Explore Natural Sciences

| March 9, 2012 | 2 Comments

Grade 9: Teacher’s guide and Learner’s book

Authors: Lorien Tolstrup, Heather Skinner and Susie
Crossman
Publisher: Jac and Gill Educational Support
Programmes cc
ISBN: 0-9585147
Reviewed by Ishara Govender, Physical Science teacher,
Grades 8–11, Redhill School

This book would not be my choice for 2012, as this year we are implementing the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) in Grade 9.

On page V, the authors list Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards that are no longer in use. The new terminology now refers to Specific Aims. Learning Outcomes cannot be translated into Specific Aims because, for example, what was previously called Learning Outcome 1 is now called Specific Aim 2. The Assessment Standards are now different as well.

On page VI, the listed Development Outcomes do not correspond to the new Development Outcomes, of which there are now only three.

Book can assist with general research

The topics are dealt with in a very informative way. I especially enjoy that Knowledge, Skills and Values are listed in the learner’s book to help students adopt a holistic approach to the syllabus. I believe that if learners know why they are learning something, they would have a better attitude towards learning and, hence, learning would become easier.

The textbook also supplies useful quotations, which will help students with their write-ups for practical experiments or when they have to do a research project.

Well-presented diagrams and useful tables

I especially love that the book includes tasks classified as either homework or portfolio tasks. The diagrams are also clear and well-labelled. Each concept is either explained with a use of a diagram or picture. This is good, as many learners are visual learners. The chemistry diagrams are particularly good. When I taught this section, I had to spend hours drawing particle diagrams or looking for these diagrams on the Internet, but here they are in this book in abundance.

I found the list of terms at the end of each chapter useful. They will really help learners to have a quick reference when they are studying. They will also serve as a reference when students are not sure of content.

The book also offers Indigenous Knowledge, which is not very easy to find without hours of research. I especially like the Natural Disasters section.

The section on Energy and Electric Current is another favourite of mine. The authors have compiled a table, into which they’ve imported terms like energy, force, work power and current, in order to provide a clear overview. Putting the scientific meaning of each concept next to its colloquial counterpart is also helpful.

The teacher’s guide is comprehensive and efficiently compiled. It includes the answers to questions asked in the learner’s book, as well as various rubrics that can be adapted to a specific task. The memoranda of assessments are also given with a breakdown of mark allocations. This is like a teacher’s dream come true. It would be good if the teacher’s guide could be digitally presented as well, possibly on a CD for extended teaching and learning opportunities. The teacher’s guide is also useful in that it includes a possible scheme of work for the Grade 9 school year, as well as templates for a year plan.

Needs to be CAPS compliant, says author

I was initially excited when I was handed the book, as I felt there was no particular textbook that sufficiently covered the work. However, I was gravely disappointed to find that the textbook is not CAPS compliant. I do believe that this book could be revised to include CAPS materials, and then it would be an excellent book that I could recommend to other teachers to use.


Category: Autumn 2012

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Comments (2)

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  1. Marian Ross says:

    Why are yo implementing CAPS this year?

    Thank you

  2. Good Morning

    Please can you assit me. I am a bookseller and helping children who will be attending Heronbridge College next year.
    Please can I purchase form you Explore Science Grade 8.
    Please can you send me your price and I will pay you immediately.

    Kind Regards

    Cassandra

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