Indigenous knowledge in Physical Sciences
Although the Physical Sciences CAPS curriculum calls for the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in the teaching of Physical Sciences, very few teachers were trained in indigenous knowledge systems. By including the rich South African indigenous knowledge in Physical Sciences teaching, more learners will see the relevance of Physical Sciences in our daily lives. NWU is mandated to offer this short learning programme due to its expertise in the field. There is a large potential market for NWU, as we’ll be the only university offering such a programme.
In this short learning programme, teachers will be showed how to incorporate indigenous knowledge in the classroom using the processes of science. Participants in the course will, for instance, engage in chemistry and physics laboratory investigations to validate the rich indigenous knowledge of different cultural groups, e.g. by looking at endothermic reactions related to traditional leather tanning, the chemistry involved in traditional brewing, and the physics involved in traditional construction practices. Apart from the laboratory inquiries, teachers will also be shown how to use generic methods such as De Bono’s thinking hats in the classroom. The programme also includes a visit to the Mphebatho Museum, where they will interact with the holders of indigenous knowledge. A strong emphasis will be to provide teachers with a more nuanced understanding of both the nature of science, and the nature of indigenous knowledge.
Any teacher with a teaching qualification, and at least one physics/ chemistry/ general science module on first-year university or college level, would qualify to be admitted to the short learning programme.
Learning assumed to be in place:
Students registering for this short learning course should have a basic understanding of lesson planning, and should have passed any physical sciences-related module on first year university or college level.
Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria:
|After completion of this course, participants will:||Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:|
|Demonstrate knowledge of the tenets of indigenous knowledge systems, and its affordances for Physical Sciences education||Show mastery when discussing the basic tenets of indigenous knowledge, and motivate for its inclusion from an embodied, situated and distributed cognition perspective|
|Demonstrate knowledge and skills to effectively incorporate indigenous knowledge in the planning and presentation of lessons||Plan (and present) lessons in which indigenous knowledge is meaningfully integrated with the content prescribed in the CAPS curriculum|
|Demonstrate laboratory skills to investigate indigenous knowledge practices, using science-on-a-shoestring approaches||Effectively facilitate laboratory investigations in physics and chemistry, using everyday materials|
Students wishing to obtain a certificate of competence will be requested to submit an evidence-based portfolio.
Method of assessment:
In these portfolios, students will have to provide lesson plans of lessons in which indigenous knowledge was incorporated. Photographic evidence should also be provided of inquiry-based, laboratory investigations that learners performed in the classroom. The portfolios will also include reflections by teachers on the lessons presented. The student must attend all the contact sessions, and must obtain a minimum of 50% for the total of the portfolio in order to receive a certificate.
Mode of delivery:
All Natural Sciences teachers (Intermediate or Senior Phase) or Physical Sciences (FET) would benefit from this short learning programme.