Analysis of teaching and learning of the earth and beyond strand in the intermediate phase in two districts, North West Province
An astute way to begin this study would be to define Natural Science and Technology. According to the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), Natural Science is a systematic way of looking for explanations and connecting the ideas we have (DBE, 2011). In Science, certain methods of inquiry and investigation are generally used. In Technology, people use the combination of knowledge, skills and available resources to develop solutions that meet their daily needs and wants. This is where Science and Technology cross paths. Economic and environmental factors and a wide range of attitudes and values need to be considered when developing technological solutions. Technology also advances as our knowledge and needs expand (NCS policy document, 2011). Globally, Science and Technology as a construct has become a projecting aspect in understanding how the world works and in improving the way in which technological knowledge is used in our daily lives (DBE, 2011). Learners in the Natural Sciences and Technology classroom are required to use critical thinking skills and to use technology effectively. Therefore, learners need both the human resource (i.e. the teacher) and the pertinent content knowledge the teacher offers. The rationale behind this research was to analyse the teaching and learning of the Earth and Beyond strand in Natural Science and Technology. The study focused on the intermediate phase and also served to help the researcher gain a deeper understanding of how the said transition evolves in the classroom. The sample comprised two districts in the North West province, namely the Bojanala and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts. A qualitative empirical research approach was employed. The data analysis was informed by the iterative approach in which the data was colour coded was initially undertaken. Later The researcher then applied themes and subthemes to the different responses, which she later used to develop a full analysis of the data and later a descriptive narration of the findings The findings indicate that teachers have a challenge of teaching the Earth and Beyond strand successfully. Based on its outcomes, the study indicates that teachers battle to demonstrate the grade 5 Earth and Beyond strand effectively due to the lack of resources, poor language acquisition by learners, non-support from subject advisors from the Department of Education (DoE), and lack of motivation of learners. The researcher discusses with reference to the teacher's responses, how teachers in the intermediate phase battle with the challenges mentioned above. Also, a discussion is provided as to what theories may assist teachers in overcoming some of the challenges experienced in the Earth and Beyond strand. The Inquiry Based Science Education approach theory is one strategy recommended by the researcher which will eliminate the challenge of lack of pedagogical content knowledge by teachers teaching the subject.
- Education