A quantitative examination of two different teaching paradigms in a Germiston based pre-school

Philip Baron (Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.)
Anne Catherine Baron (Little People’s Montessori Pre-School, Germiston, South Africa.)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 7 September 2015



The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is value in performing studies comparing a cybernetic approach over a traditional teaching approach in regards to improved pre-school tuition.


A two independent groups design was implemented with each group receiving a different treatment. The first group had their lesson presented in the traditional teaching approach while the second group were part of a cybernetic approach. After each group had their lesson, each child was assessed and asked a series of ten questions. The total correct answers for the traditional group was compared to the total correct answers of the cybernetic group. The results were statistically examined using a t-test and Pearson r correlation.


The group who took part in the cybernetic lesson had a 46 per cent increase in the total number of correct answers. The cybernetic approach to the pre-school lesson was an improvement in terms of memory retention. This initial study justifies a series of further experimental designs.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides a basis for further studies of comparative educational approaches to pre-school education and learner memory performance. A cybernetic approach to pre-school instruction has a lot to offer and is especially beneficial for children who are learning language, whether first or second language. This is a model to develop further, for use in the teaching-learning environment.

Practical implications

The use of Teachback within a pre-school context may have additional benefits such as improved language acquisition through additional practice of verbal expression. A practical method of addressing the challenge of cybernetics training was also presented in this study.

Social implications

When the Teachback is performed, the person creates a verbal expression based on their language and background. As the Teachback occurs in a social context amongst peers, an opportunity for an exploration into the diverse backgrounds of the individual pre-school children can take place, especially beneficial when in a multi-cultural setting.


There are few cybernetics studies conducted on pre-school aged children. This is the first study whereby cybernetic tools such as Teachback have been used in pre-school education.



Acknowledgement for the funding provided from Eskom (the South African power utility) in their investment in tertiary education, which allows for funding for equipment and other related items that are necessary for academic research.


Baron, P. and Baron, A. (2015), "A quantitative examination of two different teaching paradigms in a Germiston based pre-school", Kybernetes, Vol. 44 No. 8/9, pp. 1207-1218. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-11-2014-0259

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