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Paper Details: Promoting Student Engagement In Soft Skills Practices With Science News Media In Physics Education- A Case Study Of Chiwala Technical Secondary School In Zambia

Volume 3 - Issue 10, October 2019 Edition
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Phiri Kayola Moses, Jack George Jumbe
Physics education, Science News Media (SNM), Soft skills Practices, Student engagement.
This study was a small attempt that was made towards bridging the gap between the skills that employers are looking for in Zambian Secondary School Graduates and the skills that are being developed in Physics Education at Chiwala Technical school in Masaiti district on the Copperbelt province. The study established that the existing skills gap could be bridged by promoting student engagement in soft skills practices with SNM in physics education. Two adapted lesson plans with similar pedagogical experiences based on electromagnetic waves were used. One lesson plan integrated science in the news on health risks associated with non-ionising radiations and was administered in three grade 12 classes with a total of 69 students at Chiwala Technical in Masaiti district. The other lesson plan lacked SNM and was administered in three different classes with a total of 66 students at the same school. The study employed a case study method and purposeful sampling technique with a mixed-method data collection approach and an analysis approach that was largely qualitative with some quantitative descriptive statistics. The study utilized a student open-ended questionnaire, a classroom observation protocol, and assessment rubrics to collect data. A pilot study was conducted in one grade 12 class in order to ascertain the reliability of both the lesson plans and research instruments for this study. The study established that student engagement levels in soft skills practices were higher in classes where SNM was integrated during the physics lessons than those in which it wasn’t. It also established that SNM increased students’ awareness and interest to participate in soft skills practices during physics education. Finally, it established that student engagement levels in soft skills practices were generally higher during debate and simulation than during lectures irrespective of the classes.
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