The Voice of the Voiceless: Reflections on Science Practical Work in Rural Disadvantaged Schools

Abraham Motlhabane


This article articulates the unsatisfactory conditions for doing practical work in science subjects in secondary schools. It explores how teachers teach science without having the necessary equipment to do such work. I shall attempt to show that practical work has many benefits to the teaching and learning of science and every learner should be afforded an opportunity to do it. Often teachers try to explain a practical experiments theoretically to learners. This is done in the hopes that learners will understand the science concepts, even though the teacher and the learners have to "imagine" as if science concepts were reality. My argument is that, during the examination period, all learners are assessed on the same level irrespective of whether the practical activity was done on not. Many learners do practical work for the first time at tertiary level, without having had the proper training and background for doing practical work. Consequently, the results in Physical Science continue to be below par, as evidenced in the Grade 12 results. This study is a reflection on the experiences of teachers and that of the author at 30 schools in the rural areas of South Africa.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n14p165

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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