Are Grades 10-12 physical sciences teachers equipped to teach physics?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    South African schools have been confronted with educational reform since the mid-nineties and the process is still continuing. The concomitant changes put a very high demand on physical sciences teachers and also have an impact on teacher behaviour. The purpose of this study was to probe whether teachers could be considered equipped to teach the physics part of the FET physical sciences curriculum. A revised framework on teacher behaviour, which includes three factors, namely teacher knowledge, teacher views and beliefs, and teacher attitudes, was used in conjunction with a questionnaire and a survey to analyse the data from individual and focus group interviews. A total of 68 FET physical sciences teachers from urban, township and rural schools participated in the research. Our findings indicate that teachers are positive about the curriculum. However, the problems identified with training, support and resources as well as the lack of teachers’ subject content knowledge, particularly in rural and township schools, cannot be blamed on the curriculum and therefore cannot be fixed by curriculum changes.