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Title: The development and implementation of the primary school science curriculum in Malaysia.
Author: Ngoh, Tan Juat.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3445 2089
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1999
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The movement for reforms in science education in Malaysia is to make it more relevant to the majority of students and to develop a desirable workforce in science and technology to achieve the nation's aim of an industrialised status by the year 2020. This case study examines the development and implementation of its primary school science curriculum. It traces the pressures and actions for curriculum change at the primary level as intertwined with the social, economic and historical development of the country. Analysis of the curriculum suggests that its development is based on an objective model, that is, stating of behavioural objectives, means and end product. This meant that curriculum development and implementation be highly centralised, involving a co-ordination of activities between various divisions within the Ministry of Education and the schools, through power-coercive strategies. The Primary School Science curriculum emphasises an enquiry-based learning that develops pupils' science process skills, critical and creative thinking. However, implementation of the curriculum in four primary schools in Malacca showed the following problems: Teachers teaching primary school science lacked confidence and competence. In-service training and assistance in the form of follow-up training, support, resources and personnel were limited and did not help teachers to enhance their capabilities. Science as a highstakes test deskilled the teachers, narrowed instructional strategies and the curriculum. Pupils practised to the test and attended numerous tuition classes. Parents were stressed over their children doing well in the test. Science teaching was mainly `chalk and talk'. Science was presented as a body of knowledge to be memorised. Demands of work, workplace conditions and a highly prescribed curriculum restricted social interaction for teachers to learn from each other. Initial teacher education of primary science teachers was conservative, that conformed to bureaucratic school norms. The conclusions support the view that the process of curriculum change is highly complex. Neither central nor school-based approaches work by themselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training