PRIMARY SCIENCE

SCE 3014

CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGIES

COMPILED NOTE BY AZMAN OMAR | IPG KAMPUS SULTAN MIZAN
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SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies

TOPIC 1

Issues in Science Education

Synopsis This topic discusses some issues in science education. These issues relate to the goals of science education, content of science education, teaching of science and scientific literacy.

Learning Outcome 1. Identify and discuss issues in science education. 2. Analyse the effects of issues related to science education on the teaching of science in primary schools.

Overview

Issues in Science Education

Goals of Science Education

Content of Science Education

Teaching of Science

Scientific Literacy

Figure 1.0 Overview of Content Content

Science Curriculum Issues Preparing a national science curriculum that will help school students develop their scientific competencies alongside their acquisition of science knowledge requires attention to four issues.

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SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies

1. Selection of science content (knowledge, skill, understanding and values) There is a consistent criticism that many of the problems and issues in science education arise from the structure of science curricula which tend to be knowledge-heavy and alienating to a significant number of students. A curriculum that covers an extensive range of science ideas hampers the efforts of even the best teachers who attempt to provide engaging science learning for their students. The effect of such knowledgeladen curricula is for teachers to treat science concepts in a superficial way as they attempt to cover what is expected in the curriculum. Rather than developing understanding, students therefore have a tendency to rely on memorisation when taking tests of their science learning. The challenge is to identify the science concepts that are important and can be realistically understood by students in the learning time available. One of the realities faced in science education is that scientific knowledge is rapidly increasing. While this is valuable for our society, it adds to the pressure on the science curriculum. There is a reluctance to replace the old with the new. Rather, there is a tendency to simply add the new science ideas to the traditional ones. Accompanying this desire to retain the traditional knowledge base is a feeling that understanding this content exemplifies intellectual rigor. Obviously such a situation is not sustainable. The consequence is that many students are losing interest in science. The question then needs to be asked: what is important in a science curriculum? This paper argues that developing science competencies is important, understanding the big ideas of science is important, exposure to a range of science experiences relevant to everyday life is important and understanding of the major concepts from the different sciences is important. It is also acknowledged that there is a core body of knowledge and understanding that is fundamental to the understanding of major ideas. The paper also proposes that it is possible to provide flexibility and choice about the content of local science curriculum. The factors that influence this choice include context, local science learning opportunities, historical perspectives, contemporary and local issues and available learning resources. In managing this choice, there is a need to be conscious of the potential danger of repetition of knowledge through a student’s school life and ensure repetition is minimised and that a balanced science curriculum is provided for every student. Finally, when selecting content for a national science curriculum it is important to determine how much time can reasonably and realistically be allocated to science and within this time constraint what is a reasonable range of science concepts and skills for learning in primary and secondary school. 2. Relevance of science learning a curriculum is more likely to provide a basis for the development of scientific competencies if it is relevant to individual students, perceived to have personal value, or is presented in a context to which students can readily relate. Instead of simply emphasising what has been described as ‘canonical science concepts’, there is a need to provide a meaningful context to which students can relate (Aikenhead 2006). Furthermore, students will be better placed to understand the concepts if they can be applied to everyday experiences. To provide both context and opportunities for application takes time. To increase the relevance of science to students there is a strong case to include more contemporary (and possibly controversial) issues in the science curriculum. In doing so, it is important to note that the complexity of some scientific issues means that they do not have clearcut solutions. Often, the relevant science knowledge is limited or incomplete so that the questions can only be addressed in terms of what may be possible or probable rather than the certainty of what will happen. Even when the risks inherent in making

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SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies

a particular decision are assessable by science, the cultural or social aspects also need to be taken into consideration. The school science curriculum should provide opportunities to explore these complex issues to enable students to understand that the application of science and technology to the real world is often concerned with risk and debate (Rennie 2006). Science knowledge can be applied to solve problems concerning human needs and wants. Every application of science has an impact on our environment. For this reason, one needs to appreciate that decisions concerning science applications involve constraints, consequences and risks. Such decisionmaking is not value-free. In developing science competencies, students need to appreciate the influence of particular values in attempting to balance the issues of constraints, consequences and risk. While many students perceive school science as difficult, the inclusion of complex issues should not be avoided on the basis that there is a potential for making science seem even more difficult. The answer is not to exclude contemporary issues, but rather to use them to promote a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of science and scientific knowledge. It is important to highlight the implications of a science curriculum that has personal value and relevance to students. This means that the curriculum cannot be a ‘one size fits all’, but rather a curriculum that is differentiated so that students can engage with content that is meaningful and satisfying and provides the opportunity for conceptual depth. In this respect the science curriculum should be built upon knowledge of how students learn, have demonstrated relevance to students’ everyday world, and be implemented using teaching and learning approaches that involve students in inquiry and activity. Within the flexibility of a science curriculum that caters for a broad cohort of students and a range of delivery contexts, there is a need to define what it is that students should know in each stage of schooling. In this way, students can build their science inquiry skills based on an understanding of the major ideas that underpin our scientific endeavour. 3. General capabilities and science education There is an argument, based on research within science education, that curriculum needs to achieve a better balance between the traditional knowledge-focused science and a more humanistic science curriculum that prepares students for richer understanding and use of science in their everyday world (Fensham, 2006). Beyond the science discipline area there is also pressure in some Australian jurisdictions to develop a broader general school curriculum that embraces the view of having knowledge and skills important for future personal, social and economic life. While there is much value in such futuristic frameworks, there is the danger that the value of scientific understanding may be diminished. Unless the details of the general capabilities refer specifically to science content, the importance of science may be overlooked and the curriculum time devoted to it decrease. The science curriculum can readily provide opportunities to develop these general capabilities. Such general capabilities as thinking strategies, decisionmaking approaches, communication, use of information and communication technology (ICT), team work and problem solving are all important dimensions of science learning. There is an increasing number of teachers who will require assistance to structure their teaching in ways that enable students to meld the general life capabilities with the understanding and skills needed to achieve scientific competencies. Such assistance will be found in the provision of quality, adaptable curriculum resources and sustained effective professional learning.

