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An investigation into the use of weather type models in the teaching of South African climatology at senior secondary school level

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  • G Geography (General)
  • Lb1603 Secondary Education. High Schools
  • Lb2361 Curriculum
  • Earth Science
  • Education


The synoptic chart encodes climatological and meteorological information in a highly abstract manner. The pupil's level of cognitive development, the nature of the syllabus and the teaching strategies employed by the geography teacher influence the pupil's conceptualisation of information. The synoptic chart is a valuable tool for consolidating the content of the S.A climatology syllabus. Recent research has established that climatology-meteorology, and especially synoptic chart reading and interpretation, is difficult for the concrete thinker. These pupils find difficulty in visualising the weather processes and systems. Provided that they are simple and clear, models are useful teaching devices that integrate and generalise information in a manner that is easily retrievable. The intention of the author is to provide weather type models and other supporting strategies and aids as a means to improve the senior secondary pupil's assimilation of southern African climatological-meteorological information. This model-based approach is tested in the classroom using an action research framework to judge its efficacy. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made.

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