Assessing the impact science centres have on the holistic development of science learners / Sello Daniel Rapule
Rapule, Sello Daniel
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The turn of the 21st century dawned with an increasing number of interactive science centres worldwide. South Africa is no exception as the number of science centres are also on the increase in the country. The science centre movement see interactive science centres as a dimension and context in which the hands-on and minds-on learning approach will be enhanced to the fullest. In this context the research question addressed in the study was: do science centres contribute to the cognitive, affective and psychomotoric (holistic) development of learners? The study was conducted at the Potchefstroom Science Centre. This centre is developed to include hands-on activities that focus on the New Curriculum Statements for Physical Sciences. Two groups of learners were involved: a control group of 375 learners who had no previous exposure to a science centre and an experimental group of 375 learners who visited the Science Centre quarterly. Learners in the Further Education and Training Band were selected. From each of the five schools in both control and experimental groups 25 Physical Sciences learners from each of the grades 10, 11 and 12 were selected on random basis. Information was obtained by pre-and post-tests, questionnaires to the learners and to their educators. The written information was supplemented by videos taken of learners during visits to the science centre and by interviews. The outcome of the study indicates that Physical Sciences learners develop holistically through exposure to a science centre.
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