A quantitative examination of two different teaching paradigms in a Germiston based pre-school: A pilot study

Philip Baron, Anne Catherine Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is value in performing studies comparing a cybernetic approach over a traditional teaching approach in regards to improved pre-school tuition. Design/methodology/approach – A two independent groups design was implemented with each group receiving a different treatment. The first group had their lesson presented in the traditional teaching approach while the second group were part of a cybernetic approach. After each group had their lesson, each child was assessed and asked a series of ten questions. The total correct answers for the traditional group was compared to the total correct answers of the cybernetic group. The results were statistically examined using a t-test and Pearson r correlation. Findings – The group who took part in the cybernetic lesson had a 46 per cent increase in the total number of correct answers. The cybernetic approach to the pre-school lesson was an improvement in terms of memory retention. This initial study justifies a series of further experimental designs. Research limitations/implications – This study provides a basis for further studies of comparative educational approaches to pre-school education and learner memory performance. A cybernetic approach to pre-school instruction has a lot to offer and is especially beneficial for children who are learning language, whether first or second language. This is a model to develop further, for use in the teaching-learning environment. Practical implications – The use of Teachback within a pre-school context may have additional benefits such as improved language acquisition through additional practice of verbal expression. A practical method of addressing the challenge of cybernetics training was also presented in this study. Social implications – When the Teachback is performed, the person creates a verbal expression based on their language and background. As the Teachback occurs in a social context amongst peers, an opportunity for an exploration into the diverse backgrounds of the individual pre-school children can take place, especially beneficial when in a multi-cultural setting. Originality/value – There are few cybernetics studies conducted on pre-school aged children. This is the first study whereby cybernetic tools such as Teachback have been used in pre-school education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-1218
Number of pages12
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2015


  • Cybernetics
  • Language
  • Multicultural
  • Pre-school
  • Teachback
  • Teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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