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These assessment tools help teachers to understand what students know and do not know and hence plan relevant learning experiences that will be beneficial. Assessment should serve the purpose of learning. This process reinforces the simple proposition that for a curriculum to be successfully implemented one should have a clear and realistic picture of how the curriculum will be assessed. to provide for students who wish to pursue career-related science specializations. During the primary years. as well those who prefer a more general. however. Summative testing does have an important role to play in monitoring achievement standards and for accountability and certification purposes. the science curriculum should develop the skills of investigation. Assessment should enable the provision of detailed diagnostic information to students. 1994). Classroom assessment. Secondary science teachers have a rich understanding of science while senior secondary teachers have expertise in a particular discipline of science. Senior secondary science assessment related to university entrance has long reinforced a content-based summative approach to assessment in secondary schools. The importance of assessment in curriculum development is highlighted in the process referred to as ‘backward design’ in which one works through three stages from curriculum intent to assessment expectations to finally planning learning experiences and instruction (Wiggins & McTighe. The four parts are: • early childhood • primary • junior secondary • senior secondary. It is unfortunate that the summative end-of-topic tests seem to dominate as the main tool of assessment. It should show what they know. For that reason. but as local and community issues are interdisciplinary. the nature of the teacher’s expertise becomes a factor to consider. In regard to the school structure. some differentiation of the sub-disciplines of science may be appropriate. It should also show what they need to do to improve. it should not dominate the learning process. 5. an integrated science may be the best approach. integrated science for citizenship. early science experiences should relate to self awareness and the natural world.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies 4. This disconnect is a result of the different pressures and expectations in education system. Early 5 . 2005). While assessment is important. their expertise lies in the understanding of how children learn. what can be assessed often determines what is taught. understand and can demonstrate. Senior secondary science curricula should be differentiated. Developing scientific competencies takes time and the science curriculum should reflect the kinds of science activities. there is sometimes a considerable gap between intended curriculum. is often translated in action as testing. For early childhood teachers. Each part would have a different curriculum focus. In secondary school. It should be noted that the important science learning aspects concerning attitudes and skills as outlined in the paper cannot be readily assessed by pencil and paper tests. To improve the quality of science learning there is a need to introduce more diagnostic and formative assessment practices. but formative assessment is more useful in promoting learning. An obvious goal in curriculum development is that the intended. Unfortunately. Structure of the curriculum There is value in differentiating the curriculum into various parts that are relevant to the needs of the students and the school structure (Fensham. Assessment When a curriculum document is prepared there is an expectation that what is written will be what is taught and what is assessed. the taught curriculum and the assessed curriculum. using experiences which provide opportunities to practice language literacy and numeracy. it is important to emphasise the need for a variety of assessment approaches. experiences and content appropriate for students of different age levels. In sum. taught and assessed dimensions of curriculum are in harmony.

change.. Other specialised courses could also be provided. the human body. scientific inquiry and contemporary science should be embedded into all these courses where realistically possible. sustainability.edu. sorting and describing. National Science Curriculum: Initial advice. Topics could include states of matter. In the early years of primary school. forces and motion. sound. the students will cover topics associated with each of the sciences: earth and space science. Young children have an intrinsic curiosity about their immediate world. light. The big science ideas of energy. Existing courses in the states and territories are among the possibilities available. models and theories. The integrating themes of science for life. National adoption would improve the resources to support the individual courses.acara. there may be value in providing a science unit on an open science investigation in which students conduct a study on an area of their choosing. There are some students ready to begin a more specialised program science in junior secondary and differentiation as early as Year 9 may need to be considered to extend and engage these students’ interest and skills in science. 3. During the primary years students should have the opportunity to develop ideas about science that relate to their life and living. There could also be one broader-based course that provides for students wanting only one science course at the senior secondary level. chemistry and biology. substances and reactions. In determining what topics students should study from the broad range of possibilities. Observation also leads into the idea of order that involves comparing. as well as other forms of science inquiry.. equilibrium and interdependence should lead to the ideas of form and function that result in a deeper appreciation of evidence. water and movement. Junior secondaryCurriculum focus: explaining phenomena involving science and its applications. 4. energy forms. 2.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Childhood Curriculum focus: awareness of self and the local natural world. Senior Secondary.pdf ) 6 . diversity of life. 2009 from www. During these years. Within these topics it is expected that aspects associated with science for living. plants./Science_Initial_Advice_Paper. Purposeful play is an important feature of their investigations. (Source: National Curriculum Board (2008). soil. Retrieved 10 Sept. A broad range of topics is suitable including weather. patterns and systems should be developed. students will tend to use a trial and error approach to their science investigations. Observation is an important skill to be developed at this time.au/verve/_. As they progress through their primary years. materials. life science and physical science. The notion of a ‘fair test’ and the idea of variables will be developed. it is possible that topics may be developed directly from each one of these themes. While integration is the more probable approach. the night sky. the expectation is that they will begin to work in a more systematic way. Within these topics the science ideas of order.teachers and curriculum resources should strive to include the recent science research in a particular area. ecosystems. There should be at least three common courses across the country: physics. the changing earth and our place in space. They have a desire to explore and investigate the things around them. using all the senses in a dynamic way. It could have an emphasis on applications. scienceinquiry and contemporary science would be integrated in the fields of science. While there may be specific topics on contemporary science aspects and issues. The importance of measurement will also be fostered. animals. it is important to exercise restraint and to avoid overcrowding the curriculum and providing space for the development of students’ science competencies alongside their knowledge and understanding of science content. PrimaryCurriculum focus: recognising questions that can be investigated scientifically and investigating them. It is this recent research that motivates and excites students. For example.

Build a mind map to express the information that you have gathered. Science has one uniform way of conducting research called “the scientific method. Read the content above. Making Notes Gather information concerning scientific literacy and its relationship to science education from books or the internet. Science only produces tentative conclusions that can change. Scientists usually expect an experiment to turn out a certain way. 2. Test of Scientific Literacy Answer each question with 'true' if what the sentence most normally means is typically true and 'false' if it is typically false. 3. State the issues in science education found in the content above.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Exercise (1 hour) 1. Discuss and write a two page reflection on the effects of these issues on primary science teaching.” 7 . 2. 1. Checklist Take the test below to test your level of scientific literacy. 3.

Scientists manipulate their experiments to produce particular results. not human interpretations of them. Scientists’ education. 9. Science relies on deduction (x entails y) more than induction (x implies y). An experiment can prove a theory true. 8 . Scientific theories are just ideas about how something works. 5. An accepted scientific theory is an hypothesis that has been confirmed by considerable evidence and has endured all attempts to disprove it. When being scientific one must have faith only in what is justified by empirical evidence. Scientists accept the existence of theoretical entities that have never been directly observed. Scientific laws are absolute or certain.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies 4. 16. 8. and basic guiding assumptions and philosophies influence their perception and interpretation of the available data. disciplinary focus. 18. 22. 17. models or theoretical entities. opinions. 19. 20. 15. 12. Scientists invent explanations. Science proves facts true in a way that is definitive and final. Scientific theories only change when new information becomes available. 7. 13. Science is partly based on beliefs. 10. To be scientific one must conduct experiments. Science is just about the facts. Imagination and creativity are used in all stages of scientific investigations. Scientific theories are explanations and not facts. 11. 6. and the nonobservable. background. 24. A scientific law describes relationships among observable phenomena but does not explain them. 14. A scientific law is a theory that has been extensively and thoroughly confirmed. Scientists construct theories to guide further research. A scientific law will not change because it has been proven true. 23. assumptions. 21.

& Hardy. T 19.edu/robinson/hazen. Pg 146 – 147) Personal Approach National Curriculum Board (2008). F 12.au/verve/_. T 2. Science for Children: Developing a to Teaching. T 17. T 24. F 0 wrong = A+ 1 wrong = A 2 wrong = A3 wrong = B+ 4 wrong = B 5 wrong = B6 wrong = C 7 wrong = D 8 or more wrong = F Reference Fleer. F 18.M.pdf Hazen. T 13. F 4. What is scientific literacy? Retrieved on 10 Sept. National Science Curriculum: Initial advice. T 20. F 9.acara. Retrieved on10 Sept..gmu.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Answer Key: 1.. R.. (2002). F 7. T 23. 2009 from : http://www. T 6. F 16. M. 2009 from : www. F 21. F 8. T 3. F 11. (2001). T 22. T 10./Science_Initial_Advice_Paper. Sydney: Prentice Hall. T 5.edu. F 15.htm 9 . (2nd Edition). T 14. T.

