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ERIC Number: EJ1177899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
South African Physical Sciences Teachers' Understanding of Force and the Relationship to Teacher Qualification, Experience and Their School's Quintile
Stott, Angela
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v17 n1-2 p173-183 2013
The force concept in physics is known to be poorly understood by high school and university students throughout the world, with alternative conceptions being prevalent. In this study, I surveyed the conceptions regarding force of a large and varied convenience sample of South African physical sciences teachers, and sought patterns between levels of understanding and various characteristics about the teachers and the schools at which they teach. Data were collected during teacher-education workshops held throughout South Africa from 1,190 physical sciences teachers, and consist of responses to a seven-item multiple choice test about force and a survey about the teachers and their schools. The findings confirm a high prevalence of force alternative conception, particularly for the impetus alternative conception, and particularly among less experienced teachers. Having a BSc degree was found to be associated with teachers having better understandings of force, except for teachers teaching at quintile 1 and 2 (poorer) schools. The findings tentatively suggest that having a BSc degree might predispose a teacher to be able to benefit, in development of their conceptual understanding, from the advantages which teaching at a higher quintile school offers. This study highlights the need for interventions aimed at improving teachers' understandings of physical sciences concepts as well as their scientific skills, attitudes and values.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A