Physics teachers due to the three major curriculum reforms have been exposed to numerous content topics, policy instructions and theories. They need the understanding of theories such as behavioural, constructivism, cognitive, learner-centered, etc. informed by policies since theories underpin effective curriculum implementation through pedagogical practices.
Material and methods:
Mixed method research approach was adopted. 109 physics teachers and ten purposively selected grade 12 physics teachers in two districts in the Eastern Cape Province participated. Data was analysed via simple descriptive analysis and themes.
The findings revealed that physics teachers irrespective of teaching experience at a stage in the content changed period had felt confused regarding what theories and policies are to be practised. It was demonstrated that current policies and theories of CAPS are not followed but rather old theories and practices of NATED 550 often dominate in teaching and learning of physics content.
It can be concluded that confusion in theory and practice exist in the new CAPS due to various reforms. Old/traditional practices often criticised in previous studies (Chisholm, 2005; Jansen, 1998) and behaviourist theory principles are still prevalent in the new CAPS instead of constructivist underpinnings where adequate learning opportunities to discover knowledge in problem solving context are mandatory