A reflective study on factors that influenced the matric results in physical sciences in four secondary schools in a district in the Eastern Cape
Ndokwana, Vusumzi Wilfred
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This is a reflective study of the factors that influenced the performance of learners in Physical Sciences National Senior Certificate examinations in four secondary schools in a district in Eastern Cape. The study considered factors that influenced the matric results for a period of five years in a district in the Eastern Cape (from 2010 to 2015) National Senior Certificate results. The study was conducted to identify the indicators that could positively influence physical sciences results after many years of underperformance in the subject. This study was underpinned by the theory of reflective practice. As part of an intervention strategy, learners completed an intensive programme of teaching during school hours, extra classes, practical work and assessment. The four school principals were purposively selected for interviews. Four Physical Sciences educators from the four senior secondary schools and 12 post-grade 12 learners from each senior secondary school were all interviewed. Post-grade 12 learners were randomly selected for interviews. The researcher used a reflective journal as a method of examining the reflections by the respondents. Teachers reflected on their teachings to improve their practices that make science learning more meaningful to both learners and teachers The findings indicate that extra classes provided sufficient time to complete the syllabus, to conduct experiments and to administer practical tests. Regular assessment in theory and practical work showed the improvement in attainment of good physical sciences results in all the four participating schools. Instructional supervision from the managers also assisted in developing teacher skills. It was recommended that the DoE should use experts in teacher training and professional development activities. School management systems should play an active role in teacher support and the supervision of instructional work.