A Review of Research Findings and Trends of Articles on Science Process Skills in Africa from 2002 to 2021

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A Review of Research Findings and Trends of Articles on Science Process Skills in Africa from 2002 to 2021

Author(s) : Million Tadesse , Destaw Damtie & Yenus Nurie Bogale


The developmental period of the African science curriculum has principally viewed Science Process Skills (SPS) as a major outcome. However, the scarcity of review regarding the African studies in SPS points to a crucial gap in the related literature. This warrants the need to review research articles on SPS thereby identifying common findings and distinguishable trends. Therefore, this review aimed to analyze and evaluate research studies conducted on science process skills in the context of African countries. The method carried out in this research was a systematic literature review. It involved analyzing and synthesizing studies that focused on science process skills in the African science education from 2002 to 2021. The researchers obtained 106 articles in the initial searching activity. Then, they screened out the abstract of these articles to determine their relevance. From this screening process, 34 SPS studies in different African countries published from 2002 to 2021 were synthesized and analyzed. The review of research trends on SPS-related issues conducted in African countries focused on the following points: contributor African countries, main SPS-related issues discovered by the studies, and the methodologies used by the researchers. Based on the result of this review, the top three SPS-related issues identified were; determining variables affecting SPS (23.52%), developing science curriculum via SPS (17.64%), and developing students’ and teachers’ SPS (17.64%). The results also revealed that most articles were contributed from Nigeria (44.11%) and the most frequently used research design and methods were quantitative research design (58.82%) by quasi-experiment, survey, and ex-post-facto methods. The most frequently used data collection tools were achievement tests (45.71%) and document analysis (31.42%), and the most frequently used samples were the students at high schools (65.71%). Since science curriculum plays a vital role in improving students’ SPS, the results of studies under investigation suggested that curriculum developers may increase the number of science activities when developing science curriculums. 

Keywords: African continent, science education, science process skills, students, teachers