test after which the twenty learners in the experimental group received enrichment. The forty learners then wrote the same post-test to assess their understanding of the concepts learnt.
The cycle was repeated but with a different topic. Learners’ marks were compared and it emerged all twenty learners in the experimental group performed better than those in the control group. Gifted learners should therefore be given enrichment as it deepens, broadens, and sharpens their understanding of concepts.
2013-11-01T00:00:00Z