Perspectives of Science Teachers: Comparison Between Western Australian and Malaysian Teachers
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 and to attract students to science. Science approach is a comprehensive curriculum, with texts, student handbooks, teacher resource books, programmed instruction, audio-visual materials and books of selected readings (Rennie, 2006). It comprised a content-laden syllabus, with no fixed textbook or laboratory manual. Hence, the approaches and methods employed by science teachers must be able to uphold the various needs mentioned to qualify in terms of effectiveness. 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 research questions. The first question is “What are the characterstics 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 from Malaysia. The data collection approaches employed were an open-ended questionaire, observation techniques, and documentation collection. The findings indicated four definitions of a science teacher, thirteen characteristics of a good science teacher and three sub themes for definitions of science teaching.
Keywords: Science Teaching, Characteristics of Good Science Teaching, Science Teacher, Comparison
Dr. Tajularipin Sulaiman
Senior Lecturer, Department of Foundation of Education
Suzieleez Syrene Abdul Rahim
Graduate Student, Graduate School of Education, University of Western Australia