The impact of teacher development science equipment training workshops in the North West Province
Kelebogile, Segwe Suzan Selina
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This study investigates the impact of teacher development science equipment training workshops in the teaching of Physical sciences in the North West Province. The study sought to explore the nature of the current workshops, the influence of the workshops in the teaching and learning of Physical sciences and to determine if teachers are empowered by these workshops. Implications of the impact of these workshops in relation to the expected outcomes of the curriculum were inferred. The study employed the eclectic-mixed research methods pragmatic paradigm. Quantitative data was first collected and analysed. This was followed by qualitative data which was also collected and analysed. The rationale for this approach was that the quantitative data and their subsequent analyses provided a general understanding of the Science Equipment Training workshops in relation to how the workshops empower teachers. The qualitative data and their analyses refined and explained statistical results by exploring participants' views in depth. A total sample of 60 Physical Science teachers was selected using the stratified random sampling technique. The strata in this study were in four North West Province districts. Data was collected using a questionnaire, classroom observations and interviews. Microsoft Excel programme version 2013 was used for constructing graphs and carrying out calculations. Minitab was used for performing tests of hypotheses. The results indicate that there is some statistically significant difference in the way the current workshops are being run as compared to the previous ones. The teachers acknowledged the workshops are fairly well organised and meet their set objectives. To a greater extent, the teachers benefit from the Department of Education's follow-up evaluation on equipment training workshops. The other main finding is that the science training workshops influenced the way teachers are now teaching science. The teachers' confidence in performing practical activities was found to have also increased. The implication of these findings is that teachers who took part in the study can be made to reflect on the link between the training and their practice. This might help them change their approach in ways they present scientific concepts. To a certain extent, the success of the workshops can be identified in teachers using science equipment in the teaching of Physical Sciences in the North-West province. The study recommends that future studies should investigate if there is a relationship between science equipment training and improvement of Physical sciences results.
- Education