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Title: The effect of a number of sec subjects on A-level physics in Malta
Authors: Cutajar, Nicola
Musumeci, Martin
Keywords: Education, Higher -- Malta
Students -- Rating of -- Malta
Examinations -- Malta
Physics -- Study and teaching
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: LibreriaUniversitaria Edizioni
Citation: Cutajar, N., & Musumeci, M. (2021). The effect of a number of sec subjects on A-level physics in Malta. New Perspectives in Science Education 10th Edition, Florence.
Abstract: This study investigates the progression from Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) to Advanced (A) level Physics, and inherent problems for students and teachers in Malta. The four research questions dealt with: (a) the changes in the SEC Physics syllabus in 2012; (b) SEC Physics as foundation for A-level Physics; (c) the sufficiency of skills and knowledge from SEC Mathematics for A-level Physics; and (d) correlation between SEC Physics, Mathematics and English Language and A-level Physics. A mixed methods approach was used: 165 questionnaires from second year A-level Physics students, 16 questionnaires and five interviews with A-level Physics teachers, four interviews with SEC Physics teachers and a focus group with second year A-level Physics students. Teachers considered the 2012 SEC syllabus – following the changes – as an insufficient foundation for A-level Physics, increasing the gap between the two levels. They considered a good grade in and understanding of SEC Mathematics desirable for A-level Physics. Students considered SEC Physics as a good foundation for A-level, and regarded Intermediate Mathematics as the threshold for A-level Physics. Respondents acknowledged the importance of English language skills in understanding A-level Physics questions. The correlation coefficients for SEC Physics, Mathematics and English Language with A-level Physics were 0.54, 0.45 and 0.41 respectively. Suggestions for the reduction of student difficulties and the enhancement of progression rates in A level Physics and in related careers were presented.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEduMSE

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