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ERIC Number: EJ1147824
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Context Preferences of Educators and Learners for Studying Genetics: A Case Study in South Africa
Mamombe, Agnes; Kazeni, Monde; de Villiers, Rian
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v20 n2 p165-174 2016
The literature on science education reveals a worldwide decline in young people's interest in the study of sciences. This lack of interest has resulted in low enrolment rates in science-related courses at tertiary level. Researchers have suggested, among other innovations, the use of context-based teaching approaches as a way of motivating learners to study science. Context-based approaches have shown positive effects on learners in the affective domain, and insignificant influence in the cognitive domain. A possible cause of this limitation could be a mismatch between the contexts used by educators to develop scientific concepts and those appreciated by learners. Some researchers have suggested that contexts selected by adults might not be relevant or accessible to learners owing to generational and location differences. Nonetheless, the assumed mismatch between the contexts preferred by educators and those preferred by learners has not been empirically demonstrated. The purpose of this study was not to determine the impact of context preferences mismatch on learners' cognitive domain, but rather to investigate the existence of a mismatch in educators' and learners' context preferences. This study therefore involved a comparison of educators' and learners' context preferences in developing genetics concepts in Gauteng, South Africa. The study is framed by authentic learning theory. A concurrent parallel mixed methods research approach (QUAN-qual) was used to collect the data through a questionnaire with closed and open response items. The data were then analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and the systemic network analysis framework. The findings revealed significant differences between the contexts preferred by educators and those appreciated by learners for learning genetics. In particular, educators considered contexts from the social domain most relevant and interesting in the learning of genetics, whereas learners rated contexts in the personal domain most highly in terms of relevance and interest. Learners' socio-economic background appeared to influence their preferences of relevant and interesting contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 12; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A