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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A brief proposal example for my class, EDU5900

Entry ini khusus untuk pelajar saya bagi kursus EDU5900. Berikut adalah contoh draf awal bagi satu proposal yang anda perlu siapkan untuk dihantar pada minggu 11 (30 Nov 2011). 

  • Sediakan dalam 1000 perkataan
  • 1.5 spacing
  • Font arial
  • Cover: Orange color A4 paper



Profiling performance indicators: Encouraging secondary school students to learn science effectively.

Malaysia’s vision to become a developed nation by the year 2020 has placed science and technology as important subjects to excel in. This is especially so since science and technology are often perceived as fundamental forces behind economic development in industrialized countries (Loo, 1997). Reports on performance in science learning, especially those that highlighted students’ lack of interest as well as declining ability to do science ( Lee, 2001) sparked much concern about the ability to achieve the targetted goals.  This is further exacerbated by the fact that enrolment in the sciences as compared to the art  stream at higher secondary level is less than the expected 60:40 percent ratio.

Research statement
Although there were researches examining factors that influence science learning in Malaysia, the studies were not comprehensive. Among the aspects investigated include language influence on students’ understanding (Nabilah, 2006); problems with translating and analyzing text, pictures, charts and diagrams (T. Subahan, 1996; Yee, 1998); difficulty arising from complexity of terminology and its ideological or technological nature (Mohd Zakaria, 1992); inability to apply process skills (Mohammad Najib, 1999; Zurida, 1998) and failure to classify, synthesize and evaluate information (MOE, 2001). However the above mentioned studies were comprehensive enough to cover the affect, language and cognitive determinants of science learning.

This study is an attempt to outline the profile of performance indicators that students need in order to succeed in science learning;  learners who possess the language and cognitive ability as well as the right attitude towards science learning would be almost certain to be able to perform well in their science subjects. It is believed that identification of student-related (internal) variables to some extend would certainly help educators and parents to improve on aspects that individual students are weak in.  For instance, an understanding of how students attribute failure and inability to perform well in science subjects will be helpful for teachers when trying to motivate their students. It has been previously shown that students do become demotivated and lost interest in a subject when they attribute poor (science) performance to internal locus of control when in fact the source of difficulty is elsewhere (see Hicks & Nabilah, 1998).

In short, improved performance of Malaysian school children in their science subject can only happen if science teachers are able to identify indicators that will allow students to perform well, or variables that serve as hinderence, to effective learning. Only through profiling of their science performance indicators would specific teaching approach be employed, learning strategies be taught or other personal inadequacies be confronted and overcomed. For that reason, it is timely that science performance indicators are identified and a psychometrically sound inventory to assess and predict science learning outcome is developed.

The study aims to:
§   explore the profile of students in relation to their cognitive ability,  English language proficiency and attitude toward science learning,
§   identify other factors that influence the students ability to do science,
§   examine the relationships between the cognitive development, English language proficiency and attitude towards the students ability to do science, and
§  develop an instrument (inventory) that will help predict and simultaneously assess students’ ability to do science

Research questions
Based on the above research objectives, the following research questions were posed:
§    What are the factors that influence students’ ability to do science?
§    What are the relationships between and among the  cognitive, language and attitude factors identified above?
§    How do they influence students’ ability to do science?

It is also hypothesized that:
§  there is a significant relationship between student’s ability to do science with their cognitive ability, English language proficiency and attitude toward science.
§  there is a significant relationship between the students’ cognitive ability and the ability to do science.
§  there is a significant relationship between the proficiency in English language of students with different level of achievements  and the ability to do science.
§  there is a significant relationship between the attitude of students with different level of achievements  and the ability to do science.

Research Design :
This research uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches of data collection,  to identfy and describe variables that influence the ability of lower secondary school students to perform well academically in science subject. In addition to examining the students’ English language proficiency and general attitude towards learning science, two cognitive factors – working memory capacity and field-dependent/independent ability - identified as aptitude indicators for learning science will also be measured.

Population and Sampling :
The population of this study will be all Form Four students in Selangor and Klang Valley. For the purpose of the research, the schools will be divided into two – rural dan urban schools. The sample of the study will later be selected using a stratified systematic cluster random sampling (of high and low achievers) from urban dan rural areas. It is anticipated that approximately 600 students will be involved in the study.

Research instruments :
This research will use a questionnaire to obtain the students’ demographic profile and to examine their attitude and motivation towards learning science. Specific (paper-and-pencil) tests to measure working memory capacity and field-dependent/independent ability will be administered as well. Students’ language proficiency and their academic achievement level will be assessed either based on the their PMR performances or via an interview.



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