Examining Relationships between School-Level and Classroom-Level Environments in South Africa

Year: 2010

Author: Aldridge, Jill

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports research into associations between the school-level and classroom-level environment in science classrooms in South Africa. An instrument, developed to assess students’ perceptions of their classroom learning environment as a means of monitoring and guiding changes towards outcomes-based education, was administered to 2638 Grade 8 science students from 50 classes in 50 schools in the Limpopo Province. In addition, the teachers of each of the 50 classes responded to a questionnaire developed to assess factors in the school-level environment (such as the adequacy of resources, parental involvement and collegiality). The data collected using the two questionnaires were analysed to examine whether the environment created at the school level was linked to the likelihood of teachers successfully implementing outcomes-based education at the classroom level.

KEY WORDS: Science Education; Outcomes-Based Education; School-Level Environment; Classroom-Level Environment; Learning Environment; South Africa