Effects of a dialogical argumentation based instruction on grade 9 learners’ conceptions of a meteorological concept: cold fronts in the Western Cape, South Africa
This study looks at the effects of a dialogical argumentation instructional model (DAIM) on grade 9 learners understanding of selected meteorological concepts: Cold fronts in the Western Cape of South Africa. Using a quasi-experimental research design model, the study employed both quantitative and qualitative (so-called ‘mixed methods’) to collect data in a public secondary school in Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province. A survey questionnaire on attitudes and perceptions towards high school as well as conceptions of weather was administered before the main study to give the researcher baseline information and to develop pilot instruments to use in the main study. The study employed a dialogical instructional model (DAIM) with an experimental group of learners exposed to the intervention, and recorded differences from a control group which had no intervention. Learners from the two groups were exposed to a meteorological literacy test evaluation before and after the DAIM intervention. The results from the two groups were then compared and analysed according to the two theoretical frameworks that underpin the study namely: Toulmin’s Argumentation Pattern - TAP (Toulmin, 1958) and Contiguity Argumentation Theory - CAT (Ogunniyi, 1997). Further analyses were conducted on learners’ beliefs and indigenous knowledge, according to their conceptual understanding of weather related concepts used in the current NCS (National Curriculum Statement). After completing the study some interesting findings were made and based on these findings certain recommendations were suggested on how to implement a DAIM-model into classroom teaching using Indigenous Knowledge (IK). These recommendations are suggestions to plot the way towards developing a science–IK curriculum for the Natural Sciences subjects in South African schools.