Malaysia’s March towards Science Literacy in Schools: Teachers, Students and the Focus on Conservation Issues
The interest on science literacy is important as it provides a picture of knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes in promoting conservation of nature alongside economic productivity and growth in civic and cultural affairs. In view of the proliferation of information and multimedia technologies that touch our learning experiences, this paper reports the findings of a study that engaged selected students and teachers to participate in science literacy by producing learning and teaching elements on conservation issues using digital age skills. The first part of the discussion observes that the study of science in Malaysian primary and secondary schools is currently fraught with serious problems. The views of teachers and students on teaching and learning science reveal some of the major challenges confronted by the researchers in developing productive pedagogies in Malaysia. The second part of the discussion looks at teachers as reflective designers of learning where selected teachers contributed to professional capacity by developing and sharing learning elements on conservation issues for Fourth Form students. By way of conclusion, this paper argues that the Learning by Design approach adopted in the present study is beginning to witness a more collaborative and participatory culture to building science literacy in Malaysia.
Dr. Ambigapathy Pandian
Professor/Dean, School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Shanthi Balraj Baboo
Universiti Sains Malaysia