Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Inquiry-Based Practical Work in Multiple-Deprived Classrooms: A Decoloniality Approach
Amidst debates on decoloniality in higher education and instructional strategies earmarked for the 21st century in science classrooms, this paper argues for the preparation of teachers who have the epistemic capability to be functional in all school contexts. The study adopts a decoloniality approach and Sen’s Capability Approach to explore the link between pre-service science teacher preparation and the practice of inquiry-based practical work (IBPW) in multiple-deprived classrooms. Inquiry-based learning is an impetus of current reforms and curriculum projects in science education. Practical work is also central to science teaching and learning. The integration of inquiry-based learning and practical work results in IBPW instructional strategies. The implementation of the strategies is filtered through school contextual settings such as material resources and teacher professional identities, which are some of the unmet needs in multiple-deprived classrooms. What is subject to debate in this paper is how teacher training programmes prepare pre-service science teachers to effectively implement IBPW under the adverse conditions of multiple-deprived classrooms. Using one university in the Free State province of South Africa as a case study, data were generated by means of two focus group interviews, each with five final-year pre-service teachers, and semi-structured interviews with two lecturers. Theorising on a decoloniality approach for pre-service teacher preparation in IBPW implementation, the study highlights some epistemic and pedagogical issues that create multiple-deprived classrooms and perpetuate non-inclusivity and injustices.
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