Education in Malaysia has truly gone through considerable changes throughout the years. These frequent changes or 'reforms' are completed with perhaps only 1 vision in mind, which is to enhance the current existing coaching and learning strategies in institutions and higher corporations of learning. Such action highlights the government's unlimited efforts in looking to improve the quality of education for its people. After ten years into the New Millennium, the education circumstance is more pressed to undertake even more improvements in trying to cope with the requirements and prospects of education in the 21st century. We can no longer be happy with what we've, but instead there's a need to constantly compare ourselves compared to that of more developed nations, and this is especially true with the field of education. That is to ensure our people can contend internationally in this borderless world.
This is very much indeed in-line with the eye-sight of your longest-serving Primary Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammad. Tun, back the 90's shared his vision and dreams because of this region through "Wawasan 2020" or Eyesight 2020. Relating to his article "Malaysia on the right track Vision 2020", as a doctor he is attracted to the optometrist measurement of Eye-sight 2020 which implies 100 percent perfect eyesight. He further talks about that Eyesight 2020 with regards to the continuing future of this country is the quest for Malaysia to get clear vision of our future as in where we want heading and what you want to be in the brand new Millennium. As Malaysia projects to transform into fully-developed land, education becomes the main concern of the federal government since it is one of the most powerful entities that could determine the success or failing of the country. The future of any country is determined by its people. It is therefore important to ensure that many people are equipped with the required knowledge, skills and principles to make it through in this highly competitive and globalised world which is impacted by swift development in research, technology and information.
The need for education has become more paramount especially inside our Nation's procedure for moving from an economy-based on labor-intensive and lower-end produced products to k-economy or knowledge overall economy. The Ministry of Education (MOE) as well as the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) are two physiques which are liable in ensuring that country is moving on the specified target. This is clearly defined in the two 2 key thrusts under the Country wide mission ("Mid-term Overview of Ninth", 2008);
Thrust 2: to raise convenience of knowledge and advancement and nurture high grade mentality.
Thrust 3: to handle prolonged socio-economic inequalities constructively and productively.
In lines with the drive towards producing the country's K-Economy, the existing economical trend is to focus on the growth and climb in emphasis on the region of technology and technology. As the measure to achieve this vision, the federal government has followed a holistic way in Malaysian education system by emphasizing on mastery knowledge, intellectual capital and producing technology and entrepreneurial skills. Since science and technology play a significant role in contributing to a more developed nation, the federal government appears to give more focus on coaching and learning procedure for science in the principal, secondary and advanced schooling. It is coherent with Malaysia's aim which to create more experts in knowledge or generally to produce a future era of intellectuals.
Therefore, as research educators, it's important to be aware of the demand of the nation. There's a need to ensure that the coaching and learning process is targeted in producing individuals who fulfill the government's aspiration. Hence, it requires teachers to acquire passion, creativity, intelligence and determination to ensure that the delivery of knowledge is truly effective. Among other things, methods in coaching, teacher's knowledge and shows are frequently being noticed to ensure that educators continue to be excellent in their teaching. This is because; teachers play a major role in making sure the effectiveness and the success of the genuine delivery and implementation of the Malaysian curriculum. Therefore, when planning for a lesson, teachers need to be aware of the aims of the curriculum by combining good content worth into the lessons, put into practice the curriculum designed by the ministry and by the end of it all, assess the outcomes of the curriculum. But it is not enough to focus only on the tutor without looking at the relevancy of the Malaysian science curriculum, which actually plays a part in the success or failure of knowledge education. Actually, it is actually a major concern that is constantly discussed among technology educators and academicians in Malaysia. Is the Malaysian research curriculum measurable compared to that of the specifications of other countries? That is pertinent question that needs to be answered. So that it would be useful to compare Malaysian knowledge curriculum with other developed countries to be able to determine the standard of Malaysian curriculum.
1. 1 Track record of Study
This comparative study between the Malaysian science curriculum and the Steiner Waldorf in research curriculum was conducted mainly to gain insights on the much-researched and mentioned about Steiner curriculum. Having experienced the Malaysian science curriculum and after going after an honors' degree in science education, the researcher is very familiar with the country's science education curriculum, especially issues regarding its content and pedagogical procedure. However, the researcher is with the view that new knowledge of new educational curriculum can be useful in making sure better quality of technology education. That is important in view of providing the best in science in the context of Malaysian academic institutions. Because of wanting to improve the existing curriculum it might be interesting to learn the typical of Malaysian technology curriculum in comparison to other developed countries. That is important to ensure that our students can compete internationally.
