The Preschool Teachers’ Challenges in Teaching and Learning: Training and Professional Development

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This paper discusses a study on preschool teachers challenges in relation to their training and professional development. Other demographic variables studied are the preschool teachers’ age, teaching experience, academic qualification and types of pre-service and in-service courses attended. The sample involves 197 preschool teachers from three states in northern Malaysia, namely Penang, Perak and Kedah. This ongoing study employs both quantitative and qualitative research design where questionnaire, interview and observation were used. The questionnaires were designed to extract out information about teachers lesson preparation and actual instructional activities as well as the assessment activities carried out. The interview focus on identifying further the challenges preschool teachers faced. The observation served the purpose of data triangulation on teachers self report questionnaire and interview. The finding from the questionnaire shows that majority of the teachers involved in this study were between the aged 41 to 50 years, but the age ranges between 22 to 59 years old. Their teaching experience ranges from less than a year to 32 years. However, more than 50 % of the teachers have teaching experience between 11 and 20 years. The academic qualifications obtained by the teachers range from the lowest qualification that is, Lower Secondary Examination until diploma level but majority (72 %) possess the Malaysian Certificate of Education. In addition, there were various types of courses attended by the preschool teachers, namely Preschool Teaching Certificate Course Level I & II (70.6%), In-service Preschool Teaching Certificate Course, and Training of Trainers Certificate Course. These three courses were conducted by Universiti Sains Malaysia between 1996 and 2006. Some of them (11.2%) also attended short in-service courses conducted by other institutions while others (8.7%) did not attend any courses at all. The presentation will include the findings regarding the preschool teachers challenges of preparing and conducting teaching and learning activities in relation to their training and professional development, and other demographic variables.


Keywords: Preschool Teachers Challenges, Teaching and Learning, Training and Professional Development
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Preschool Teachers’ Challenges in Teaching, The


Dr. Hashimah Mohd. Yunus

Program Chairperson B.Sc Ed, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Hashimah Mohd Yunus is a senior lecturer in the School of Educational Studies, University Sains Malaysia. She has a B.Sc (Hons) in Biology and Chemistry, a M. Ed. in Curriculum Studies and PhD in the field of Science Education from University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Her expertise is in the area of primary science education, awareness in renewable energy and energy efficiency in primary and secondary schools and teacher education. She has been Research Leader on USM short term grant and co-researcher in several other research studies in Malaysia dealing with language issues in science education and energy awareness in primary and secondary school. She is in the progress of conducting research on the language development and science inquiry for year one pupils and a research on impact study of renewable energy and energy efficiency among secondary school students and teachers in Malaysia. Hashimah has also published and co-published a few papers on research publications in journal articles and conference papers at the international level and national level. She is also being consulted on several education projects such as Chairman for the evaluation of year six primary science textbook package for DBP for usage in 2008. Reviewer of the upper secondary school biology textbook for Arah Pendidikan Company. On the international level, she has been an academic consultant to several SEAMEO-RECSAM’s courses and program since 2005.

Prof. Dr. Nor Hashimah Hashim

Program Chairperson, BEd. Preschool Education, School Of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Nor Hashimah Hashim is an Associate Professor in the Early Childhood Edcuation at School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She received her MEd. and PhD at University of Leeds, United Kingdom focusing on primary education. Earlier she worked in primary and secondary schools for six and three years respectively. Currently, she is a program chairperson for BEd. Preschool Education) and teaches undergraduate programs in early childhood curriculum. Her research interests revolve around teaching and learning at preschool and primary level. Two of her current research projects funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) and Department of National Unity and Integration, focuses on learning environment and instruction quality at the preschool level. She had also conducted research on reading comprehension at primary school at the national level. She has published a number of research papers and articles in national and international journals, and produced three teaching and learning modules for preschool and primary school children.

Prof Munirah Ghazali

Deputy Dean, Academic & Student Development, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Munirah Ghazali. PhD., graduated with SPLI MPPPP, B.Sc Ed. (Western Michigan, USA), M.A Ed (Birmingham, UK), Phd (UTM). She is an expert in Primary Education. She is currently an Associate Professor of School of Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). She is actively involved in many educational research such as mathematics education focus on students mathematical thinking and numeracy, secondary and primary education and also RE and EE education. She is currently Deputy Dean, Academic and Student Development.

Assoc. Prof. Yahya Che Lah

Senior Lecturer, School Of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Yahya Che Lah is a senior lecturer at School of Distance Learning in the area of teaching and learning of language. Most of his students are school teachers undertaking their undergraduate courses. Methodology and pedagogy of language teaching is his main subject. In addition, he also taught language proficiency. He was a language teacher, before he became a lecturer. He had taught in primary and secondary school. Moreover, he had an experience for about 3 years in the secondary school as an academic administrator. His experiences enhance his knowledge about the needs and the problems in the teaching and learning language either to the teachers or to the pupils. In the tertiary level, besides teaching, he was involved in research. His research focuses on the teaching of writing and reading comprehension at the primary and lower secondary school. His recent research focus teaching process of writing. The aim of this study was to observe what transpire during the classroom teaching and learning process of writing.

Ref: L09P0603