Exploring the challenges faced by teachers in the teaching and learning of Advanced Level Physics
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges faced by physics teachers in the teaching and learning of Advanced Level Physics. The study was motivated by the teachers’ lackluster approach to adopting new practices and the poor alignment of their understanding with the practice envisaged by developers. To obtain a more holistic picture of the physics teachers’ challenges, a mixed methods research approach using the convergent parallel research design was adopted for the study. A closed survey questionnaire was used to solicit information from 120advanced level physics learners and 8 physics teachers in four high schools in Gutu district. Random sampling was used to select the physics learner and teacher questionnaire respondents. From the selected teachers, 3 were purposively selected for face-toface in-depth structured interviews basing on their availability and accessibility. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics, whereas qualitative data was collated into themes for discussion purposes. The findings of the study reveal that the physics teachers face many challenges including lack of resources, poor teacher welfare, lack of pedagogical content knowledge, harsh working conditions, lack of teacher consultation, lack of school support, challenges in ICT integration, limited opportunities for in-service training and staff development. The teachers also indicated that they are utilising teacher-centred approaches to impart knowledge to the learners due to lack of material. This is not consistent with the new physics curriculum which emphasise the use of learner-centred approaches. It is recommended that the government and school administrations must ensure that the schools are well equipped with necessary materials, teachers should use modern methods of teaching science subjects in order to motivate and sustain students’ interests in science subjects. Teachers should regularly attend in-service training in order to equip themselves with new and modern methodology of teaching science subjects.