Comparative research of curriculum across countries provides track record information about how exactly to understand existing talents and weaknesses of today's curriculum (Moosa & Che Azura Che An, n. d). Therefore, this research can suggest ways to help students to perform in the main topic of science and also help research teachers in their coaching. This is vital as over the past few years, there were a lot of problems reviewed about the Malaysian knowledge curriculum and the major area of the debate revolves around the teaching and learning process. Because of this, it lifted the researcher's interest to check out the matter so that the researcher could discover ways to increase the Malaysian science curriculum in order to make effective lessons yet in pleasurable environment for the students to learn knowledge.
In Malaysia, the theory associated with knowledge education is intended to be in-line with existing procedures which is specifically to get ready students for evaluation. There are a few officially recommended tactics for science coaching such as constructivist coaching, mastery learning, research process skills, thinking skills, and metacognition, self-directed, self-paced and self-assessed learning and more that, if carried out properly can ensure the successful and effective lessons. Current thinking in research is looking towards a paradigm that is more inclusive of the variety that exists inside our life-worlds (Revathi, R et al, 2003). Technology is also regarded as an activity of meaning-making and countries like the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa (Aikenhead, 2000) are employing science teaching approaches that combine learners' ethnical and linguistic bearings. Including the science classroom needs to be one which is interesting and multi-discursive which allows the educator and students to work together in creating knowledge. However, this approach or an attribute is not common in the Malaysian science curriculum.
The idea to produce a technology that is ideally competent in research seems difficult and this seems to claim that there is dependence on Malaysian research curriculum to be examined. From the aims of the curriculum to the problems of evaluation, everything becomes important and needs thorough reevaluation. The features and function of science discourse include formulating hypotheses, developing investigations, collecting data, attracting conclusions and communicating results (Chamot & O'Malley, 1994) and they are the skills which are essentially being emphasized by the teacher in the school room. Sadly, the application form is not obvious in the students' daily life especially in the framework of Malaysia.
By executing this research, the researcher expects to be able to get some insights into the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and the Malaysian technology curriculum. Having done this, it is hoped that the research suggestions may spotlight existing gaps in curricular, pedagogical or other aspects through comparability between Malaysian technology curriculum with Steiner Waldorf education. Through the suggestions made, hopefully the teaching and learning of science will be more effective and more enjoyable for the students. By having a good time in learning science through effective methods employed by the teacher, the researcher feels that it can help students to execute better in all the science subject matter and at the same time acquire methodical knowledge in a wider perspective. Apart from that, it will also help to produce all curved students as defined in the Country wide Education Idea.
1. 2 Declaration of the Problem
The Integrated Curriculum for Extra University (Kurrikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah, KBSM) is the continuation of the New Primary University Curriculum (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah, KBSR). This change in the curriculum composition is the government's strategy to change the emphasis of education that existed in 1970s to a far more contemporary holistic idea of learning that includes moral, religious, communal, physical, and intellectual development of a person (Rosnani. H, 2004). In knowledge education, all natural education aims to create students who are able to relate the content that they discovered in the class room to their daily life. It identifies their ability to use technological thinking and processes in a wider context such that it will highlight the potency of the KBSM which subscribes to the rules of lifelong learning. After having informal interviews with a few elderly people' educators and lectures with technology education record, the researcher discovered that Malaysian research curriculum somehow does not support the holistic education as being mentioned and does not achieve the supposed outcomes. The following is the judgment given by the senior lecturer who was interviewed by the researcher;
"My hunch is the general populace of the students will not relate what they learn to everyday situation because many studies show that students do not like science plus they find technology isolated or do not connect with them. So we can infer from that the students do not related what they learned nor practice their technological behaviour. " (personal communication)
This is further backed by the results of Tendencies in International Math & Research, TIMMS assessment in science used by Malaysian students in 2003. The TIMMS analysis was created to assist in improving students' learning in mathematics and science where in fact the assessment generally focuses on the students' mathematics and knowledge skills. Within the assessment, our students obtained an average of 504 which surpasses the international average of 474 (Martin et al, 2004) and put Malaysia to be at 19th out of 44 taking part countries. The performance isn't truly impressive if compared to the performance of students from other expanding countries in Asia pacific such as Singapore Chinese-Taipei and Republic of Korea. The type of argument is what exactly are the aspects that lacking in Malaysian students since those nations secured the most notable 3 placing and therefore have obviously performed much better than our students.
