Monday, October 31, 2011


Although there are many positive aspects/strengths of OBE (as we have discussed in previous lectures),
but on the other hand there are also some negative aspects/weaknesses of OBE such as :

1. It is too behaviouristic - the diminishing of education to training students to perform certain prescribed behaviours (observable, measurable and short term/'superficial' behaviours)

2. The emphasis on outcomes (based on detailed evidences) rather than on the processes (the 'art' of teaching, learning and assessment-teachers' intuitions or hunches).

3. Ignore the creative part of learning (or non - cognitive qualities) which difficult to measure or to assess such as motivation, interest and values.

4. Place enormous burden and time-consuming on teachers in terms of acquiring extensive record keeping/documentations.

5. Open to prejudices and biases of teachers on interpretating students' performance or achievement - the questions of validity and reliability of instruments. ethics of assessment and moderation.

6. Moderation (ie training and agreement trials) usually turned out to be a very costly exercise
because of the inclusion of teachers' assessments of students.

Sunday, October 30, 2011



Literacy (vs illiteracy) - difficult concept to define; has various meanings/definitions

What are the minimal or functional level of knowledge and skills/abilities required for all students?

eg language literacy- ability to do basic writing and reading ?
mathematics literacy- ability to do basic counting ?
computer literacy - ability to do basic computing?
science literacy - ability to do ...what?
technology literacy - ability to do... what ?
science and technology literacy...?
science, technology and society literacy...?
science, technology, engineering and mathematics literacy...?

Definition of a literacy of any kind is very complex, has not been generally accepted and varies according to stage of development of countries - underdeveloped, developing and developed countries, achievements of science and technology, the culture of a society, system of education and so on.

Furthermore it is a continuum, developing and achieving scientific literacy is a continuous process and is a lifetime tasks.

What is the right/proper level or standard and benchmark of the so called scientifically literate citizens (for example) of Malaysia?

However common definition of science literacy consists of a set of characteristics :

1. types of scientific knowledge (breadth and depth- concepts, laws, principles, theories etc),

2. skills (broad range of abilities/competencies, science process skills, methods of scientific inquiry and reasoning problem solving skills, etc) and

3. attitudes
(values, motivation, interest, social-cultural implications of science etc) which allows direct teaching, learning and 'easy" assessment in order to achieve agreed scientific literacy for all students after completing compulsory education at the age 0f 18.

Science literacy was often associated with the level of general science education of a country ie
for example in Malaysia - science education (SPM level). It shows a general and broad rather than deep scientific knowledge.

In the context of Malaysia what do you understand by the "scientifically literate person" ?
(refer to KBSM general science curriculum).

Monday, October 17, 2011


Basic questions;

1. What do you want students to have and able to do ?

2. How can you best help students achieve it ?

3. How will you know that they have achieved ?

Main principles:

1. Assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning; providing ongoing feedback, being educative and to improve learning

2. Assessment for learning/understanding - diagnostic and formative (vs assessment of learning)

3. Criterion - referenced; based on pre-determined criteria or outcomes (vs norm-referenced); performance -based assessment.

4. Multiple methods - involve students in various assessment process (quizzes ,tests, exams, projects/lab works, oral presentations, reports, assignments, problem-based tasks/exercises, essays, student portfolio, etc)

5. Based on clear evidences (rather than on intuition or hunches)- good record keeping and documentation

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


If science begins with the systematic study for the understanding of nature and how things in the nature behave, then technology as a body of knowledge begins with the application of science to satisfy or to solve practical human needs and to improve the quality of life.

Both ie science and technology does not grow spontaneously, but is very much associated with the development or the evolution of advanced industrial societies. The relationship between science, technology and society is therefore very clearly intertwined.

For examples:

1. In agriculture, technology has increased productivity in crop yields and reduced the need for intensive labour with the advent of farm machinery.

2. In manufacturing, technology has made available goods in large numbers and industrial labour
has become less strenuous and hazardous and work hours have been reduced.

3. In automobile, technology through the invention of internal combustion engine and the harnessing of electricity for light, heat and power have improved tremendously the quality of transportation.

4. In communication, technology with the invention of telephone, radio, TV, computer, internet, etc have created profound changes in many aspects of life.

5. In medical and health care, technology has improved the quality of medical care and may increase life expectancy.

This list can go on...and on..

The extremely rapid changes in science and technology have also created serious social and moral or ethical problems.

For examples

1. Depletion of natural resources (eg oil, natural gas and coal ) due to the heavy industrial use of raw materials - the problem of overconsumption. The earth does not have infinite resources!

2. Unemployment due to mechanization and automation

3. Environmental problems - air pollution, toxic industrial, chemical and radioactive wastes, destruction of ecosystems etc.

Discuss in what ways science education in our schools can promote the interactions between science, technology and society?