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Analysis of new Zambian High School Physics Syllabus and Practical Examinations for Levels of Inquiry and Inquiry Skills

Author(s): Frackson Mumba, Vivien Mweene Chabalengula and Kevin Wise | William J. F. Hunter

Journal: Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education
ISSN 1305-8223

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 213;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: High School | Inquiry | Physics | Practical Examinations | Syllabus

The purpose of this study was to analyze the new Zambian high school physics syllabus and practical examinations for levels of inquiry and inquiry skills. Several inquiry skills are explicitly emphasized in the introduction, aims, content objectives and assessment sections in the national high school physics syllabus. However, the syllabus is less explicit on levels of inquiry. The syllabus has no suggested inquiry activities and guidelines for inquiry-based teaching. As such, teachers are expected to create inquiry activities for their physics lessons to address the content and inquiry skills outlined in the syllabus. The experiments in the practical examinations were restricted to structured and confirmation/verification inquiry levels. The inquiry skills emphasized in the practical examinations were the same as those outlined in the physics syllabus. Implications for science teaching, learning, and curriculum design have been stated.
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