Another interesting perception that your researcher accumulated through informal interviews with the older instructors and lectures, as well as his personal experience as a science university student and in-service professor is the fact that Malaysian education system provides too much give attention to examination. To be able to make it through in the Malaysian education system, students need to excel in public areas examinations (UPSR, PMR, SPM). In some way the situation affects teaching and learning process which really is a part of the curriculum. Teachers accepted that the concentrate is only to finish the syllabus within the time allocated by the school administration. Through informal interviews with the students, the researcher also discovered that students believe that it is easier to allow them to focus and put together themselves for the evaluation instead of participating in important learning.
The researcher also found out that because of the need to complete in the syllabus, the lessons weren't conducted properly by educators. Teachers almost never make reflections on the teaching. Despite the fact that the success of the target and learning benefits are the dimension to a successful lesson in Malaysian education system; most of the time, educators don't have attempt to discover whether their students have actually attained the given learning outcomes. An effective science classroom can make students think and process the data received in the class room. Ironically, the scenario will not happen in most Malaysian classrooms. Due to the examination matter, the researcher thinks that teachers have a tendency to disregard their method in educating research. In true simple fact, a science category should be filled with interesting and differing activities so that students will enjoy the course. However, the truth is most knowledge lessons, more often than not, are not only simple and boring but also could kill students' enjoyment in learning the subject. That is another matter of the researcher since there is a tendency that the situation mentioned above could cause the students to lose involvement in learning technology.
The Steiner Waldorf education is comparable to the Malaysian education system in terms of its emphasis on the introduction of human beings and in the provision of all natural education. What's different is conditions of the execution and the potency of the curriculum. Scieffer and Busse (2001) in their research found out that the students from Steiner school did much better than students in talk about school in United States. Other research (Easton, 1997; Oberman, 1997; Uhrmacher, 1993b) also suggested a positive relationship between Steiner university education, learning and students achievement. Furthermore, research on Steiner education also stated about persistence of Steiner students performance in Country wide test from 2000 to 2004. Ogletree (2000) in investigating the creative potential on the list of students in England, Scotland and Germany through the use of Torrance Test of Creative Thinking Ability; discovered that generally Steiner school students obtained significantly higher creativeness results than their point out school peers. It actually reflects the potency of the focus on creative imagination in Steiner curriculum. Jalinek and Sunshine (2003) in research that they conducted which aimed to compare the training in Steiner and mainstream institutions exposed that, the Steiner children who analyzed in reasonable reasoning and research activity which developed by TIMMS international comparative research performed better than students from other universities. The technological reasoning of Steiner university students was found to be fantastic.
The research suggested that the consequence of the test is actually inspired by the culture of the Steiner education which trained less content to the students and the Steiner education itself creates less examination pressure to the students. Indeed, the Steiner Waldorf knowledge curriculum has its own unique approach and method which proved to encourage effective learning. Such a predicament ceases to exist in the Malaysian knowledge curriculum. It really is with this problem at heart that the researcher has made a decision to embark on this comparative study with the expectation to draw on among the better routines to be designed into Malaysian classroom.
1. 3 Research Objectives
The main objective of the research is to compare the Malaysian education and Steiner Waldorf education in technology curriculum with respect to objective, content, implementation or education and the assessment. In evaluating both curriculums, the researcher wish to learn the characteristics of Steiner education research classroom and wish to check out their strengths and uniqueness which exists and try to observe how this is different from the Malaysian research curriculum. From the data gathered, a thorough analysis will be made by the researcher, and the studies of the study may be the basis for the researcher to provide suggestions for the betterment of Malaysian technology curriculum as well as to bridge the space between both of these curriculums.
