The classroom transferability of a university-based inset programme of workshops in practical work for senior high school Biology educators

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Professional criteria for assessing (a) the success and transferability of the programme and (b) the quality of the research evidence gathered from the Biology teachers and their learners in Cape Town, were adopted from a combination of the theoretical frameworks for INSET evaluation recommended by several authors, including the American National Science Standards (1996), Tamir (1997) and Oyasi & Oyasi (2000). The post-workshop data indicated that educators enjoyed the practical activities, and were active in implementing a number of them with their classes in subsequent years. It further revealed that their confidence in engaging in practicalwork improved significantly. To verify or corroborate these findings, ten educators observed at from the 1999 course were interviewed from 2002 to 2005. One educator was observed at two different schools, with different socio-economic backgrounds. The interviews were transcribed and five of the educators were observed while they dealt with the practical activities learnt during this series of workshops. The visual data from the classroom observations, and the interviewswere further processed and compared to the quantitative statistical data. It was It was found that, of the eight schools, four well-resourced schools implemented the programme successfully. This was in terms of the number of practical activities from the course that had been transferred to the classroom. Three of the under-resourced schools, with larger classes, also implemented the course successfully. This was due to the skills and motivation which the educators gained whilst participating in this series of workshops. In two of the schools the high rate of vandalism and the heavy workload of the educators was excessive to the point that they could not implement the programme successfully.