The effects of new science materials and inservice training on teaching styles in the Ciskei, South Africa Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5q47rs58z

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  • The purpose of the study was to analyze and compare the teaching styles of a trial group of junior secondary science teachers trained to use and using new materials, and a control group of teachers using traditional materials. The new materials consisted of portable science kits, demonstration apparatus, teacher's guides, and pupil worksheets. Inservice training consisted of a five-day orientation course and three three-day content courses. Classroom observation was undertaken using the Science Teaching ObserVation Schedule and Teacher Profile Form A. The former records 23 intellectual transactions, divided into teacher questions, teacher statements and directives, and pupil activity. The latter is an openended checklist of questions on the quality of instruction and teacher and pupil actions. Following the inservice training, teachers were usually observed for three class periods of 30 minutes each. The data were supplemented by visiting schools before and during the study, and by actually using the new materials in three Ciskei classes. Lessons were characterized by teacher statements and directives, but trial teachers only spoke 71% of the time compared with 99% in the control group. Trial teachers asked a wider range of questions, but used fewer recall-type questions. Pupil activity in trial classes took the form of working in groups, using the kits and worksheets. No pupil activity was recorded in control classes. The characteristics of the school system were found to be important in determining the existing teaching style and the extent to which change could be realized. The desired change in teaching style was a role change which was difficult to achieve without certain structural changes and impossible to achieve fully within the existing school system. In that the study was cross-cultural, techniques from the "scientific" and "hermeneutic" paradigms were applicable. The use of systematic observation, and informal observation and interpretation, enabled a more coherent explanation of the influences on teaching style than would otherwise have been possible.
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