n Journal of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education - Rationalisation and science instructional implications of some superstitious beliefs about natural phenomena in Botswana

Volume 5 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1028-8457
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The aims of the study were to determine the rationale for some of the superstitious beliefs about natural phenomena held by Botswana, to explore young Batswana's views about the superstitions and to suggest instructional strategies for learning the science relevant to the superstitions. Using a survey design, 30 junior secondary school students' acceptance of the superstitions were determined through interviews and a questionnaire, while 30 science teachers' and 40 elderly Batswana's rationalisations or explanations for the superstitions were determined through unstructured interviews. The researchers determined the basis of each superstition by considering these explanations. Out of 61 superstitious beliefs investigated, 18(30%) were based on religion/spiritualism, 13(21%) on morality, 13(21%) on safety, 9(15%) on health/hygiene, 7 (12%) on social considerations, and 6 (10%) on the environment and views of nature. Suggestions are made on how to use experimental strategies, questioning, brainstorming and discussion to investigate the superstitions in science lessons.

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