How Social And Critical Constructivism Science Curriculum Design Education Essay

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Why the study was conducted: This study was sought a proper approach for introduction of central National Science curriculum for every South African learner. The need of this study was to bring a critical and social constructivism in democratic new science curriculum and to remove completely the apartheid political system which was running since 1948 till 1994 having a discrimination of racisms. Author stated that introduction of this curriculum was a great shift from personal constructivism to the social constructivism and why this needs arisen so because before advent of democratic view of science curriculum was taught with this claimed of policy maker that "science was not for black people" (Bantu Education Act; Union of South Africa 1953) thereby focusing of science curriculum was only content-centered rather than out-come centered or learner-centered.

Review of literature:

This qualitative study describes the use of different constructivism in science lesson: personal constructivism, socio-constructivism, and critical constructivism. Personal constructivism pertains to one's organization of certain concepts about world which is known as mental models (Duit and Treagust 1998). It is also considered as a power in science education because one can interact with the outer world and find truth on the basis of experiments. It has origin to Piaget's structuralism (O' Loughlin 1992). Individual's cognitive development can also be determined through social-cultural approach. Socio-constructivist approach of cognitive development theories has roots from Vygotsky. Author stated that "Vygotsky's theory which regards collective learning as primary, and individual learning as a secondary "(p. 399). In other words, learning according to Vygotskian's view mediated by exchange of ideas among group of people and then consider as an individual organization of knowledge. Learner possess many concepts which could be extend via social interaction and it would be deem as a science education that learner come with diversified theory of specific things which could be facilitate through peers' thoughts and teacher guidance (Hendry and King 1994). However, critical learning is defined as examination of existing truth valued by people to adopt in the way they are accepted. The reform curriculum of science education was core curriculum for South African having with regional variation to teach with these three former principles of constructivism in order to give opportunity to those learners who were neglected in South African community.

Purpose of the research:

The aim of this study is to give responsibility to students to discover information from new curriculum of science through constructivist approach of learning and teaching. The key questions of this study are following:

"What are the characteristics of a science curriculum informed by both social and critical constructivist principles?

How do learner response to such a curriculum?

What are the possible implications of such a curriculum for Science education?"

Participants in this study:

45 participant of school in Gugulethu were used. Author described that Gugulethu is a place of former black and many learner belongs to this place were not well-established. They have problems of poverty and health. Their mother tongue is isiXhosa.

Data collection:

In this study researcher played a role of teacher as a research-participant to teach grade level six students and teachers of this class were taken a charge of observer. This lesson was conducted in English, however, students had taken up to 5 grades in their mother tongue and in this class they were taught the series of lesson in English language. The data was collected through video tape of whole series of lesson and an open-ended interview of focus group was conducted of five different learners at the end of each day. Author gave the lesson in English but all students were not able to respond in same language. They often respond questions in isiXhosa language when they feel trouble. However, bilingual lesson were then translated by interpreter in English language.


Author stated that students were allowed to chose their topic they want to learn and they had selected topic 'fire' and write a story or any personal experience related to fire in their words. The purpose of this essay is to activate their prior knowledge and bring them into the lesson which was really a part of their lives. This lesson involves learners to think critically and incorporate their social and personal daily life into the topic. Author stated that one of child expressed that how a person in their town burnt with fire. These stories became connected with their personal lives. Most of the learners of Gugulethu city were poor and were using alcohol. These Different activities were taken place according to socio-constructivist framework included: problem-solving, investigation, individual activities and so forth were given a positive sound of socio-constructivist activities. Author suggested via evidence that "integration of knowledge from everyday life was extended the notion of contextualized science" (p. 405). In addition, freedom of their political and social life is required in science education which helps them to make a critical decision of a situation.

Limitation of study:

The results of this qualitative study were not any control group to compare with and there were not any pre-test which explain difference of previous performance with after lesson performance.

Researcher also highlighted that to firm establishment of this tenet of construction of new concepts via personal contextualization as beneficial for science curriculum is need more study.

This study was enclose with specific culture so generalization is not over different cultural.

This is also fact that people respond to interview mostly researcher perspective, so it could be possible that for skewing the results.

Future implication:

Author suggested that "knowledge was not restricted to the science concepts" (p. 406). In other words, it should be relate to the real life scenario and person's social life.

Another important aspect should focus in socio-constructivist pedagogy is that teachers have a pedagogical-content knowledge (Shulman, 1986 as cited in Hogan, Rabinowitz Carven, 2010) of a domain which essential for teachers to bring their lesson in depth search.

Another thing is necessary for collaborative pedagogical teaching is that to facilitate students in exploratory talk which is define by Mercer (1995 as cited in Aulls, 2010) suggested as a exploratory talk is pertain to productive talk having critical views along with suggestive alternatives. In the science education students are deliberately inquire about the things which they don't know or having confusion somewhere could be solve through exploratory talk than talk which have no end results.