Using Working Models in the Teaching of Scientific Concepts at Early Childhood Education Level in Gokwe North Rural District Schools
This research paper focuses on theuse of simple working scientific models made from inexpensive locally available materials in the teaching of scientific concepts at early childhood education level in Gokwe North Rural District primary schools of Zimbabwe. The study was necessitated by the need to improve the teaching and learning of scientific concepts at Early Childhood Education level through the use of models. The population for the study comprised of 128 primary schools, 515early childhood education teachers and 128 Teachers in Charge (TIC).A sample of 50 ECE teachers was selected through disproportional random sampling from purposively selected clusters of schools. Ten TIC’s were purposively selected to participate in face-to-face interviews. Research findings revealed that ECE teachers in these cluster rarely use models when teaching scientific concepts. Instead there is over use of simple drawings and charts which are two dimensional in nature instead of working three dimensional models which are very important in concept formation. Teachers find it difficult to make working models because of lack of financial resources and lack of resourcefulness. Teachers are not really using locally available materials to make models because they do not possess the simple skills and tools to make such models. Most teachers believe that good models should be commercially made. The study recommends that short courses on how to make models should be designed for teachers by the concerned ministry. Teachers should enterprise in model making and use less of charts and drawings in the teaching of scientific concepts.
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