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Title: Integration of knowledge: a neglected approach in teachinging Life Sciences?
Authors: Booi, Kwanele 
Keywords: Knowledge integration;Curriculum development;Interdisciplinary approach;Transdisciplinary approach;Multidisciplinary model;Life Science education
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: IATED Publications
Conference: Proceedings of INTED2017 Conference 6th-8th March 2017, Valencia, Spain 
Abstract: In this case study, three university Life Sciences teacher educators were interviewed to explore their perspectives of the knowledge integration in the Life Sciences teacher training and education programme as mandated by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the espoused curriculum for teacher training and development in the South African universities. Life Sciences teacher educators’ perspectives were the determinants of what conceptions and perceptions of knowledge integration and how it was perceived in this study. This was a necessary for investigating the extent of how they view the principle of knowledge integration and subsequent effect these views would have on the selection of topics for the knowledge discipline for the espoused curriculum designed for preservice teaching of Life science content and curriculum studies necessary for developing a competent Life sciences educators being prepared for the 21st century learners. Such students are envisaged to have necessary in Life Sciences content and pedagogical competencies required for teaching Life Sciences disciplines when they exit the programme. The choice of models and philosophical foundations of knowledge production based of knowledge discipline were seen as a fulcrum of how they presented the integrated disciplines as expected. This view necessitated the researcher to conduct in-depth interviews to solicit such information in order to understand how they interpreted the policy (MRTEQ) when developing their learning programmes, given the multidisciplinary nature of the subject. Selecting a qualitative methodology in a form of a case study meant that from face to face interactions a researcher was afforded opportunities to probe deeper issues covered by the designed instruments (semi-structured interviews) where clarity was needed. Therefore, the purpose of a case study conducted in a South African Institution of Higher Education was pursued with the aim of identifying the dominant trends contributing to how such perspectives affected the conceptualization of Life Sciences curriculum design and development for knowledge integration. Research findings results were thematically analysed and based on the synthesis of literature and theoretical framework selected for this study gave an impetus for covering all angles found from the study as well as generating information on the models and theories that could possibly influence the Life Sciences’ academic involved in design and development of curriculum for successful implementation within an appropriate context. The study unveiled the fact that integrated Life Sciences disciplinary knowledge has had an influenced on the participants’ perspectives of knowledge integration. It became clear that academics were dependent on their beliefs and teaching styles, as well as philosophical inclinations that informed their practice. The choice of themes in their learning programmes also demonstrated a possibility of biasness driven by the passion of teacher educators’ disciplines of their specialty.
Description: Conference Proceeding
ISBN: 9788461784912
Appears in Collections:Edu - Conference Proceedings

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