The application of cooperative learning to enhance the teaching of Nature of Science for scientific literacy advancement in secondary school physical science students
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The purpose of this study was to explore, demonstrate and apply cooperative learning when explicitly exposing Nature of Science (NoS) to physical science secondary students aiming at advancing scientific literacy. Secondary school physical science teachers with less than five years' physical science teaching experience participated in the workshop which demonstrated the understanding of NoS and how it can be used to uncover the students' likely misconceptions through classroom interactions and Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK). It was found that the knowledge of both components of PCK depended on one another and was interlinked with the understanding of NoS. The findings showed that the majority of the teachers who attended the workshop did not explicitly teach NoS and had problems with how it can be taught. Teachers rely on the telling method and hope to achieve concept mastery and scientific literacy. Driel et al. (1998) argued that good understanding of content knowledge is a prerequisite to the development of PCK. Teachers do not possess adequate PCK as they gave incorrect scientific answers. Though students enjoyed working in cooperative groups to advance scientific literacy, their teachers were less likely to uncover pupils' likely misconceptions. This was shown by the way they explained variations to student's scientific perceptions. Acknowledging the limitations posed by the number of participant and continuity of the administered treatment, the collected data were used to deduce that: teaching NoS explicitly and skillful application of cooperative learning can lead to improved scientific literacy and the need for skills to design classroom instructions with intent to explicitly expose NoS to the senior secondary students.
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