Perspectives of Science Teaching: Comparison Between Western Australian Teachers and Malaysian Teachers

By Tajularipin Sulaiman and Suzieleez Syrene Abdul Rahim.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Vision 2020 hopes to turn Malaysia into a developed country driven by industrial and agricultural sector by the year 2020. To achieve this aspiration, the manpower of the country must be developed and furnished with strong technological, mathematical and science backgrounds as early as the primary level. Effective teaching influences the attitude of the students towards science and if Malaysia hopes to develop in accordance with Vision 2020, this issue is critical. In developed countries like Australia, the teaching of science is developed humanistically to attract students to science. The approaches and methods employed by science teachers are important as there is a close relationship between the teachers’ classroom practices and student learning. Therefore, it is critical to investigate the teaching approaches and methods that are employed by teachers. This paper discusses findings of a qualitative study carried out to compare the perspectives of science teachers from Malaysia and Western Australia, focusing on two main research questions. The first question is “What are the characteristics of a science teacher?” and the second question is “What are the teachers’ perspectives of science teaching?” The participants of the study were twelve primary science teachers in Western Australia and twelve primary science teachers from Malaysia. The data collection approaches employed were an open-ended questionnaire, observation techniques, and documentation collection. The findings indicated four definitions of a science teacher, thirteen characteristics of a good science teacher and three definitions of science teaching.

Keywords: Science Teaching, Primary, Teachers’ Perspectives

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.63-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.186MB).

Dr. Tajularipin Sulaiman

Senior Lecturer, Department of Foundation of Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Tajularipin Sulaiman received his early education in Muar, Johor and continued his secondary education at the Malacca Technical School. He continued his studies at the Centre for Foundation Studies in Science, Universiti Malaya in 1998. He obtained the Bachelor of Science with Education Degree in 1994 and Master of Education in 1998 fron the University Malaya. He holds a doctoral degree in education from University Putra Malaysia. His area of specialization is in science education, teacher education and cognitive development. He has involved in courses in science education, thinking skills and cognitive development. He research interest is in the field of primary education especially in primary science. He has also presented papers in national and international conferences.

Suzieleez Syrene Abdul Rahim

Fellow, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Suzieleez is currently a PhD student at the Graduate School of Education, University of Western Australia. Her current research focus is on mathematics education and assessment. She obtained her Bachelor of Science with Education in 1994 and Master in Education in 2002, both from the University of Malaya. Her current area of specialization is mathematics education. Her research interests are in assessment,pedagogy and teacher education.

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