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ERIC Number: EJ1136610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Student Teachers' Views: What Is an Interesting Life Sciences Curriculum?
de Villiers, Rian
South African Journal of Education, v31 n4 p535-548 2011
In South Africa, the Grade 12 "classes of 2008 and 2009" were the first to write examinations under the revised Life Sciences (Biology) curriculum which focuses on outcomes-based education (OBE). This paper presents an exploration of what students (as learners) considered to be difficult and interesting in Grades 10-12 Life Sciences curricula in the Further Education and Training (FET) phase. A sample of 125 first year, pre-service Life Sciences and Natural Sciences teachers from a university responded to a questionnaire in regard to their experiences with the newly implemented FET Life Sciences curricula. The responses to the questions were analysed qualitatively and/or quantitatively. Friedman tests were used to compare the mean rankings of the four different content knowledge areas within each curriculum, and to make cross-curricular comparisons of the mean rankings of the same content knowledge area for all three curricula. All four content areas of Grade 12 were considered as being more interesting than the other two grades. In terms of difficulty, the students found the Grade 10 curriculum themes the most difficult, followed by the Grade 12 and the Grade 11 curricula. Most of the students found the themes under the content area "Diversity, change and continuity" (Grades 10-12) more difficult to learn than the other three content areas. It is recommended that more emphasis needs to be placed on what learners are interested in, and on having this incorporated into Life Sciences curricula.
Descriptors: Biological Sciences, Science Curriculum, Questionnaires, Preservice Teacher Education, Student Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Experience, Curriculum Implementation, Curriculum Development, Difficulty Level, Student Interests, Secondary School Science, Reputation, Cluster Grouping, Comparative Analysis, Foreign Countries, Statistical Analysis
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site: http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/index.php/saje/index
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa