Exploring Grade 11 Physical Science Teachers’ Perceptions of Practical Work in Mankweng Circuit, South Africa
Keywords:Practical work, Perceptions, Inquiry, Demonstration, Science concepts
Practical work is critical to understanding science concepts. A case study was carried out to understand teachers’ perceptions regarding practical work in Mankweng Circuit, South Africa. Four Grade 11 Physical Science teachers from different high schools were purposively selected. Data were collected through interviews, classroom observations, and teachers’ portfolios. Results show that teachers’ had different perceptions, enactment and motives regarding practical work. Teachers used demonstrations, narratives, and structured investigations to teach practical work, which deprived learners’ science process skills. All teachers recorded one practical work in a term to fulfill the national Curriculum Policy Statement (CAPS) requirements. The study contributes to the literature on teachers’ perceptions regarding practical work and gives insight into the implementation of practical work in the classrooms. The study recommends developing teachers’ professional development programs that focus on how to design and implement quality practical work lessons, and to assess process skills during practical work.