Twenty years into the new millennium: How integrated is Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science at secondary school level?




Physics and Mathematics education, Computing integration, Curriculum alignment, FET phase


Twenty years into the millennium, the world has been confronted with a pandemic that has had an immeasurable impact on the workplace, learning environment and related technologies. Technology and technological advancements are founded on three disciplines, namely Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science. Internationally, an integration of the curricula of these disciplines are promoted in the education space, as an effective way to achieve 21st century capabilities that lately includes computational thinking. This study explores the changes in the content and alignment of the three subjects in the South African secondary school system from an interdisciplinary framework perspective. Textbooks, curriculum documents and planning calendars provided the information for the content analysis. The content in Physics and Mathematics have remained basically the same, with a few topics removed from Physics and some added to Mathematics. Information Technology has replaced Computer Science, with significant changes in content in alignment with developments in computing technology. No clear indication of an alignment between the disciplines could be found, which, to a certain extent, puts South Africa outside the international frame. The basic education system appears to run an assessment-driven curriculum in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Information Technology. This system produces poor results and seemingly does not allow for interdisciplinary skills development.


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How to Cite

Basson, I. (2021). Twenty years into the new millennium: How integrated is Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science at secondary school level?. Perspectives in Education, 39(4), 3-26.



Research articles