Original Research: Social Responsibility and Education

Life Sciences teaching in the 21st century: A Paradigm shift

Marie Louise Botha
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 31, No 1 | a382 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v31i1.382 | © 2012 Marie Louise Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 August 2012 | Published: 15 November 2012

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Marie Louise Botha, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


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Abstract

The development of a quality teaching corps is a ‘primary condition for educational transformation’ (NEPI 1993:235). According to McGrath (2008) the quality of teachers and their teaching has a significant impact on the quality of learning. The quality of learning could be linked to excellence in education and could be achieved through new, innovative reasoning. This could be obtained by implementing new and innovative skills and techniques that should adhere to the creative and innovative planning of the curriculum (DBE 2011:8). It is therefore expected of the educators (lecturers and teachers) to create and sustain a stimulating and supportive learning and teaching environment. Within the evolving world of education the focus has clearly moved from a teacher-centred classroom practice to a more learner-centred approach as reflected in the curriculum for Life Sciences (Department of Education 2003). The challenge is the confrontation of teachers to teach Life Sciences on a cognitive as well as affective level in order to reach all learners in the 21st century. New curriculum initiatives suggests adaption and changes in the educators’ practice. This article presents a theoretical study, aiming to report on rethinking Life Science education in the 21st century in South Africa. It is therefore imperative to take note of the needs and challenges in creative Life Science teaching and education for the 21st century. High quality research in Biological education is needed that could afford the chance to form and remould the profession of a Life Science educator.

Keywords

Lewenswetenskap; onderwysersopleiding; onderwyser-gesentreer; leerder-gesentreerd; paradigm skuif; kreatiwiteit; 21ste eeu

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