Title page for ETD etd-07102009-170724

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Randall, Elizabeth Sylvia
Email elize.randall@up.ac.za
URN etd-07102009-170724
Document Title Teacher development and change in the context of teaching large under-resourced science classes
Degree MEd
Department Curriculum Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof G O M Onwu Supervisor
  • learners
  • Science classes
  • teaching conditions
  • lack of resources
  • pedagogical content knowledge
  • school
  • teachers
Date 2009-04-20
Availability unrestricted

This is a biographical case study of science teachers who teach at schools that have consistently produced good results in the examinations despite disabling teaching conditions such as large, under-resourced classes.

The study analysed the life experiences, education, school- and community environment of the teachers in an attempt to identify the critical features that inspire and support their classroom commitment to hands-on / minds-on teaching.

Evidence was collected through semi-structured interviews with the teachers to get their stories, with groups of learners to assess how they perceived the teachers in the classrooms, and through informal discussions with the principals (school management) and colleagues, for a richer description. Questionnaires were administered to find out what the situations concerning resources were at the schools. Classroom interactions were observed and analysed for more information on the conduct of the teachers in the process of teaching and learning.

It was found that both case study teachers had adequate content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and taught in a way that reflected their understanding and belief of the nature of science (NOS).

The view that the two participating teachers have of the nature of science was formed during their own formative school years and influenced the view of the nature of science they instill in their learners.

The inadequacy of resources at the schools although a frustration to the teachers, did not deter them from teaching science in an experimental way reflective of the nature of the subject matter.

The education implications of this study are discussed in relation to lessons that can be learnt from such inspiring teachers. The significance of the study is seen in the contribution it can make to the existing scholarship on effective science teaching and on teacher development programs including factors contributing to effective science teachers in the present South African climate of having large, under-resourced science classes.

Copyright 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Randall, ES 2008, Teacher development and change in the context of teaching large under-resourced science classes, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07102009-170724/ >

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