The curriculum has gone through a number of changes from Nature Study to Special Project. State the changes in the primary science curriculum in Malaysia. Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each of the primary science curriculum that was introduced in Malaysia. Learning Outcome 1. State the rational for the changes in the primary science curriculum in Malaysia.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies TOPIC 2 Historical Development of the Primary Science Curriculum in Malaysia Synopsis This topic outlines the historical development of the primary science curriculum in Malaysia. 3. Man and His Environment and the present KBSR Science. 2. Overview Historical Development of the Primary Science Curriculum in Malaysia Man and His Nature Study Special Project Environment KBSR Science Figure 2.0 Overview of content Content Curriculum development of primary science programme in Malaysia      Nature Study Primary Science Special Project (Projek Khas) Man and His Environment (Alam dan Manusia) KBSR Primary Science Syllabus 10 .

pedagogical assumptions and theories underlying new policies or innovations. They were also by 11 . 1983. science was taught in the primary school as Nature Study. (ii) The use of new teaching approaches. (iii) The alteration of beliefs. for example. The curriculum was subject-based.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Primary school science: Looking back In tracing the historical development of the Malaysian primary science education programmes. In Malaysia. were encouraged to learn through careful observation and classification. Finances and resources are tightly controlled by the Ministry through a bureaucratic organisation.RECSAM. the teaching of science in the primary level was introduced in a way that linked together ideas from all fields (botany. Gradually. SEAMEO. SEAMEORECSAM. Most of the teachers teaching science in the primary schools. but it ignored much of the natural environment that had an impact on students’ lives (Keeves and Aikenhead. knowledge of the facts and laws of nature as a This approach had the advantage that students foundation of scientific investigation. biology. 1995). 1991). This innovation was adopted from the Nuffield Junior Science project (1964) in UK but adapted to local needs. 1988. earth science. all the curriculum changes have been. especially in the rural areas. In the late nineteenth century till the mid-twentieth century. Nature Study was replaced by the Primary Science syllabus in 1965. it can be concluded that most of the innovations are curriculum changes (Ministry of Education and UNESCO. The components are: (i) The use of new or revised curriculum materials or technologies. They are also multidimensional in the sense that they involve at least three dimensions at stake in implementing them (Fullan. had not only poor educational backgrounds (ranging from grade six to nine which meant only six to nine years of basic schooling) but had also received inadequate professional training in the methodology of science and in the subjects themselves. and still are. Thus. 1973). chemistry and physics) and related them to the students’ immediate surroundings and everyday experiences. initiated and developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and disseminated to all schools in the country. in which the focus was on mastery of scientific knowledge rather than student characteristics.

activity. such as the Science. discovery-based teaching and learning of science through the use of workbooks. 1971) In 1970. a plan of action was drawn up with a view to determining the target dates by which certain phases of the project’s work should be completed. This move prevented teachers having the double trauma of both a new syllabus and new methods introduced simultaneously. wrote: The Director writing in the “Objective of this Special Project is to equip teachers with new teaching methodology in the hope of generating pupils who will be able to experiment and think and really know all the concepts that will be taught by the teacher. trained to teach all the primary school subjects. but adapted to local needs. general purpose teachers. they resulted in the introduction of the Primary Science Special Project (Projek Khas) in 1968. It is hoped that pupils will be attracted to science not only in the primary schools but also in the secondary schools. General of Education at that time. Teacher’s guide.” (Standard One Science Guide-book. The project introduced new approaches to the teaching of science within the framework of the existing syllabus. It emphasised pupil-centred.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies training. particularly in the rural areas. introduction page of all the guide-books. particularly in science. It also provided sustained teacher support services in implementing the existing syllabus.orientated. A great deal of classroom practice was centred around the reading of texts and the memorising of notes and Figures from the chalkboard. reinforced this trend. The curriculum was adopted from the School Council Science 5 .13 project (1967) in UK and other science projects in USA. The rationale of introducing new teaching approaches rather than curriculum change was because curriculum developers felt that the former was more critical than the latter and teachers were already familiar with the existing syllabus.A Process Approach (1967). Selected teacher training college lecturers and school teachers of primary science were sent to overseas 12 . All the activities suggested in the guide-book will reduce the pupils’ reliance on rote learning and encourage them to gain experiences in a concept that is taught. workbooks and materials introducing the enquiry-orientated approach to teaching science were produced for Standard One to Standard Six (Appendix D). The existing textbooks further With these realities in mind and the concern for the poor performance of pupils in the rural primary schools. which were implemented at that time. Haji Hamdan bin Sheik Tahir.

those long kept materials were destroyed by an early morning fire in CDC around April. no one knows the cause of the fire (Sh/CDC/2-9-97. Next. the guidebooks were written. especially materials from those projects which had been backed by research and trial-run in actual classroom situations. Throughout the project. Gi/CDC/6-5-98). the general approach was outlined. On returning home. This ‘cascade’ effect of training continued up to Standard Six. curriculum developers and teachers. forty teachers from thirty of these centres were specially trained in Kuala Lumpur. they were seconded to the Science Centre. teacher training college lecturers were involved in providing expertise and training. First. 1997. now Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) where ‘Projek Khas’ was located. 13 . Like the innovation. Finally. was the accumulation of curriculum materials from all over the world. Teachers were also informed of the latest teaching materials and feedback information through the circulation of a newsletter produced by the ‘activity centres’. teacher trainers. In 1970. Up to this day. but also acted as change agents in their schools by spreading the acquired techniques to other teachers. key personnel and teachers trained by them in in-service courses not only taught. A number of special schools called ‘activity centres’ were set up to cater for the dissemination of knowledge and resources to primary teachers in all states. These teachers or key personnel then went back to their schools to train teachers teaching Standard One in 1971 to use the guide-books and worksheets. to write and prepare the teacher’s guide. Thus. The writing of the guide-books followed a general pattern. school inspectors. apparatus and experiments went on trial and drafts were reviewed. Then. the syllabus of a given standard was reviewed and discussed with all personnel concerned in science education such as university lecturers.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies courses to get a ‘hands-on’ general view of available curriculum models and materials in use there. various resources were examined for relevant and useful ideas. it remains a puzzle. Evaluative questionnaires were also administered to the teachers to monitor the implementation process and to make improvements based on feedback and suggestions. One outcome from the writing workshops. Selected teachers were also trained as key personnel. and the kinds of experiences which could be provided for pupils were identified. Sad to say. if necessary. The topics were reorganised. with the ultimate aim of adopting and adapting them to local requirements.

