Foundation phase teachers’ interpretation of the life skills programme with regard to the teaching of natural science

Saritha Beni, Michele Stears, Angela James

Abstract


Scientific literacy should be promoted through the teaching of science from Grade R and for this to happen, teachers need to understand what science should be taught and how it should be taught. This interpretive, qualitative study explores the degree to which four foundation phase teachers interpret the life skills programme with regard to the teaching of natural science by using an adapted version of a theory of implementation. Analyses of a questionnaire, documents (Revised National Curriculum Statement and lesson plans) and interviews enabled us to build a picture of how each teacher interpreted the curriculum with regard to a number of constructs. The findings show that foundation phase teachers have great difficulty interpreting the curriculum because the foundation phase curriculum does not give clear guidance with regard to the teaching of science. Their poor content knowledge, the poor understanding of what integration of science in numeracy and literacy entails, as well as their poor understanding of the instructional methods used to teach science exacerbate the problem.


Keywords


foundation phase; curriculum; interpretation; natural science; teachers

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v7i1.440

Submitted: 29 April 2016
Published: 31 May 2017




Copyright (c) 2017 Saritha Beni, Michele Stears, Angela James

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South African Journal of Childhood Education    |    ISSN: 2223-7674 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2223-7682 (ONLINE)