Implementation challenges influencing the efficacy of group-work tasks that require inductive or deductive reasoning during physical sciences lessons


We explore the implementation challenges and efficacy of instructional strategies focussing on tasks which require learners to attempt sense-making either using inductive, or deductive, reasoning during group discussions. Data were collected via participant observation from 73 grade 10-12 learners the first author taught and included field notes, audio visual recordings, interviews, questionnaires and learner journals. The researchers underwent the inductive, cyclic process of implementation, data collection, reflection and modification over 20 research cycles, 4 of which are reported here, over 3 years. The study suggests considerably more variability in efficacy, time-consumption and implementation challenges, for the inductive instructional strategy. We did, however, find consistent efficacy for an overall deductive oriented strategy, although such a strategy is also accompanied by a number of challenges. These findings provide support for the value of sense-making group discussions when carefully planned.

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