Using a conceptual change approach as a teaching strategy for improving learners' understanding of Chemical Change in Physical Sciences.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of a Conceptual Change Approach as a teaching strategy to improve learners' understanding of Chemical Change in Physical Sciences. In addition, learners' attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject and toward Conceptual Change texts were investigated. Moreover, learners' science process skills were also investigated. The study was underpinned by Conceptual Change Theory and Constructivism. The sample included 34 Grade 11 learners doing Physical Sciences. The case study is a secondary school in the Eastern Cape. For the purposes of this study both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. Learners were given a pre- test and a post-test and an intervention in the form of a Conceptual Change text lesson. Thereafter, focus group interviews were used to examine learners' understanding in greater detail. Findings revealed that learners have several misconceptions that hinder learning related to chemical change. It is therefore imperative to find ways for remediation of these misconceptions. The results also showed that instruction based on the Conceptual Change Approach in which Conceptual Change Texts were used, caused significantly better attainment of concepts on chemical change, better remediation of misconceptions and enhanced understanding of chemical change. This study provides insight into the use of Conceptual Change as a teaching strategy to improve learners' understanding of challenging areas in Physical Sciences.