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The impact of teaching approaches on effective physics learning: an investigation conducted in five Secondary Schools in Rusizi District, Rwanda

Daniel Uwizeyimana
LakhanLal Yadav
Theophile Musengimana
Jean Uwamahoro


The Current Rwandan educational policy fosters the teaching of sciences as a means towards building a knowledge-based economy. This paper describes a research conducted firstly to investigate the current status of teaching and learning physics in Rwandan secondary schools and secondly, to evaluate the impact of teaching approaches on effective learning and performance in physics secondary school classrooms. This study first tested students’ understanding of basics concepts and physics problem solving skills. In the second step, the focus of the study analysed to what extent various teaching approaches contribute to improve physics conceptual understanding and problem solving skills among learners. The outcomes of the study revealed the close link between identified difficulties in physics among learners with still commonly used traditional teacher-cantered approaches in teaching physics. In this study, some teaching practices are proposed which can considerably improve the quality of teaching and learning physics in Rwanda.

Keywords: Physics problem solving, misconceptions in physics, multiple representations, physics teaching and learning approaches