Thursday, March 31, 2011


Three main future trends in S& T education:

1. Relationships/ interdependence of science, technology and society (STS) will be the organizational core of the curriculum vs logical progression or the structure of the discipline or as a pure science/established knowledge approach.

2. Science and technological education for human, social and nature survival (eg population growth, air quality,health and disease, water resources, energy shortages, nuclear wastes, pollution, etc ).

3. S&T education for human capital development, economic growth and providing vocational and technological skills/occupations in industrial, post- industrial era and in a global world/ information age.

Discuss what are the implications for the of science curriculum you will teach?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Mathematics curriculum in the USA:

Some of the most pressing issues include the following :
1. the ongoing debate over best practices in the teaching of mathematics
2. the influence of standards on curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment
3. the increasing attention being paid to assessment and student outcomes


i. 1983 - A Nation at Risk (a critical self - analysis of status and quality of American education).
ii. Low academic achievement of US mathematics students as compared with other nations such as
    Hong Kong and Japan.
iii. Mathematics education as a powerful indicator of technological advancement.
iv. Implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB 2002) policy- set high standards and expectations for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, family, background or disability.

Moving Forward:

1. In 1985 - Project 2061 : Mathematics Standards (ie Standards-based curriculum;
NCTM Curriculum Standards (1989).
- a reaction to the apparently "low standard" of mathematics education in the USA.

2. Shift of approach in maths education - change from previous dualistic approach (ie minimal maths for the majority of students and advanced maths for a few students) to a common core of maths for all students (standard -based) throughout their school experience.

 Focus on three aspects of mathematics curriculum:

i. the processes of mathematics (eg mathematical thinking - abstraction, representation,symbolic
transformation, Higher Order Thinking (HOTs) etc: mathematical applications etc);

ii. the content or subject matter of mathematics
(ie focus on mathematical significance,
those concepts and skills that can serve as a foundation for a lifetime
of individual growth - arithmetic,algebra,geometry, analysis, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics).

iii. applications and connections of mathematical ideas
- maths should be seen as a part of human experience, emerging from everyday experience;
students should understand both the processes of maths and their interaction with science
and technology;
- students should learn to communicate in the language of maths;
- mathematics should be learning as an integrated whole- as a network of interconnected processes, concepts and procedures;
- students should learn to translate their intuitions about how things work into hypotheses and
mathematical models of the real world;
- students should learn to recognize and formulate/pose problems themselves from situations within and outside of mathematics (ie problem posing beyond problem solving- to develop creative thinkers)
apply mathematical modeling to solve problems that arise in other disciplines, such as science, technology, business etc).

The ultimate goal of teaching mathematics is to help all students develop mathematical power and to think mathematically (ie to develop powerful mathematical thinkers) and effective problem solvers ( ie not limited only to solve well defined/routine maths problems).

Discuss how the above focus of  maths curriculum in the USA can be adapted and implemented in the contexts of Malaysian schools? Give your examples.

Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia: Go to

Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia: Go to "Go to"

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Introduction :

Personal, social and ethical issues should be the focal points of science and technological education at all levels of education.

On personal needs of the student, science teaching should develop (i) scientific knowledge, (ii) scientific process skills, and (iii) scientific attitudes and values.

Scientific knowledge - facts, concepts, definitions, laws and theories etc.

Scientific skills- process skills (observing, classifying, identifying, inferring, formulating etc and manipulative skills ( designing experiments, determining procedures, controlling variables, etc).

Scientific attitudes and values - critical mindedness, open mindedness, looks for evidence through an empirical approach, honesty, objectivity, willingness to change/flexible, suspended judgement, questioning attitudes, strong curiousity etc.

Science and technology is part of the society in which it exists. The goals and values of a society directly influence the existence and development of science and technology.

In other words science teaching should for examples; make students aware of good health practices, solve contemporary social and environmental problems (drugs abuses, food additives, ecological problems, waste of energy, water pollution, etc).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



The main aim of the KBSM mathematics is to develop analytical, critical, systematic and logical thinking, as well as to acquire skills to solve problems. By doing so, pupils will learn to use mathematical knowledge effectively in their daily activities. In addition, they will learn to be responsible and appreciate the importance and excellent features contained in mathematics.


