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Pair problem solving in the learning of physical science in Kwa-Zulu schools.

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Students have a tendency to skip steps in reasoning and miss facts when drawing conclusions during problem solving. Seeing that this poses a problem, it was thought that vocalizing thinking, using the method of pair problem-solving, would help ensure that students do not make these mistakes, but rather improve their ability of solving problems systematically. The basic problem which the researcher addressed was: To what extent will the pair problem-solving method improve the students' ability in solving physical science problems? The people involved in the research were : i) Matric pupils from the secondary schools in Osizweni ii) Teachers of the schools involved. The interviews were done during one period per week for six weeks. At first pupils were given a pre-test and at the end of the interviews were given a post test. The two tests designed to be equivalent and the questions given to the experimental groups were the same as those given to the control group. Interviews carried out were tape recorded and also written down. The interviews and the tests scores were analyzed in order to determine to what extent the problem-solving skills of students improved as a result of the experiment. The results found showed that there is great improvement in the ability to solve problems with experimental groups and insignificant improvement with the control group. The statistical analysis showed that the improvement was great at at least 0,01 level of significance. There is also evidence of students solving problems systematically after they have done these interviews, and that there are other significant differences between the behavior of good and bad problem solvers. The implications of these results for classroom teachers is that the think-aloud pair problem-solving method does improve the ability of students in solving physical science problems.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of Durban-Westville, 1992.


Theses--Education., Science--Study and teaching.