n South African Journal of Higher Education - Conceptual integration of some basic concepts in Physics and Chemistry among Science Foundation year students




A one-year Science Foundation Programme, designed to prepare disadvantaged students for admission to first-year Bachelor of Science courses, was initiated by the University of Transkei in February 1998. This study was aimed at determining whether the guided, open-ended, interactive, foundation-building, practical-oriented, skill-developing, remedial, physical science course offered in this programme would improve the level of conceptual integration (ability to identify, differentiate, correlate and integrate similar concepts in Physics and Chemistry) of these students. The sample consisted of all the 48 registered Science Foundation Year students. Pre- and post-tests in a few chosen concepts sandwiched the intervention procedures. Statistical and qualitative analyses indicated an improvement in the level of conceptual integration of the participants. The highest level of conceptual integration was exhibited by 21% of the students in the concept of ion formation; 25% in the concept of energy conversion; 19% in the concept of static versus dynamic equilibria and 21% in the concept of dynamic equilibria. The research revealed that the conducive study environment and the special care provided by the lecturers enabled the students to consolidate their knowledge base and to integrate some selected concepts in Physics and Chemistry.


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