Pedagogical beliefs of South African physics teachers for inquiry approaches

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This study explored the pedagogical beliefs held by South African physics teachers towards inquiry approaches. A significant curriculum goal of school science in most countries is for learning to happen through inquiry. A similar goal is expressed in the South African school science curriculum. The findings of a quantitative survey that was administered to 166 teachers showed that teachers reported having a predominantly constructivist pedagogical belief suggesting a tendency to facilitate students' construct of knowledge through their experiential learning. To a lesser extent, teachers exhibited a traditionalist belief that is teacher-directed and lends itself to transmission of knowledge. In investigating the relationship between pedagogical beliefs and orientation towards inquiry-based teaching, it was found that teachers who have a constructivist belief favour guided inquiry and open inquiry. Teacher who possess a traditionalist beliefs have a tendency for direct epistemic approaches such as didactic direct or active direct.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012029
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event3rd World Conference on Physics Education - Hybrid, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Duration: 13 Dec 202116 Dec 2021


  • inquiry-based approaches
  • pedagogical beliefs
  • physics teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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