What are the characteristics of Steiner Waldorf technology class?
How does indeed the Steiner Waldorf technology curriculum change from the Malaysian Extra Science Curriculum with respect to their targets, content, execution/instruction, and analysis/assessment?
1. 4 Significance of the Study
This research seeks to check out the Malaysian knowledge curriculum. By doing this, it will help us to have a clear picture of how a curriculum functions and at the same time, it we can measure the success of the curriculum. Many professors have indicated their discontentment over current problems faced by the educators and students in science education, and the blame is usually on the ineffectiveness of the curriculum. That is an alarming problem as it might affect the amount of students who are enthusiastic about science subjects and should this happen, Malaysia will in actuality sway from its work to achieve Eye-sight 2020.
This comparative analysis of the Malaysian research curriculum and the Steiner knowledge curriculum is crucial in knowing our dreams of producing humans who know their potential and self-potential. This is actually the core value stressed in the Steiner Waldorf's curriculum which is designed to provide learners with important learning and switch them into profound learner. Steiner Waldorf students should generate strategies which indirectly nurtures the students to be critical thinkers. It is therefore very critical for the researcher to discover in what aspects that the Malaysian technology curriculum can be improved by adapting the Steiner Waldorf education. Preferably, the findings of the comparative research will help to improve science education in Malaysian colleges.
1. 5 Research Limitations
Time constraint is the major constraints of the research. The researcher thinks it is ideal to own longer time for the researcher to collect data regarding Steiner Waldorf education in UK, UK. Longer period of analysis will able the researcher to do observations in increased depth and visit more colleges to be contained in study. Instead of time constraint, monetary is also one of the constraints in this research. Since the research was funded by the university, the researcher has to complete the process of data collection within the stipulated time. However, what is done by the researcher is sufficient to truly have a general picture of the difference between your two curriculums.
1. 6 Opportunity of Study
The emphasis of the study is merely to compare the Malaysian education and Steiner Waldorf knowledge curriculum. This review involved data gathered from one institution in Plymouth and a Steiner Waldorf Department in University or college of Plymouth. Since this is an initial comparative study of the two curriculums, emphasis will briefly identify the four parts of the curriculum which is the goals, contents, execution and the assessment of both curriculums. However, extra emphasis will be given on the execution and assessment treatment as compared to the first two parts in the curriculum. Though it would have been ideal to be able to carry out observation and interviews in more schools across the UK, both of these chose are sufficient to give a clear primary picture of what Steiner Waldorf education involves.
1. 7 Operational Definition
Malaysian research curriculum
Malaysian technology curriculum refers to knowledge curriculum which developed and integrated in Malaysia for secondary level. However, to be able to show the continuation and the development or development of the curriculum the researcher wills sometime highlights the science curriculum at the primary level.
Steiner Waldorf Education
Steiner Waldorf Education identifies the education that founded by the Rudolf Steiner in 1919. This education is worldwide and does not refers or participate in a particular country. The part of the education that being discuss in this research is its' technology curriculum.
Science can be explained as "knowledge achieved through research or practice, " or "knowledge covering basic truths of the operation of general regulations, especially as obtained and tested through medical method and concerned with the physical world. " It could also refer as a system of learning where in fact the system uses observation and experimentation to spell it out and make clear about natural phenomena. Science also term which can make reference to the planned body of knowledge people has gained using that system. Therefore, the word technology education that been using in this research identifies the process of educating knowledge to the students or may identifies the field of science itself. That your field of research in education that being reviewed in this research covers the major branches in knowledge such as biology, physics, chemistry, standard science and natural knowledge.
Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary cited in http://www. sciencemadesimple. com
1. 8 Conclusion
As a summary, 'review' and 'reform' in Malaysian technology curriculum is necessary or simply a need even as we refer to the current education's condition in Malaysia. It's been 53 years that Malaysia achieved its self-reliance, and throughout the 53 years, Malaysia had opted through plenty of transformation and changes. However, the researcher feels that, in order for Malaysia to reach to the amount of developed country, education should be the foundation of the aspiration. Education in Malaysia requires more changes as well as ideal and natural policies and implementation, such that it will be able to produce human being capitals that are methodical, knowledgeable and capable.
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