Teaching electrical circuits in grade 10 physical science using a conceptual change approach
Fuzani, Nomfundo Cynthea
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the teaching of electric circuits in Grade 10 Physical Sciences using a conceptual change approach would enhance learners' understanding of the concept. The conceptual change approach is a process whereby concepts and relationships between concepts change over the course of an individual's lifetime. The process whereby conceptual change occurs is of central interest in helping to understand the process of learning, and is also important when considering the design of instruction. The study was conducted at a secondary school in a small town in the Karoo. Purposive sampling was used to select the sample of a Physical Science Grade 10 class. A mixed method approach was used to observe the effectiveness of the conceptual change approach - four conditions must exist before a conceptual change is likely to occur: (1) assess learners' dissatisfaction with their existing concepts; (2) the new concept must become intelligible; (3) the new concept must appear plausible; and (4) the new concept must be fruitful. All learners' total scores for the pre-test and post-test were calculated and recorded and total scores were statistically analyzed. This study could provide means to improve science teaching and learning. The learners were assisted to discover what was not clear to them, they were encouraged towards deeper understanding and to use their own knowledge to make sense of new concepts. The conceptual change approach could be used effectively by the teachers as it will assist to remove misconceptions learners have prior to the learning of new science concepts.