Editorial Board (Issue 10 - 2015)

Chief Editor:
Suhaidah Tahir, PhD
Associate Editor: Ng Khar Thoe, PhD

Review Editors:
Fazzlijan Mohamed Adnan Khan, PhD
Hazura Ab Bakar, PhD
Mohd Sazali Khalid, PhD
Nur Jahan Ahmad, PhD
Parvinder Singh, PhD
Thien Lei Mee, PhD
Dominador Dizon Mangao

Editorial Assistant: Ong Mei Yean




1. Musical Mnemonics To Facilitate The Learning Of DNA Replication (pp. 1-16)

Miranda Yeoh Poh Khoon

Most of the literature on mnemonics showed that mnemonics may facilitate learning and recall of respondents of different age groups. Matriculation students in Malaysia learn Biology in English, a non-native language, and they have difficulty in recalling the facts and the correct order of events. DNA replication is a key biological process requiring procedural knowledge. To the best of knowledge, there has been no research concerning the effect of musical mnemonics on students’ recall of this topic that has been reported. In response to the education policy of teaching mathematics and science in English (ETeMS), the aim of this study was to use musical mnemonics to enable the students recall of the processes involved in DNA replication; in English. Altogether, sixty two students, aged 19 years, participated in this study; 31 each, in both the control and experimental groups. An independent samples t-test was used. The experimental group performed significantly better than the control group. The results indicated that musical mnemonics facilitated recall of the facts of DNA replication process among Matriculation students. The researcher concluded with reference to the education policies of ETeMS and ‘Memartabatkan BM dan Memperkasakan BI’ (MBMMBI) that are currently in force, in Matriculation colleges and schools respectively, in Malaysia.


2. Effectiveness Of Chem-Connect Project In Managing Large Classes In Chemistry (pp. 17-26)

Ronaldo C. Reyes

Large class size is often perceived as one of the factors affecting quality education. With the low performance of the students in science due to large class size, there is a pressing need to implement interventions that will address the abovementioned problem. One of these interventions is the Chem-Connect Project, which is a combination of innovative teaching strategies and techniques including Practical Work Approach, ICT applications, and Chemistry promotion in the school and community. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of Chem- Connect project in managing large classes in Chemistry specifically its effects on enhancing students’ performance. Quasi experimental method of research utilizing the pretest- posttest design was employed in this study to determine the effects of the project on students’ Chemistry achievement. The two Chemistry classes of the researcher intact served as the research participants of the study, one experimental and one control group, composed of 51 students each. The implementation of the project showed a promising results since it significantly improved the Chemistry performance of the students. There is a significant difference in the pre-post mean gain in the performance of experimental group in Chemistry. Likewise, significant difference existed between the two groups favoring the experimental group during the posttest. With this, the Chem-Connect Project was effective in managing large Chemistry class. The implications of the results can serve as baseline in employing Chem-Connect Project especially in handling large science classes to promote effective science learning.


3. Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Knowledge: Discrepancy Between Standards And Teachers’ Perceptions (pp. 27-35)

Lei Mee Thien, Suhaidah Tahir & Mohd Johan Zakaria

The purpose of this study is to examine the discrepancy between Southeast Asia Regional Standards for Mathematics Teachers (SEARS-MT) and teachers’ perceptions on professional knowledge. A total of 28 item measures were developed based on the local descriptors of SEARS-MT. The data were collected from 27 mathematics teachers from primary and secondary schools in the state of Kedah. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS 20.0 and WINSTEPS 3.57.0. The findings show that 77.7 per cent of the sample agreed with the importance of mathematics professional knowledge as stated in SEARS-MT. However, little discrepancy was observed between SEARS-MT and mathematics teachers’ perceptions on the ICT integration in teaching and learning process. Findings support the need to include bigger sample size and develop more items that cover a wide range of difficulty so that mathematics teachers’ perception on their professional knowledge can be measured along a continuum.


4. Empowering Students Through Values-Based Experiential Learning: Case Studies Of Recent Initiatives In Some Seameo Countries (pp. 36-46)

Suma Parahakaran, Ng Khar Thoe, Nur Jahan Ahmad, Shamsir Jemain & Teh Kim Hong

The paper reports on how teaching science involving values- based experiential learning helps in student transformation. The transformation process impacts students’ thinking as they research and explore real life situations. The research approach transforms their attitudes and behaviours. The report includes how projects were implemented through various science activities integrating scientific concepts and specific values which help students to have a more holistic view of learning. Part of the output of their learning was disseminated in science/technology fair and academic carnival. Case studies on the contextual and values-based experiential learning activities and games conducted during the Human Values-based Water Education programmes for schools in Thailand and Malaysia are deliberated. Teachers’ perceptions and their beliefs on the benefits of the values integrated teaching are elaborated. The study also introduces some revelations of teachers’ perceptions of student transformation using pedagogies such as story-telling, silent sitting and music during their teaching moments. These pedagogies are used along with the research approach to prompt students to think about the way forward. Educational implications are further deliberated with elaboration on future direction.


5. Teacher Education: Linking Science Learning To Everyday Life And Societal Needs (pp. 47-58)

Nur Jahan Ahmad, Suhaidah Tahir & Ng Khar Thoe

Teacher education refers to the procedure of equipping teachers with knowledge and skills required in order to perform their tasks effectively in teaching and learning. This paper reports on teacher education courses conducted in SEAMEO RECSAM with reference to the selected topics that link science learning to students’ everyday life and the needs of the society, as well as how well the teachers have adopted the knowledge, skills and values to apply in their teaching career. Twenty teachers from the South East Asian countries attended a four-week course organised by SEAMEO RECSAM in Penang, Malaysia. The teachers were from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The pre-test results showed that the teachers’ scores on their understanding on the designed topics such as ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Scientific & Technological Literacy (STL) and Socio-scientific issues (SSI)’ were less than 3 points from 5 points Likert Scale. Many of them claimed that they often did not include the topics that link science to everyday life and the needs of the society; besides the ones that are stated in the curriculum. Following the four-week course, the post-test indicated better results in which the scores of their levels of perception on almost all the topics were more than 3 points on the Likert Scale. This shows that the topics selected for the courses have enhanced the teachers’ knowledge and understanding; as well as their awareness on the needs to incorporate these topics in science teaching for sustainable development. The teachers’ attitude and perceptions about the topics, as well as their preparedness to incorporate the topics designed in the course are also presented in this paper with discussions on follow-up activities.


6. Insight Into Hot In A Few Mathematics Classrooms In Penang: A Small Case Study (pp. 59-68)

Mohd Sazali Khalid

Many teachers used questions to check their students’ progress. However, some questions did not cover enough depth and breadth in most topics or subtopics. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mathematics teachers’ practice of promoting High Order Thinking (HOT) skills in mathematics in four different secondary schools in one of the best states in Malaysia. The methodology used was participant observation in which 4 schools were selected within less than 10 km from Universiti Sains Malaysia, an Apex University and 9 teachers were involved as well as the number of student sample was N=221. The findings from this study involving 25 hours’ video-recordings revealed that most questions used were classified as Low Order Thinking (LOT) while HOT questions came mostly from the textbooks and worksheets recommended by the ministry. The teacher’s weaknesses in questioning were hidden unknowingly and obscured by the collaborative learning activities among their students.