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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


STOTT, Angela Elisabeth. Are instructivist pedagogies more appropriate for learning the sciences in South African low-quintile schools than western literature suggests?. Journal of Education [online]. 2018, n.71, pp.39-57. ISSN 2520-9868.

Some research suggests that the use of instructivist teaching strategies may be detrimental to learning while other research asserts that such strategies can enhance learning under certain conditions. In this article I make the argument that the conditions present in South African low-quintile 1-3 schools, and, probably, more broadly in schools typical of developing countries, make such strategies appropriate and may indeed be the only strategies currently implementable on a large scale in the South African low-quintile school context. I propose two kinds of instructivist resources, low-language-demand drill-and-practise worksheets and software, that may be effective in improving learning in this context by developing language competence, increasing feedback and reinforcement, and extending teaching and learning time. I caution against a simplistic interpretation of the argument, and discuss possible difficulties. Discussions such as this are necessary in our search for appropriate and implementable solutions to the crisis of South African underperformance in education.

Keywords : developing countries; Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); instructivism; e-learning; formalism; science learning; South African low quintile schools.

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