Other views on the development and implementation of ‘Projek Khas’ were sought.. Particularly interesting was the report made by the Malaysian delegate to the SEAMEORECSAM seminar in 1973 on the innovations in primary science and mathematics curricula and problems of implementation in Malaysia..” (Awang Had Salleh. who was the vice-chancellor of the National University of Malaysia at that time.64) These observations seemed to indicate that science had been taught as an end in itself. p. 218) There is no short-cut to curriculum development. The orientation of the textbooks reinforces memory work and encourages very little. if at all. enquiry skills. not merely in cash and personnel. . 1983. but the orientation of the syllabus is towards mastery of scientific facts with little emphasis on social and religious meaning and significance of scientific discoveries. primary science curriculum.. namely. rather as a means to an end. In other words. eventually it took four years.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies However. p. The ultimate price of having to untangle knots of mis-implementation as a result of hurried efforts will be more than whatever time is saved in pushing through an ill-planned ‘crash programme. The implementation process spread to seven years. examination and textbooks. was asked to comment on the “It does provide for what might be called science literacy. Although it was initially planned to complete writing the guide-books in two years.” (Ali Razak. “The cost of curriculum development and implementation has got to be paid in time. the syllabus is cognitively orientated with little attention given to the affective domain of educational objectives. A non-scientist. The reformers had lost sight of the supposed central question of the purpose of change: “What is science education for? What kind of pupils 14 . Tan Sri Professor Awang Had Salleh (1983). The teaching of science subjects seems to be guided almost entirely by two powerful variables. The unrealistic planning schedule failed to take account of inherent problems during implementation. 63 . the sheer size of the teacher workforce and lack of trained trainers impeded the flow of training and implementation of the innovation. 1973.

resulted in a radical change in science education. There is also the study of the environment to highlight the social relevance of science to the world outside the classroom. The curriculum was introduced in 1982 on a trial basis and fully implemented in all primary schools in 1983. The inter-relationship between the three components is shown in Figure 1. 15 . It included a multidisciplinary approach to science education in which motivation to learn was facilitated through relating science content to real problems of the world. Emphasis was given to the basic skills in education and science was incorporated as part of the subject of ‘Man and the Environment’ within KBSR. that is: man. in areas not generally regarded as science. with certain conceptual themes running through it and the materials reflected the processes of enquiry which produced them. It included a multidisciplinary approach to science education in which motivation to learn was facilitated through relating science content to real problems of the world. Integration is a key word in the curriculum as a device to reduce content overload and compartmentalisation of disciplines in the earlier curriculum. in areas not generally regarded as science. where the content of the curriculum is placed into a defined conceptual structure. history. There is inter-field integration of disciplines such as science. geography. there is intra-field integration. and interaction of man and his environment.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies and society do we want to produce?” These comments and the strong movement for a humanised science curriculum at that time. environment. health science and civics. There is the interaction of man and the environment through the enquiry approach to teaching and learning. In addition. There are three main components in the ‘Man and the Environment’ model.

Secondly.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Figure 1: Framework of ‘Man and the Environment’ Communication Moral values (Civic) Social Science (Geography and History) Creativity Interaction Living skills Man Health Science Environment Physical world Environmental science Science and Technology (Source: Sufean Hussain et. 1988). the education authorities assumed that their task was over and the teachers had no cause to say that they did not know enough nor how to teach the subject (Syed Zin. There are five main themes in the syllabus emphasising man and its environment. (‘Man and the Unlike ‘Projek Khas’ which was introduced in Year One through Year Six. ‘Man and the Environment’ was introduced at the upper primary level in Year Four to Year Six. the environment. Firstly. The aims of the subject ‘Man and the Environment’ emphasised three broad aspects. to inculcate moral values and attitudes in individuals towards harmonious living in a plural society Environment’ syllabus. develop love for the nation. To implement the new curriculum. 16 . 1990). to develop in pupils knowledge concerning man. appreciate and inculcate love for the environment and hence. a one-week in-service orientation course was held for ‘would be’ teachers of science. 1984). to enhance enquiry and thinking skills and the utilisation of these skills in problem-solving. The aim is that pupils will understand. After the course.al. society and the interaction between them. Thirdly..

burdened by extra workload. a humanistic curriculum stressed the integration of disciplines. equal opportunities for education and life-long education. The main aim of KBSR is to provide a basic education for all pupils that focuses on their 17 . Among the major limitations were lack of competency of the teachers in integrating the subject content and using the enquiry approach in teaching.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies The limitations of this innovation are well illustrated by Syed Zin’s (1990) research on its implementation in four primary schools in the state of Negeri Sembilan. It also looked at the involvement of teachers in curriculum development and the diffusion of curriculum knowledge and materials through local ‘teacher. formulated and guided by the National Philosophy of Education and the tenets of Rukunegara. The argument for relevance in science teaching is for science to be interesting and meaningful to children. In ‘Man and the Environment’. relied on textbooks and did not maximise the use of curriculum materials. constraints such as large class size and inadequate facilities. inadequate in-service physical training and professional support in terms of personnel and expertise. In ‘Projek Khas’. Nature Study and Primary Science highlighted the relevance in the approach to the teaching of science. Teachers still emphasised the acquisition of factual knowledge through didactic methods rather than the enquiry approach. new teaching approaches through the development of guide-books and materials appropriate to the cognitive development of children were the focal points. anxious. The principles that guided KBSR are an integrative approach to knowledge. lack of clarity in the design of the innovation. teachers were stressed. There was no evidence that there was alteration in teachers’ beliefs and values towards the innovation. it must be related to their daily experiences and geared to their cognitive development. There was only partial implementation in the sense that the teachers modified or did not use the pedagogical strategies and curriculum materials of the courses. enquiry approach to learning. lost confidence in teaching. Malaysia. enhancement of thinking skills and inculcation of moral values. overall development of the individual.activity centres’. skills and values. As a consequence of the innovation. vagueness in the curriculum specifications and its scope and insufficient time lag between trial and implementation of the innovation for improvements to be made. Structure and organisation of the KBSR Primary School Science (PSS) syllabus The PSS syllabus was developed within the KBSR.

They believe that through (1) the practice of the process skills of critical enquiry and (2) the acquisition of facts. (a) Aim and objectives The aim of PSS is to nurture a science and technology culture by focusing on the development of individuals who are able to master scientific knowledge and skills. the above objectives can be grouped into three major goals of science education. which are then divided into general objectives and specific objectives according to the cognitive development of the pupils. understandings and concepts (3) desirable attitudes and worthwhile pupil behaviour will be developed. (KBSR Handbook. are dynamic and progressive so that there is responsibility towards the environment and appreciation of nature. p. This is achieved by providing learning opportunities for pupils to learn through experience so that they will be able to. understandings. physical and emotional development as well as the development of self and inculcation of moral values and attitudes. MOE. The three goals are stated in the PSS syllabus as achievement objectives. The general objectives are statements to explain the 18 .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies overall development.          develop thinking skills develop scientific skills of enquiry enhance interest towards the environment understand themselves and their environment through the acquisition of knowledge. The PSS syllabus was designed to accommodate the principles and aim of KBSR. spiritual. Overall development includes the intellectual. 1993). facts and concepts solve problems and make responsible decisions cope with the latest contributions and innovations in science and technology practice the moral values and scientific attitudes in daily living appreciate the contribution of science and technology to a better life appreciate the order and creation of nature (PSS Syllabus Handbook. 2) According to Lewis and Potter (1970). possess moral values. 1993.

communicating. (c) Attitudes and values (PSS Syllabus The PSS syllabus also seeks to cultivate positive scientific attitudes and values in pupils. p. development of positive attitudes and values should be the ultimate goal of education. and proper sketching of specimen and apparatus Handbook. formulating hypothesis and experimenting. measuring. The process skills identified are the skills of observing. creatively and analytically through the practice of process skills and manipulative skills. controlling and manipulating variables. Thinking skills require the ability to think critically. flexibility and open-mindedness.6). such as interest and inquisitiveness towards the world around them. The achievement objectives are accompanied by corresponding suggestions for learning experiences to enable teachers to plan suitable activities to achieve the objectives. 3 . Manipulative skills are the psychomotor skills in critical enquiry such as the proper way of handling. classifying. 3 .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies achievement of the intended objective in the cognitive. (b) Process skills and thinking skills The mastery of process skills. cleaning and storing of the science apparatus. predicting. 1993 p. patience. manipulative skills and thinking skills are emphasised in the PSS syllabus. interpreting data. co-operation. responsibility towards self. The specific objectives are elaboration of the general objectives and are stated in measurable behaviours. gratefulness to God’s creations and appreciation of science and technology (PSS Syllabus Handbook. recognising space-time relationships. honesty and accuracy in recording and validating data. affective and psychomotor domains as well as the scope to be covered. 19 . 1993. making operational definitions. According to Lewis and Potter (1970). inferring. All the three skills are interrelated. others and environment. safe and correct handling of live specimens.5). recognising number relationships.

