Teacher training institutions in different parts of the world arc facing problems with respect to teacher trainees' lack of concept understanding and lack of confidence in teaching science and related subjects ( Hope & Towsend, 1983; Northfield & Gunstone, 1983; Lawrenz, 1986; Tilgner, 1990; Ginns & Walters, 1995). Tilgner (1990) in an investigation of why teachers avoided science concluded that inadequate teacher background in science, the absence of hands-on experiences in science and anxiety concerning the knowledge component of science to be taught were major reasons. Science staff of HKIEd frequently opined about the incompetency of many teacher trainees in teaching science and health education in the primary schools. Science and health education are two key components of the newly implemented subject, General Studies (GS), in primary schools. Science and Maths Department and Social Studies Department arc at present jointly responsible for the implementation of the General Studies curriculum in HKIEd. In addition, S&M Department offers a compulsory science module in the Academic Studies domain to provide teacher trainees relevant basic science background knowledge. A study has been initiated in S&M Department to investigate the teaching competency of full-time preservice and part-time inservice teacher trainees in science and health education areas of General Studies. It is hoped that the findings of study will be illustrative of trainees' readiness in teaching science and health components of the General Studies curriculum as well as the areas of strength and weakness of the relevant HKIEd modules supporting the General Studies curriculum.
|Published - Nov 1996