About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 671-678
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY WITH STUDENTS FROM RESOURCE DISADVANTAGED HIGH SCHOOLS

F. Marais, P. Marais

Tshwane University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
Education in South Africa has undergone extensive transformation since the inception of a democratic government in 1994. The vast disparity between schools in urban and rural areas, in particular the resources available to learners, remains a matter of concern. In spite of numerous changes, meaningful improvement to school education has been undeniably slow, especially in remote rural areas where inadequate resources present an ongoing and as yet ever present barrier to learning. Higher Education is faced with the continuing challenge of recovering students who have the potential to succeed at university in spite of the poor grades achieved in school.

Students are accepted at university according to their final school examination results. Universities throughout the country offer foundation programmes, also known as extended programmes due to the way in which they are structured, to assist the recovery of under-prepared students into mainstream programmes. These programmes allow acceptance of students who demonstrate potential, yet whose final school grades are not sufficient to afford them direct entry into the mainstream programmes.

Both pre- and post-tuition testing of foundation programme students in the Department of Chemistry over the past three years has revealed that the lowest scores are obtained for questions concerning stoichiometry. Similar poor test averages were obtained for students admitted to the Foundation Chemistry programme for the 2009 academic year. The pre-test average was 21% and after completion of the first semester a post-test average of 29% was recorded. Neither conventional lecture methods nor computer-assisted intervention had any significant impact on the problem which indicated that the students were under-prepared for tertiary education and lacked crucial fundamental principles.

To overcome this barrier to learning intervention at a more concrete level was introduced. Four structured worksheets were developed which required students to use models as well as draw their own representations to illustrate their understanding of what happens to molecules as bonds are broken and reformed during a chemical reaction. The worksheets were applied to the foundation level students during the second semester and their contribution towards improving the students’ understanding of stoichiometry is discussed in this paper.
@InProceedings{MARAIS2010BRI,
author = {Marais, F. and Marais, P.},
title = {BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY WITH STUDENTS FROM RESOURCE DISADVANTAGED HIGH SCHOOLS},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {671-678}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Marais AU - P. Marais
TI - BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY WITH STUDENTS FROM RESOURCE DISADVANTAGED HIGH SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 671
EP - 678
ER -
F. Marais, P. Marais (2010) BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY WITH STUDENTS FROM RESOURCE DISADVANTAGED HIGH SCHOOLS, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 671-678.
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