In the upper primary level. animals and plants. A thematic approach has been used in organising the contents of the syllabus. are in the:      Living environment Physical environment Material environment Earth and the universal environment World of technology The living environment investigates the basic needs and life processes of human beings. The physical environment delves into the concept of space and time and phenomena of light. Physics and Chemistry through the use of concepts and science processes. science provides a framework for the pupils to understand their environment through the application of scientific principles in daily living. the syllabus is divided into two parts: Part A – Learning about living things and Part B – Learning about the world. movement. The subtopics in Part A are ‘Ourselves’. creative. The material environment compares natural materials and man-made materials and the differences between them. As a field of knowledge. This encourages the pupils to be inquisitive. In the lower primary level. sound. There is intra-integration which cuts across traditional subject disciplines of Biology. the moon and other planets in the solar system. the world of technology probes the advancement of technology in the field of 20 . Earth and the universal environment examines the earth and its relationship with the sun. to love and appreciate nature and the environment. The sub-topics in Part B are ‘Using our senses’. the themes are The five fields of investigation built around man and investigation of the environment. ‘Finding out about things that float or sink’ and ‘Finding out about light and darkness’. magnet and energy. from Year 4 to Year 6. force. in Year 1. tolerant. In each part. Finally. open-minded. electricity. The principle of integration is maintained in the PSS syllabus in line with KBSR. it enables pupils to investigate the world around them. ‘Animals’ and ‘Plants’. heat.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies (d) Content PSS is viewed as a field of knowledge and as an enquiry approach. As an enquiry approach. there are three sub-topics.

1964). 1995. (e) Teaching strategies The PSS syllabus implies that there are two views of learning science. 1992). (f) Curriculum materials Curriculum materials are basic essentials of scientific activity in the primary school (The International Encyclopaedia of Education. p. rather than a disseminator of knowledge. and also vertical integration. discussion. The teacher guides the pupils to discover for themselves science principles and concepts and to use their own ideas using a variety of methods such as experiments. a process view and a constructivist view. so that what is learned within one field should be related as fully as possible to other fields of investigation. Harlen. 21 . The role of the teacher is as a facilitator. Thus. An essential feature of this science is that every pupil should reach a minimum level of understanding and experience in each of the science disciplines. the teaching strategy used for teaching and learning science is discovery learning which is the result of activities of the learner rather than exposition by the teacher. transport and construction and its contribution to the wellbeing of man. Each of the fields of investigation has to achieve internal integration of two kinds: horizontal integration. communication. so that what is learned today ought to be related to what was learned yesterday and what will be learned tomorrow and so on. The constructivist view supports the notion of learners taking a mentally active and creative part in constructing their own knowledge based on their set of existing ideas drawn from past experiences (Duit and Treagust. encouraging pupils to raise questions to which answers are to be sought by enquiry. Vol.9). providing ‘hands-on’ experiences.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies agriculture. The process view of science supports an enquiry approach (Livermore. 9). 1993. simulation and projects (PSS Syllabus Handbook.

such as the modules on 22 . charts and transparencies The syllabus outlines the aims. five modules for Year Four science. a textbook for pupils. content. The modules cover a wide range of topics conforming to the PSS syllabus such as an introduction to the field of science and science concepts. There are twelve training modules for teachers. objectives. three modules for Year Five science and four modules for Year Six science. a teachers’ guide and a training package (PULSAR) for teachers which includes twelve modules. science garden and teaching aids. 5 and 6 (implemented in December 1994 in Bahasa Malaysia). The textbook is for pupils and contains suitable activities by topics for acquisition of scientific knowledge. Reinforcement and enrichment in learning are also in-built into the activities. exemplar lesson plans and references. skills and values to be taught. a teachers’ guide and CD-Roms as support materials in teaching and learning. ‘hands-on’ activities. (ii) Upper Primary Level (Years 4.2 and 3) In PSS Year 1 (implemented in January 2003 in English ). workbooks. Each module consists of notes. and organisation and management of science resources like the science panel. science room. teaching strategies. Teachers also use various commercial textbooks. process skills. an activity book for pupils. Some modules are accompanied by videos and transparencies. attitudes and values through an enquiry approach. the curriculum materials come in a package that consists of a syllabus handbook for teachers. as well as assessment procedures. the curriculum materials come in a package that consists of a syllabus handbook for teachers. self-evaluation activities. The teacher’s guide is prepared in accordance with the activities in the textbook and contains suggestions of teaching and learning and further reading materials for enhancement of knowledge and skills. Teachers teaching science are also provided with notebooks and LCDs to integrate the use of technology into the teaching and learning of science. thinking skills.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies (i) Lower Primary Level (Years 1. evaluation in science. scientific attitudes and values.5 and 6) In Years 4. process skills. strategies of teaching and learning.

projects. (h) Time allocation At the lower primary level. namely. strategies of teaching and learning. measuring and using numbers. skills. communicating. controlling variables and experimenting. oral work and group work. using space-time relationships. Pupils are assessed on eight process skills. it is 5 periods of 30 minutes each per week. proper and safe handling of live and dead specimens. p. proper way of cleaning science apparatus.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies scientific attitudes and values. making operational definitions. and organisation of the science garden. 1997). (i) Assessment Assessment procedures in PSS are of two types: formative assessment and summative assessment. science has been allocated 3 periods of 30 minutes each per week while at the upper primary level. diagnose pupils’ weaknesses and reinforce learning. 11. The main aim is to Summative assessment is of two kinds. Pupils are assessed on three aspects of the syllabus. 1993. Based on a criteria assessment form developed by the Examination Syndicate of the MOE. classifying. It is implemented in Year Six for a period of six months. and proper 23 . portfolio. observing. (g) Target pupils PSS is compulsory for all pupils in primary school. The instruments for assessment are rating scales and portfolio. science materials and apparatus. PEKA is a continuous assessment to gauge how well pupils have mastered the process and manipulative skills in science (Guide to PEKA. the teachers plan a series of experiments to assess pupils in the classrooms. accurate and proportional drawing of specimen.12). knowledge. Formative attitudes and values assessment is mainly continuous school-based assessments in the form of written tests. (PSS Syllabus Handbook. They are also assessed on five manipulative skills. the Practical Skills Assessment (PEKA) and the UPSR. proper use and handling of science materials and apparatus. practical tests.

