ERIC Number: ED440888
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Differential Role of Physical Science and Biology in Achieving Scientific Literacy in South Africa--A Possible Explanation.
Laugksch, Rudiger C.
A survey of the scientific literacy of selected high-school leavers at the secondary/tertiary educational interface in South Africa revealed that taking Physical Science in grade 12, in contrast to Biology, plays a more significant role in the achievement of scientific literacy by these students. An explanation for this result was sought by comparing Physical Science and Biology students' scores on the three subtests comprising the Test of Basic Scientific Literacy, which was originally used in the scientific literacy classification. Students taking Physical Science possessed a better understanding and awareness of all three dimensions of scientific literacy than students taking Biology. This result suggests a number of mechanisms through which Physical Science impacts on the achievement of scientific literacy: (a) the greater number of topics placed in an historical context in the Physical Science syllabus in comparison to Biology; (b) the greater, more obvious connection between technology and syllabus topics covered in Physical Science than in Biology; and (c) the comparative ease with which some understanding of concepts in the biological sciences may be obtained through informal and non-informal education in comparison with concepts in the physical sciences. (Contains 21 references.) (Author/ASK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa