Adaptation of teachers to the STS approach in chemistry

Po Keung Eric TSANG, Man Wai FONG, Kwong Chi LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The recently implemented HKCEE Chemistry curriculum has adopted a STS approach which is relatively new to this subject in Hong Kong. It was thus considered appropriate to find out how the teachers adapt to this change in approach. Consequently, a survey in the form of questionnaire was conducted in April, 96 to seek the opinions of teachers on the change. The questionnaire was designed to survey the teachers' opinions on the change in content, the new activities, availability of suitable resources and the format of the examination. Questionnaires were sent to 300 schools, in which 164 schools responded, giving a response rate of 54.6%. 12 of the schools surveyed do not offer Chemistry at HKCEE level. The results revealed that 78% of the teachers claimed that they are aware of the rationale behind the change in the Chemistry curriculum. In addition, about 80% of the teachers agreed that the introduction of society related topics are useful to students intending to study Chemistry beyond HKCEE level. However, over 60% of the teachers surveyed claimed that the new curriculum do not provide enough chemical knowledge for students to pursue further studies in chemistry. In addition , about 60% of the teachers think that the omission of certain topics from the old curriculum is likely to lead to inadequate background knowledge in chemistry. As to the new teaching activities , 48% of the respondents admit that they have never carried out the debates while over 90% of the teachers claimed that they have carried out the decision-making exercises with the students. Furthermore, 54% of the teachers found that the students participate actively in the new activities. As to the non-inclusion of the new activities in the teaching process, 80% of the teachers claimed that they do not have enough time to do so. With regard to the format of the examination, 76% of the interviewees welcome the change in the format of the HKCEE examination. However, over 70% of the teachers found that their students experience a lot of difficulties in the questions which require long answers. In conclusion, the survey revealed that most of the teachers are aware of the rationale behind the change but are of the opinion that the new curriculum may lead to inadequate chemical knowledge for further studies in chemistry. Furthermore, the new activities are implemented by most teachers but the majority of them agreed that they would have to rush through part of the curriculum in order to include these activities in their teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996


Tsang, P. K. E., Fong, P., & Li, K. C. (1996, November). Adaptation of teachers to the STS approach in chemistry. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 13th Annual Conference: Restructuring Schools in Changing Societies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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