Draw a table to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each of the primary science curriculum that was implemented in Malaysia. which test pupils’ ability to think critically and creatively. attitudes and values is also in-built into the test items in PEKA. Assessment of aptitudes. The marks allocated for part A is 30 marks and for part B is 20 marks. Unpublished PhD thesis of the University of East Anglia. Norwich. Interestingly. 3. do not contribute at all to the overall marks in the UPSR. J. Part A consists of thirty multiplechoice questions and part B consists of five structured questions. Write a one page report on the changes in the primary science curriculum in Malaysia. State the rational for the changes in the primary science curriculum in Malaysia.) Exercise 1. This might open the system to abuse where assessment in PEKA is not seriously carried out by teachers which is highly subjective. 24 . N. part A and part B. (Reference: Tan. United Kingdom. The other assessment is UPSR. (1999). It is a written test consisting of two parts.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies and safe way of storing science apparatus and materials. 2. which is a form of assessment meant to gauge how well the education system prepares students for the secondary school curriculum. To get a good mark in the science paper. Emphasis is on the questions in part B. the marks achieved in PEKA. The Development and Implementation of The Primary School Science Curriculum in Malaysia. pupils must get a pass mark for part B.

Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran Sains. The Development and Implementation of The Primary School Science Curriculum in Malaysia. (1999).SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Thinking Study the present primary science curriculum. United Kingdom. Reference Tan. N. Discuss and write a report on whether this curriculum is an adpation. Norwich. Pusat Pembangunan Kurikulum (2002). J. Unpublished PhD thesis of the University of East Anglia. modification or a new approach from the previous curricula. Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia 25 .

0 Overview Content Content Integrated Curriculum for Primary Schools (Science) Aim The aim of the primary school science curriculum is to develop pupils’ interest and creativity through everyday experiences and investigations that promote the acquisition of scientific and thinking skills as w ell as the inculcation of scientific attitudes and values. learning outcomes. Explain the emphases of the National Science Education Philosophy.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies TOPIC 3 Malaysian Primary Science Curriculum I Synopsis This topic explores the present KBSR Science curriculum in greater detail in terms of its objectives. 4. 26 . Discuss the challenges involved in incorporating the emphases of the KBSR primary science curriculum in the lesson. Learning Outcome 1. Describe the organisation of content in the KBSR primary science curriculum. emphases and content organization. 2. State the aims and objectives of the KBSR primary science curriculum 3. Overview Malaysian Primary Science Curriculum I Objectives Learning Outcomes Content Emphases organization Figure 3.

4. A person who thinks creatively has a high level of imagination. The inculcation of scientific attitudes and noble values generally occurs through the following stages: 27 . Foster the appreciation on the contributions of science and technology towards national development and well-being of mankind. Thoughtful learning is achieved if pupils are actively involved in the teaching and learning process. Develop pupils’ creativity. Provide pupils with basic science knowledge and concepts. 5. 8. Emphases Science emphasises inquiry and problem solving. A person who thinks critically always evaluates an idea in a systematic manner before accepting it. Activities should be organized to provide opportunities for pupils to apply thinking skills in conceptualisation. 6. skills and attitude in an effort to understand the environment. 3. Inculcate scientific attitudes and positive values. 3. critical and analytical manner for problem solving and decision-making. Provide pupils with basic science know ledge and concepts. Teaching and learning that emphasises thinking skills is a foundation for thoughtful learning. 4. Stimulate pupils’ curiosity and develop their interest about the world around them. Scientific skills encompass science process skills and manipulative skills. This objective can be achieved through a curriculum that emphasises thoughtful learning. Thinking strategies are higher order thinking processes that involve various steps. 2. Inculcate scientific attitudes and positive values. 2. Each step involves various critical and creative thinking skills. Provide pupils with opportunities to develop science process skills and thinking skills. problem solving and decision-making. Thinking skills can be categorised into critical and creative thinking skills. 5. 7. One of the objectives of the national education system is to enhance the thinking ability of pupils. Stimulate pupils’ curiosity and develop their interest about the world around them. Develop pupils’ creativity. Be aware of the need to love and care for the environment. The Level Two Primary School Science Curriculum aims to: 1. Scientific skills are important in any scientific investigation such as conducting experiments and carrying out projects. In inquiry and problem solving processes.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Objectives The level one science curriculum aims to: 1. Provide pupils with opportunities to develop science process skills and thinking skills. Create an awareness on the need to love and care for the environment. Science learning experiences can be used as a means to inculcate scientific attitudes and noble values in students. 6. The ability to formulate thinking strategies is the ultimate aim of introducing thinking activities in the teaching and learning process. and modify ideas and products. Thinking is a mental process that requires an individual to integrate knowledge. is able to generate original and innovative ideas.To provide learning opportunities for pupils to apply knowledge and skills in a creative. scientific and thinking skills are utilised.

each of which consists of a number of learning objectives. State four important elements emphasized in the NPE. Each theme consists of various learning areas. Teachers may modify the suggested activity to suit the ability and style of learning of their pupils. in the process of teaching and learning.) Malaysian Primary Science Curriculum 1. At the same time.  Giving emphasis to these attitudes and values. more than one activity may be suggested for a particular learning outcome. What is the main purpose of each document? 2. Give two important documents teachers must refer to understand the Primary Science Curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to design other innovative and effective learning activities to enhance the learning of science. Learning outcomes are written in the form of measurable behavioural terms. Exercise Answer the questions below. Teachers should avoid employing a teaching strategy that tries to achieve each learning outcome separately according to the order stated in the curriculum specifications. In general. Content Organisation The science curriculum is organised around themes. The learning activities stated under the column Suggested Learning Activities are given with the intention of providing some guidance as to how learning outcomes can be achieved. 28 . A learning objective has one or more learning outcomes.  Practising and internalising these scientific attitudes and noble values. However. .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies  Being aware of the importance and the need for scientific attitudes and noble values. (Refer to the Curriculum Specifications for primary science. The Primary Science Curriculum is formulated in line with the National Philosophy of Education (NPE). the learning outcomes for a particular learning objective are organised in order of complexity. teachers need to give due consideration to the above stages to ensure the continuous and effective inculcation of scientific attitudes and values. learning activities should be planned in a holistic and integrated manner that enables the achievement of multiple learning outcomes according to needs and context. The Suggested Learning Activities provide information on the scope and dimension of learning outcomes. When planning teaching and learning activities. A suggested activity may cover one or more learning outcomes.

What are the suggested teaching and learning strategies in the primary science curriculum? Give a brief description of each of the strategies. 13. What can you conclude about the arrangement of these learning areas? Theme Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4 Yr 5 Yr 6 10. the content organization is shown using 5 columns. Provide examples of how teachers are expected to integrate these three elements in a science lesson. In the Curriculum Specification. show how the curriculum content is organized.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies 3. 11. List all the objectives of the Primary Science Curriculum. Each theme in the curriculum content consists of various Learning Areas. State the aims of the Primary Science Curriculum. Name and explain each column headings. The Primary Science Curriculum is organized around specific themes. 6. What are the differences in the objectives for Level I and Level II? 5. skills and values. Give three major emphases/elements of the Primary Science Curriculum. Using a suitable graphic organizer. How are these aims in line with the aspirations of the NPE? 4. What are the three aspects evaluated in the primary science curriculum and how are they evaluated? 29 . 9. Discuss the challenges in incorporating these emphases into the lesson. Why are these skills and values important? 7. List all the skills and values the curriculum hopes to develop. 8. 12. Write the themes for Level I and Level II. The Primary Science Curriculum emphasizes the integration of knowledge. Tabulate the Learning Areas by their appropriate themes for each Year Level (Year 1 to Year 6).

