The use of visual representation as a teaching strategy in the physical science classroom

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dc.contributor.author Naidoo, Gonasegran
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-19T08:31:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-19T08:31:48Z
dc.date.issued 2012-01-19
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/11098
dc.description MSc., Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, 2011 en_US
dc.description.abstract As science teachers, one of our objectives is to find new and effective teaching strategies to represent scientific concepts in a simplified and uncomplicated way to our learners. This study seeks to examine the merits of using visualisation as a means of representing science in a less complex way for learners as they come to terms with some of the conceptual difficulties that they experience. One of the challenges this study aims to highlight is the multilingual environment that physical sciences educators must teach within where learners experience conceptual difficulties as well as learning difficulties as a result of language. This study is set against the backdrop of a typical South African township school where learners learn science in a second language. A sample of 31 learners and their science teacher participated in the research. The use of a visual representation in the form of a series of pictures representing various scenarios of objects colliding was used by the teacher to consolidate the learner’s existing knowledge of the concept of conservation of linear momentum. The results obtained from the questionnaires and interviews indicate that the majority of the learners could have benefitted from the pictures. The pictures served as a means of remediating some of the conceptual difficulties that they had experienced in relation to the vector nature of the motion of the colliding objects, in particular. The study could not conclusively ascertain whether the use of visual representation can specifically help second language learners in overcoming their learning difficulties as a result of the language of instruction. Despite this outcome, the results of the study did indicate that the learners had benefitted from the visual representations. Some of the learners had expressed that the pictures had visually brought to life the practical scenarios that they would have otherwise experienced only through the verbal and written mode of instruction. The study recommends that visualisation in science education can play a significant role in helping learners with conceptual difficulties not just as a result of the language of instruction but also as a result of the general complexities of science that are abstract to even first language learners. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Physics en_US
dc.subject Physics, study and teaching en_US
dc.title The use of visual representation as a teaching strategy in the physical science classroom en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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