Effect of indigenous knowledge in a physics curriculum on pupils’ attitudes towards physics

Aguiar Baquete1, Inocente Mutimucuio, Diane Grayson


In education, attitudes work as an internal factor that guides pupils’ actions towards certain subject matter. Consequently, it is one factor for prediction of pupils’ achievement. Although understanding physics is fundamental to understanding the world around us, results of research carried out worldwide have shown that pupils’ success in physics is often lower than in other subjects. The sample of this study consisted of 216 pupils (135 girls, 83 boys) from a secondary school in Chókwé. Grade 9 was chosen because this is when pupils learn thermal phenomena, one of the topics for which physics-related indigenous knowledge (IK) had been identified in an earlier study, during interviews with senior citizens. An experimental approach was used, involving a pre-test, teaching intervention and post-test with experimental and control groups. The attitudes questionnaire consisted of Likert scale type multiple-choice questions. The contextualized teaching materials used in the intervention were based on IK and pupils’ everyday environment, and the teaching intervention was inquiry-based. The results suggest that pupils who had lessons with contextualized teaching materials based on inquiry approach had more positive attitudes towards physics than pupils who were submitted to a classic teacher centred approach. The Implications for future classroom practice is that teaching materials should take into account the context in which they are going to be used.


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