Wellington.tki.org. New Zealand (2002). Huraian Sukatan Pelajaran Sains. Retrieved on 10 Sept.tki. emphases and scope (New Zealand Primary Science Curriculum: http://www.php ) Reference Pusat Pembangunan Kurikulum (2002). Science in the New Zealand Curriculum.org.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Reading Materials and Surf the Internet Compare and contrast the primary science curriculum in Malaysia and in New Zealand in terms of objectives. 2009 from: http://www.nz/r/science/curriculum/toc_e. Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia Ministry of Education.nz/r/science/curriculum/toc_e.php 30 .

The teaching and learning process should enable pupils to acquire 31 . Identify problems faced in teaching primary science. learning activities and assessment procedures. They should be challenged with higher order questions and problems and be required to solve problems utilising their creativity and critical thinking. Overview Malaysian Primary Science Curriculum II Teaching and Learning Strategies Learning Activities Assessment Procedures Figure 4 Overview Content Content Teaching and Learning Strategies Teaching and learning strategies in the science curriculum emphasise thoughtful learning. These include various strategies. Learning Outcome 1. Pupils should be made aware of the thinking skills and thinking strategies that they use in their learning. and mastery learning. 2. activities and assessments that could be used in teaching science. constructivism. Learning activities should therefore be geared towards activating pupils’ critical and creative thinking skills and not be confined to routine or rote learning.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies TOPIC 4 Malaysian Primary Science Curriculum II Synopsis This topic explores good practices in teaching and learning science. Thoughtful learning can occur through various learning approaches such as inquiry. contextual learning. Describe various strategies. Thoughtful learning is a process that helps pupils acquire knowledge and master skills that will help them develop their minds to the optimum level.

an artifact or in other forms needs to be presented to the teacher and other pupils. In role-play. and how to present the results of their experiment. besides guiding pupils to carry out experiments. an activity that resembles the actual situation is carried out. pupils play out a particular role based on certain pre-determined conditions. games and the use of models. Teaching and Learning Methods The use of a variety of teaching and learning methods can enhance pupils’ interest in science. pupils’ abilities. Pupils play games in order to learn a particular principle or to understand the process of decision-making.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies knowledge. Science lessons that are not interesting will not motivate pupils to learn and subsequently will affect their performances. Project A project is a learning activity that is generally undertaken by an individual or a group of pupils to achieve a particular learning objective. In the implementation of this curriculum. Models are used to represent objects or actual situations so that pupils can visualise the said objects or situations and thus understand the concepts and principles to be learned. time management skills. Experiment An experiment is a method commonly used in science lessons. Teachers should play the role of a facilitator and lead a discussion by asking questions that stimulate thinking and getting pupils to express themselves. In experiments. The choice of teaching methods should be based on the curriculum content. Simulation In simulation. master skills and develop scientific attitudes and noble values in an integrated manner. Visits and Use of External Resources The learning of science is not limited to activities carried out in the school compound. This involves pupils drawing up plans as to how to conduct experiments. A project generally requires several lessons to complete. and independent learning. Games require procedures that need to be followed. and the availability of resources and infrastructure. Discussion A discussion is an activity in which pupils exchange questions and opinions based on valid reasons. Learning of science can be enhanced through the use of external resources such as 32 . and manipulative skills. teachers should provide pupils with the opportunities to design their own experiments. Conducting an experiment involves thinking skills. Discussions can be conducted before. during or after an activity. where appropriate. Different teaching and learning activities should be planned to cater for pupils with different learning styles and intelligences. Examples of simulation are role-play. The outcome of the project either in the form of a report. pupils test hypotheses through investigations to discover specific science concepts and principles. Project work promotes the development of problem-solving skills. how to measure and analyse data. pupils’ repertoire of intelligences. The following are brief descriptions of some teaching and learning methods. scientific skills.

she states a number of problems faced by Malaysian teachers in the teaching of science and technology. state ways to overcome these problems.pdf. and Internet. No educational visit is complete without a post-visit discussion. meaningful and effective. Discuss whether you agree or disagree with the problems that she raised and if so. graphic presentation software and electronic spreadsheets are valuable tools for the analysis and presentation of data. computer. Application tools such. activities and assessment procedures. (New Zealand Primary Science Curriculum: http://www.nz/r/science/curriculum/toc_e. science centres. radio. To optimise learning opportunities. Use of Technology Technology is a powerful tool that has great potential in enhancing the learning of science. Surf the Internet According to Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin in her article Current trends and main concerns as regards science curriculum development and implementation in selected States in Asia: Malaysia at http://www. Computer simulation and animation can be presented through courseware or Web page. Computer simulation and animation are effective tools for the teaching and learning of abstract or difficult science concepts.org. research institutes. as word processors.tki. and factories. the teaching and learning of science can be made more interesting and effective. museums.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies zoos. video.php ) 33 .unesco. mangrove swamps. Visits to these places make the learning of science more interesting.org/curriculum/China/Pdf/IImalaysia. Pupils may be involved in the planning process and specific educational tasks should be assigned during the visit. Through the use of technology such as television. Reading Materials and Surf the Internet Compare and contrast the primary science curriculum in Malaysia and in New Zealand in terms of strategies. visits need to be carefully planned.ibe.

&Esler. Teaching Elementary Science(8th ed.ibe. Current trends and main concerns as regards science curriculum development and implementation in selected States in Asia: Malaysia. Diperolihi pada 10 Sept.unesco.K.php 34 .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Reference Esler.W. Wellington. 2009 dari: http://www.nz/r/science/curriculum/toc_e.M.org.) Washington: Wadsworth Publishing Company Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin (1999). New Zealand (2002).pdf Ministry of Education.K.tki. 2009 dari: http://www. Diperolehi pada 10 Sept. Science in the New Zealand Curriculum.org/curriculum/China/Pdf/IImalaysia.(2001).

35 . State the characteristics of students in an inquiry classroom. to apply investigational procedures. Inquiry means that teachers design situations so that pupils are caused to employ procedures research scientists use to recognise problems. 3. and to provide consistent descriptions. State the importance of inquiry in science education.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies TOPIC 5 Teaching and Learning Strategies for Primary Science – Inquiry and Discovery Approach Synopsis This topic discusses the inquiry and discovery approach in teaching primary science. and explanations which are compatible with shared experience of the physical world. to ask questions. 4. 2. Learning Outcome 1. State the characteristics of teachers in an inquiry classroom. Overview Teaching and Learning Strategies for Primary Science Inquiry Approach Discovery Approach Figure 5 Overview Content Content What is inquiry? The essence of the inquiry approach is to teach pupils to handle situations which they encounter when dealing with the physical world by using techniques which are applied by research scientists. Define inquiry and discovery approach. predictions.

"Enquiry" will be used to refer to all other questions. occasions frequently arise in which students come across unusual phenomena.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies "Inquiry" is used deliberately in the context of an investigation in science and the approach to teaching science described here. surveys. Identifying/Presenting the PROBLEM we are attempting to solve. 36 . There after we must construct our design as to how we are going to attack the problem and attempt to solve it. Inquiry to Investigate Problems Our first entry into the effort is to recognize a problem. "Inquiry" should not be confused with "discovery". Forming HYPOTHESES: tentative solutions to the problem that can be verified with data . principle. Recordings (audio or video) 4. fact. similar to the game "twenty questions". Robert Suchman developed a strategy. Drawings and diagrams d. and many others like them. GENERALIZING + Closure The Suchman Inquiry Method In the classroom. That is okay. Discovery concentrates upon closure on some important process. Basic structure of inquiry: WHAT DO WE KNOW? WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW? HOW CAN WE FIND IT OUT? Steps to follow: 1. 2. We may not solve the problem within the given time frame and what we do may raise other associated problems. to teach students a process for investigating and explaining unexpected and surprising events. probes. Each of these occasions. or examinations of a general nature so that the terms will not be confused. 3. DATA gathering This may include: a. Any good research does the same. Observation notes b. or law which is required by the science syllabus. These situations make it difficult for students to remain indifferent . Pictures c. Inquiry is open-ended and on-going.they demand explanations and want to know why. Inquiry tends to imply a constructionist approach to teaching science. Discovery assumes a realist or logical positivist approach to the world which is not necessarily present in "inquiry". DATA analysis 5. provide the teacher with rich opportunities to encourage students to carefully analyze the situation and to hypothesize and test explanations.

