Confidence in teaching science and technology at primary level

Man Tak CHAN, Ping Wai KWOK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

General Studies (GS), implemented in Hong Kong primary schools in 1994, integrates the three subjects of Science, Health Education and Social Studies. The integration of primary subjects makes a sharp contrast with the situation in the past when teachers were teaching separate subjects. As a result, many teachers previously without science background may have been drafted in to teach the domain of science and technology of GS. The most severe obstacle to the improvement of science in primary schools in the UK found by inspectors is that "many existing teachers lack a working knowledge of elementary science appropriate to the children of his age" (cited in Harlen et al., 1995, p.4). There have been a number of researches studying the teaching of science and technology in primary schools but very few are conducted in Hong Kong where GS is implemented without precedent. Further to the paper entitled 'Primary teachers' confidence in teaching science and technology' on the quantitative findings presented at the International Conference on Teacher Education 1999, this paper reports the result of the qualitative part of a research project on primary teachers' self-perceived confidence in teaching different subjects and in teaching the area of 'science and technology' of the GS curriculum. Five teachers were invited for interviews to probe their background and the confidence in teaching the areas of science and technology of the GS curriculum. The study has identified the factors affecting teachers' confidence in primary science and technology in Hong Kong and identified the effects due to low confidence on teachers' practice. In addition, teachers' pinions about the existing GS curriculum were gathered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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confidence
Teaching
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science
primary school
Hong Kong
curriculum
self-confidence
social studies
health promotion
research project
lack
interview
education

Citation

Chan, M. T., & Kwok, P. W. (1999, November). Confidence in teaching science and technology at primary level. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 16th Annual Conference: Exploring New Frontiers in Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.