Outcomes–based assessment of physical sciences in the FET band
Morab, Olebogeneg Nicodimus
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Since its inception, the Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) curriculum in South Africa has caused much confusion and frustration among teachers, especially with regard to the implementation of Outcomes- Based Assessment (OBA). From the onset of the implementation of OBE in South Africa, teachers were confronted with unfamiliar challenges with regard to teaching, learning and assessment. Most teachers experienced these challenges as very stressful, because they were inadequately prepared for the didactical paradigm shift. This resulted in a general degree of negativity and resistance towards OBE amongst teachers. In particular, there seemed to be much confusion and frustration about the workload and administrative burden that OBA imposed on teachers. In the light of the afore-mentioned, the researcher wished to determine how the teachers from the North- West Province experience the OBA of Physical Sciences in the Further Education and Training (FET) Band. In order to achieve the aim and objectives of the research, a literature study as well as an empirical investigation was undertaken. The literature study focused on OBA, OBE, and the National Policy Document on the teaching, learning and assessment of Physical Sciences in the FET Band. For the purposes of the empirical investigation, quantitative and qualitative data were collected by means of a questionnaire that was distributed among a sample of teachers who taught Physical Sciences in the FET Band schools in the North-West Province. The data were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed and on the basis of the findings the following conclusions were drawn: • Although most participants indicated that they received training in OBA and were in possession of the relevant National Curriculum Statement (NCS) documents, some of their responses indicated a lack of practical implementation skills. It also transpired that some of the participants experienced a lack of resources and inadequate support from subject advisors in implementing OBA. • Participants experienced the following obstacles with regard to the assessment of Physical Sciences in the FET Band: - inadequate training to conduct practical work; - a complicated and confusing NCS document that does not contain clear guidelines; - an overloaded curriculum; and - limited resources, time constraints, overcrowded classrooms and an overloaded curriculum make practical work and experimentation very difficult. On the basis of the findings emanating from the research, a model for the implementation of OBA of Physical Sciences in the FET Band was proposed to close the gap between the theory and assessment practice.
- Education