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Challenges facing physical science educators in the implementation of the National Curriculum statement: the case of the Empangeni Education District

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dc.contributor.advisor Imenda, S.N.
dc.contributor.advisor Ntuli, M.S.
dc.contributor.author Mchunu, Stephan Paraffin
dc.date.accessioned 2011-12-05T10:37:59Z
dc.date.available 2011-12-05T10:37:59Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/950
dc.description A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Education in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Masters of Education in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2009. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study looked at the implementation of the NCS physical science as a major curriculum change. As Imenda (2002:4) states "curriculum change entails that educators, learners, administrators, and all those with a part to play in the actualisation of the new curriculum have to see and do things differently". He further asserts that "this invariably means embracing a new system of doing things in terms of a sound philosophical basis, curriculum content description, beliefs, values, convictions and practices". He further posits that "the transition from an 'old' curriculum to a new one could therefore present difficult challenges and problems". According to Imenda (2002:4), "the espousal of OBE by South Africa's Ministry of Education to apply to all levels of the education system has presented a number of major challenges". Indeed, there are many challenges facing physical science educators in the implementation of OBE, including overcrowding, language mismatching, teacher unpreparedness, non-delivery of OBE resources, inadequate facilities and resources (Adler & Reed, 2002:60-65; Jacobs, Gawe & Vakalisa, 2002:106-107 & De Waal, 2004:63-66). In particular, student assessment is an integral part of the outcome-based approach to curriculum design and implementation. Accordingly, the implementation of valid and reliab!e assessment procedures is a centre piece 1 of outcomes-based education (OBE). The paradigm shift from the traditional curriculum to an OBE curriculum requires changes to be reflected in assessment practices. Thus, unless assessment is properly aligned with the curriculum reform and teaching, the desired changes in education will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to realise. The current reform initiative in science education emphasizes the importance of teaching learners to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. Assessing whether learners understand basic science concepts and can use them to solve problems requires an approach very different from traditional tests that primarily measure the recall of isolated facts. As Rasool (1999: 177) points out: The traditional educational paradigm prevalent in schools is characterized by a heavily content-driven, teacher centered approach. Subjects are broken down in terms of rigidly defined syllabuses and tend to be knowledge focused rather than performance focused. While methodologies vary, the role of the teacher as a subject matter expert is largely that of provider of content. The following points are noted from the traditional curriculum: • Learners are often passive recipients of knowledge. • Emphasis is on memory, practice and rote learning. • Promotion of learners is based mainly on pencil and paper examinations. • Little or no emphasis is on creativity and the curriculum is overloaded with content; no attention is given to skill. • No emphasis on co-operative learning and discovery learning. • Competencies, knowledge and skills are not improved. 2 • Skills acquired outside school are regarded as inferior and largely not recognized (Department of Education, 1997: 27). In the new curriculum, the full scientific power of pupils is assessed. Students' performance is compared with established criteria"; students are viewed as active participants in the assessment process; assessment is regarded as continual and recursive. Overall, outcome-based assessment focuses on work done, assesses understanding and is motivational in nature (Lorraine, 1998: 58). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Curriculum change en_US
dc.title Challenges facing physical science educators in the implementation of the National Curriculum statement: the case of the Empangeni Education District en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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