Malaysian teacher trainees' practices on science and the relevance of science education for sustainability

Subadrah Madhawa Nair (School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Abdul Rashid Mohamed (School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Nagamah Marimuthu (School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 4 January 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of teacher trainees on science and the relevance of science education. The study focuses on teacher trainees' practice on science teaching and its relevance to understanding science education.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a survey method using questionnaires. The samples consist of 80 teacher trainees, majoring in Science Education, from a teachers training institute in Malaysia. The teacher trainees were asked to complete a set of questionnaires on the relevance of their content knowledge of science to Science Education, application of student's home culture in classroom science and in infusing moral education in classroom lessons. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistical and inferential statistical (independent samples t‐test).

Findings

The results showed that the female trainees' practice of science and the relevance of science education is significantly higher than that of their male counterparts. Besides that, the findings indicate that there is no significant difference between the male and female trainees on their practices of students' home culture applied in classroom science and applying moral education in teaching science. The findings also indicated there is a need to bring in students' home culture into the teaching and learning of science.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper suggest one approach that could be adopted to make science education more relevant to the students understanding is by incorporating teaching strategies that are designed to promote content learning through a cultural relevant curriculum. This will make schools a better place to inculcate environmental concerns for a sustainable future.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the need to educate trainee teachers (male and female) and bring them closer to gain cooperation and commitment to achieve sustainability. The paper also proposes the need to bring in students' home culture, priorities and concern into the teaching and learning of science.

Keywords

Citation

Madhawa Nair, S., Rashid Mohamed, A. and Marimuthu, N. (2013), "Malaysian teacher trainees' practices on science and the relevance of science education for sustainability", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 71-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371311288967

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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