The objectives of KBSM mathematics is for students :

1. To know and understand concepts,definitions, laws, rules and theorems relating to numbers and space.

2. To consolidate and widen the use of skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

3. To master basic skills (other than basic operations ) such as:

- performing estimations and approximations relating with numbers and measurements.

- recognizing various shapes in the surrounding environment and their characteristics.

- measuring and constructing by using basic mathematical instruments.

- collecting,recording, representing and interpreting data

- recognizing and representing relations mathematically.

4. To master skills of using algorithm to obtain the required results.

5. To master skills of solving problems involving steps of interpretation of problem, planning the strategies, implementation of strategies and checking of answers obtained.

6. To utilize mathematical knowledge and skills in managing daily activities through effective and responsible manner.

7. To acquire and appreciate the ability of working in a logically,systematically, heuristically and accurately.

The KBSM (1998- Smart school's edition) focuses on 5 main aspects namely:

1. problem solving in mathematics (recently new concept : problem posing- beyond problem soving)
2. communication in mathematics (oral.written and representation)
3. reasoning in mathematics (inductive, deductive, logical, critical, creative, HOTs)
4. mathematical connections (procedural, conceptual, contextual, daily lives etc)
5. application of technology (calculators, computers, software, internet, etc)

Saturday, March 19, 2011



1. Proposed by Kurt Lewin ( 1946) in USA and was further developed by Kolb (1984) and Carr and Kemmis (1986).

2. Usually used to study educational problems related to the T&L activities in the classroom (naturalistic) and subsequently correct them so as to improve the T&L practices (improvement).

3. It can be conducted on an individual or collaborative basis by means of systematic self-reflection- develop a concept of teacher as a researcher in the classroom (practitioner research).

How to conduct it ?

1. The process of AR can be visualized as a spiral of cycles of action that comprises 4 main steps ie Plan, Act, Observe and Reflect. (PAOR)

2. Plan- problem identification/statement (ie reflection of previous practices), determine the specific focus and objectives of the research; eg How to improve problem solving skills involving word problems by using Polya Method among form 4 (social science) students ?

Act-implement the research plan (taking actions/intervention);

Observe - using suitable method and technique collecting data/fact finding about the results
of the action/evidences;

Reflect- analyze the data and interpret the results/ research findings- evaluate the actions
(prepare report and decide follow up action).

4. The results of the first cycle may lead to the identification of a new problem, and thus stimulates the second cycle of AR.

5. Teacher/researcher/reflective practitioner work as an active participant(involvement) with the subject/students, not as an outside expert work on the students.

Characteristics of AR:

1. Focus on one issue/case/problem only (educational/T&L problem-specific/small scale -qualitative study) at a time (one cycle).eg effectiveness of T&L materials, methods, techniques, group work, remedial or enrichment materials/activities etc)

2. Focus on problem solving rather than testing the hypothesis/theory or making generalizations (as in conventional research).

3. Focus on narrowing the gap between theory and practice.

4. Using systematic self reflection/reflective thinking skills/inquiry in every step of the research.

Based on one problem of learning mathematics faced by the students in your classroom , discuss how you can use action research to solve the problem and subsequently improve your teaching practice.

Thursday, March 17, 2011



The philosophy and approach of STS (science, technology and society) is the unifying concept of science, technology and society with the concept of acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes so that the goals of science education can be achieved by a coherent and integrated manner.

Its contrasted with traditional science curriculum where science content (ie physics, chemistry and biology) is taught in isolation from "technology" and "society".

The main aim of this approach is to help students appreciate the implications of scientific and technological development to the society.

How to implement it?

1. Any suitable social, technological, environmental and ethical issues (eg balanced diet, air pollution, nuclear energy, drugs abuse, animal experimentation, genetic engineering, green technology, energy conservation,etc) can be used as the focus for the teaching and learning of a particular science content (eg classes of food- proteins, fats; metal, energy, animal, plants, cells, structure of atom, chemical bonds, acids and bases, heat, light, energy, etc).

2. T&L should be student-centered through active learning involving group work, cooperative learning, inquiry-discovery, investigational work, constructivist approach , problem-based learning (PBL) etc.

