Exploring the efficacy of role-play as a pedagogical strategy to enhance grade VI students` conceptual understanding in selected Science concepts

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Sadia Bhutta


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In the twenty-first century, student-centered learning has emerged as one of the most prominent and crucial educational discourses. In this regard, many efforts have been made to employ student-centered pedagogies for scientific learning. Role-play is one of the student-centered pedagogies that can improve students' learning outcomes and also foster the skills needed to deal with the challenges of the scientific world. However, the effectiveness of role-play in science teaching has not yet been well explored in Pakistan. Therefore, this study employed role-play to investigate the efficacy of role-play to enhance conceptual understanding of selected science concepts in Karachi, Pakistan.
A quasi-experimental design (pre-post-test design) was used to explore the effectiveness of role-play as a teaching strategy. The sample consists of 77 students recruited from two intact Grade VI classes from two community-based schools (CBS), who were then assigned to intervention (IG) and control (CG) groups. The IG was taught selected science concepts through role-play methods, whereas the CG was taught the same concepts through traditional methods. The data was collected by using the newly developed and validated Science Achievement Test (SAT), which was administered to both groups at two distinct points, i.e., before the intervention and after the intervention. The two groups were compared on the students’ overall performance on the SAT, performance on SAT content, and cognitive domains on both the pre-test and post-test.
The findings of the students’ overall performance on the pre-test revealed that there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) found between the groups. In other words, before the intervention, both groups were matched and had a similar level of understanding of the selected science concepts. Conversely, after the intervention, IG took the lead and demonstrated better performance than the CG. The difference was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.001] with a large magnitude (r = 0.50). Based on the findings, the study reveals that the role-play significantly improved students’ conceptual understanding more than the conventional method. Thus, the study suggests that role-play can be used as an effective pedagogy to enhance students’ conceptual understanding to teach the selected science concepts in the Pakistani context.

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