Learning and teaching natural science in the early years: A case study of three different contexts
South African Journal of Childhood Education
Currently many children in early childhood education cannot be accommodated in provincial department schools. Consequently, different non-governmental institutions offer Grade R programmes in an attempt to support the DBE. Pre-primary schools that traditionally took responsibility for early childhood education also offer Grade R education. The recent policy decision to include Grade R in the primary school is an innovation, which is still in its infancy. It is against this background that the
... ckground that the national South African Curriculum (NCS) has to be implemented. This paper focuses on the teaching of natural science in Grade R and attempts to determine if the teaching and learning of natural science has different outcomes in the different contexts described above. An oral questionnaire was administered to capture children's understanding of natural science phenomena, while interviews provided data with regard to teachers' understanding of natural science in the foundation phase. The results show that there are differences in children's understanding of natural phenomena in the different contexts and these differences are related to teachers' understanding of the curriculum, as well as their views of the nature of science.