Goals of Chemistry Education as Perceived by Chemistry Teachers: Implications for Teacher Preparation and Professional Development
This study investigated on the goals of chemistry education as perceived by chemistry teachers. A survey was conducted to gain information about the perceptions of teachers on chemistry education goals and how they operationalize the goals in their classrooms. A questionnaire was developed for the purpose of the survey. It consisted of rating scales and closed- and open-ended questions on: (1) Chemistry education goals; (2) Importance of chemistry education goals; (3) Operationalizing chemistry education goals; and (4) Barriers/problems.
Results show that chemistry teachers strongly agree that scientific knowledge (3.82) and scientific methods (3.81) are the primary goals of chemistry education. Societal issues, personal needs, and career awareness, also got high mean ratings of 3.74, 3.70 and 3.68, respectively. Furthermore, the mean rank of the chemistry education goals based on importance was: scientific knowledge (1.87); scientific methods (2.53); societal issues (2.70); career awareness (3.90); and personal needs (4.00). The teachers operationalize the goals of chemistry education through varied teaching strategies such as discovery and inquiry approach, and integrative/collaborative learning, where student-centered activities are provided. Based on the weighted means, the respondents perceive problems on teacher preparation and development as the most significant barriers to pursuing the goals of chemistry education while problems on resources as the least significant ones.
Considering chemistry teachers view scientific knowledge and scientific methods as the primary goals of chemistry education, teacher preparation and professional development in chemistry should be strengthened. This may be done by providing teachers with in-service trainings, and encouraging them to pursue graduate studies. In this way, knowledge and skills of teachers will be improved.
Keywords: Goals of Chemistry Education, Perceptions of Chemistry Teachers, Operationalizing Chemistry Education Goals, Implications for Teacher Preparation and Professional Development
Prof. Edwehna Elinore S. Paderna
Assistant Professor, Science Teaching Area