Advantages of STS approach ( to rectify the inadequacies of traditional science curriculum)

1. to increase public (science for all policy) and students' interest and motivation in learning science and technology (for eg in Malaysia, ratio (science) 60 : 40 (arts) )

2. reflects the multidisciplinary nature of science and technology and provides a wide interpretation of science and technology (ie a "big picture" of science)

3. provides a contextual, problem solving and consideration of social, ethical and values in learning science and technology.

4. provides a balance view of science as a formal abstract concepts with the concrete and operational aspect and taught in a connected and meaningful manner. ( ie view science a human activity).

5. to increase intellectual capabilities such as critical and creative thinking
and development scientific and technological inquiry; prepare future scientists, engineers, technologists and citizens with good level of scientific literacy.

6. (In the context of Malaysia) to develop a creative, holistic, integrated and balanced person intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically as formulated in the National Education Philosophy(NEP).

In STS curriculum, traditional science content should not be "watered down", but it should be embedded in a social and technological context.

Discuss with suitable examples to what extent the STS philosophy and approach has been implemented in science education curriculum in Malaysian secondary schools .

Monday, March 14, 2011



1. OBE is a student-centered learning philosophy introduced by William Spady (1994) - the father of OBE. It is an educational movement accepted worldwide especially in developed countries such as UK, USA, Australia, etc. A change from inputs (time, materials, textbook,
computer, teaching etc) to outcomes (what we expect students to know and be able to do?).

2. Basic premise - all students can learn and succeed although some may take a little longer than the others.

3. OBE 4 main principles : clarity of focus on outcomes; design backward; high expectations for success; expanded learning opportunities for success.

How to implement ? :

1. Focus on outcomes - cognitive, affective and psychomotor (National Education Philosophy/NEP, vision, mission, Program educational objectives/PEO- few years (4-5 years after graduation), program learning outcomes/PLO (upon graduation), course/subject learning outcomes/CLO (upon subject completion - what do I want my students to be able to do as a result of my teaching in this subject ), not on processes (what TL approaches or activities do I adopt to achieve the intended LO- active learning, cooperative learning, problem- based learning, inquiry-discovery etc) or inputs (resources available to the students).

2. Design backward - outcomes as a starting point (ie from NEP...CLO) , deliver forward (from or in the classroom/ labs etc ,ie teaching and learning activities are directed towards the achievement of the desired outcomes). OBE does not specify or require any particular approach/methods of teaching and learning. It is flexible. Students should be given more opportunities or chances to achieve the LOs. Outcomes drive the learning. Time is not the main factor or obstacle.

3. Outcome - based assessment and evaluation ( tests, projects, general exam, tracers study, alumni, stakeholders feedback, etc). Standards of performance should be raised and made achievable.

The whole process of OBE does not end only with assessment, continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a must.

OBE principles should be implemented consistently, systematically, creatively and simultaneously through out the school curriculum.

Discuss critically the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the OBE principles in mathematics curriculum.

Assignment : Based on a particular curriculum (eg form 4 KBSM textbook), draw a curriculum mapping ie topics vs objectives according to OBE principles and explain clearly with suitable examples on how to achieve the objectives of that curriculum.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



1. Science- the study of natural world/environment
2. Technology- the study of artificially constructed environment
2 Society- the study of social environment

Intersection of science, technology and society or science-technology-society (STS) education in school science has become a world-wide educational movement, particularly in UK, North America, and Australia in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the context of teaching and learning, students strive to understand their everyday experiences through their social environment, their artificially constructed environment, and their natural environment.

In a traditional science curriculum, science content is taught in isolation from technology and society or from students' technological and social worlds. In science- technology-society (STS)
curriculum, science content is connected and integrated with the students' everyday worlds or experiences which is more meaningful to them.

In other words, the teaching of science through STS refers to teaching about natural phenomena in a manner that embeds science in the technological and social environments of the student or science content is embedded in a social-technological context.

STS education is broader in scope than those of the traditional academic science curriculum. The main focus is on the issues and problems of science and technology within society. (eg energy - energy conservation, pollution, waste materials, ethical issues, values, etc)

STS science teaching is student centered as contrasted to the teacher or content centered in the traditional science teaching.

Discuss how STS approach has been used in the KBSM integrated science curriculum (choose any topic from form 4-5 textbook as an example) by critically analyse 3 aspects of the curriculum ( science content, skills and attitudes; teaching, learning and assessment methods) and compared with STS approach and philosophy.