Teaching Electrostatics in Grade 11 Physical Sciences using a Conceptual Change Approach
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The study was conducted at a senior secondary school situated in a deep rural area of the district of Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape Province. It was motivated by academically struggling grade 12 learners in my school who were experiencing problems in mastering the electrostatics concept which is introduced in grade 10. The aim was to come up with alternative teaching strategies that can assist learners in grasping the concept. This study employed the conceptual change framework as a teaching strategy to improve learners' understanding of electrostatics. Theories that underpin this study are constructivism and conceptual change. The sample for this study was a Grade11 physical science class with a total sample size of fortyfive learners. It was a case study as the researcher focused on a single class in a school. This study employed a mixed approach as both qualitative and quantitative instruments were used in the data collection process. Learners wrote the pre-test that served as a baseline evaluation. An intervention in the form of a lesson presentation followed, addressing the four stages of conceptual change. A post-test followed immediately after the presentation to assess the results of the conceptual change approach. Five learners were randomly selected from the total population for interviewing. The study found that learners understanding of electrostatics improved after the conceptual change lesson and learners indicated that they found the lessons much more interesting. The study provided insight into the use of the conceptual change framework as a teaching strategy and contributed to the limited baseline data available on the teaching of electrostatics in rural schools in South Africa.