37 . B. a student may not ask. in effect. For example. "Is there air inside the radiometer?" If a question isn’t answerable by “yes” or “no” . the students are asked to rephrase it . It is important that students learn to distinguish between: * Questions which are fact gathering. C. what actually happened . It is important that the explanation of the event should be based on ideas with which the students already have some familiarity . whereas questions such as: "If the soldiers had run rather than marched would the bridge still have collapsed?" seek to explore the relationships between some of the variables involved in their situations. students should be encouraged to structure their inquiry so that they ask questions which analyze the situation they have observed . With practice.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Overview of the strategy: A. Students form hypotheses (possible solutions) The number of hypotheses should be small enough so that students can see to which hypothesis their data relate . Students ask the teacher questions: Data gathering These must be of a form which can be answered by a "yes" or a "no". "What is inside the radiometer?" but may ask. limited hypotheses. and * Questions which experiment with the relationships between the variables involved in the situation. Moreover.the explanation of the situation should be discoverable. Questions such as: "Is the strip made of metal?" "Is there a vacuum inside the radiometer?" help to clarify the situation which has been observed or described. before they consider relationships between the variables involved in the situation. The strategy eliminates all open ended questions and forces students to focus their ideas and to develop questions which are.trying to find out what things are made of . the questions must be worded so that the answer could be obtained through observation alone. Students are confronted with a puzzling situation.

The final stage of the strategy involves students examining the process they have worked through . the teacher and the students remember that even after lengthy questioning. Finally. a number of satisfactory explanations may be possible and that students should be encouraged to explore a range of alternative hypotheses.considering the stages of the process and the effectiveness of the different questions which have been asked. It could be said that Bruner's heart was in the right place. E. The concept behind the discovery approach is that the motivation of pupils to learn science will be increased if they experience the feelings scientists obtain from "discovering" scientific knowledge. Further. Generalizations + Reflection and analysis of the process. but that his rationale was faulty. the idea was supported by the notion that pupils would learn about the nature of science. and the formation of scientific knowledge through the process of "discovery". Inquiry-based Approach and Traditional Approach The chart below compares characteristics of inquiry-based approaches to more traditional approaches. Assessing hypotheses It is important that in this stage.rather students should be encouraged to see that there are a number of satisfactory explanations in many situations. INQUIRY BASED Principle Learning Theory Student Participation Student Involvement in Outcomes Student Role Curriculum Goals Teachers Role What is discovery? The discovery approach was first popularised by Jerome Bruner in a book The Process of Education. Even your limited studies in the history and philosophy of science to this point should indicate that Bruner's idea poses some philosophical problems about the nature of science and the formation of scientific knowledge. there should not be too much emphasis on "getting the right answer" .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies D. Constructivism Active Increased Responsibility Problem solver Process oriented Guide/facilitator TRADITIONAL Behaviorism Passive Decreased Responsibility Direction follower Product oriented Director/ transmitter 38 .

the teacher decides. the concept. but the teacher provides hints and directions about how to solve the problemto keep the student on track (Mayer. 2003). expository instruction. Apparently. process. Implications of the Discovery Method: Pure Discovery Pure discovery methods often require excessive amounts of learning time. There are three levels of guidance in teaching: 1. 68). 1972). When the principle to be learned is obvious or when a strict criterion of initial learning is enforced. Guided Discovery . In a discovery lesson. respectively.The student recieves problems to solve. result in low levels of initial learning. 3. guided discovery. Discovery method Mayer describes these as pure discovery. and result in inferior performance on transfer and long term retention (Mayer 68).The student recieves representative problems to solve with minimal teacher guidance (Mayer. law or piece of scientific knowledge which is to be "discovered" or un-covered by the pupils. Expository Instruction Expository Instruction may sometimes result in less learning time than other methods and generally results in equivalent levels of initial learning as compared to guided 39 .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies The discovery approach is presented by Schulman (Good. 2003). Guided discovery both encourages learners to search actively for how to apply rules and makes sure that the learner comes into contact with the rule to be learned (Mayer.The final answer or rule is presented to the student (Mayer. pure discovery students are likely to behave like guided discovery students. The lesson proceeds through a hierarchy of stages which may be associated with Bruner's levels of thought. depending on the task. in advance. but tends to result in better long term retention and transfer (Mayer 68). 2003). and expository. Expository . Guided Discovery Guided discovery may require more or less timethan the third. 2. The Discovery method refers to how much guidance a teacher should give their students. pure discovery encourages learners to get cognitively involved but fails to ensure that they will come into contact with the rule or principle to be learned (Mayer 68). This could be followed by reading Strike (1975) and Feifer (1971). Pure Discovery . These readings deal with the procedures of discovery learning and relevant issues and conflicting points of view.

importance of inquiry in science education.umd. Take photographs of the chosen plant part from different plants.edu/UMS+State/UMD-Projects/MCTP/Essays/Strategies. fruit or root. Choose a topic in the curriculum that could use Shuchman’s inquiry method. Plan a lesson using Shuchman’s inquiry method. Exercise Find out more about the inquiry and discovery approaach.Teach your lesson. Find similarity and differences in the characteristics of the plant part. Apparently expository instruction does not encourage the learner to actively think about the rule but does ensure that the rule is learned (Mayer. round etc. characteristics of teachers and students in an inquiry classroom. TASK ( 5 hours ) Read more about Shuchman’s inquiry method. leave.SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies discovery (Mayer 69). Retrieved on 20. stem. G.2009 from: http://www. Write a report on (i) (ii) (iii) definition of inquiry and discovery approach.txt 40 . Reference Dettrick. for example.10. Collecting Information Choose a plant part. 69). Constructivist Teaching Strategies. expository methods seem inferior to guided discovery. If the goal of instruction is long-term retention and transfer. oblong. Example: Leaves have different shapes like oval.inform. Present your discoveries in the form of a powerpoint presentation with suitable supporting photographs that you have taken. flower. Write a reflective report on your experience in using this method. W.

Boston: Allyn and Bac Poh.. R. Learning and Instruction. Martin. 287-88. Inc: Upper Saddle River. (2003). Pearson Education.C. New Jersey. (2002). Inc.E. The Promise of Educational Psychology Volume II: Teaching for Meaningful Learning.. Pearson Education.S.J.H. 41 .SCE3104 Primary Science Curriculum and Pedagogies Mayer.(2005) Pedagogy Of Science Volume 1.Gerlovich. Richard. Teaching Science for All Children-Methods for Constructing Understanding.Sexton.(2002). R.Kuala Lumpur: Kumpulan Budiman Sdn Bhd. E. Mayer.