Educating EFL preservice teachers for teaching astronomy

Hudson, Peter (2010) Educating EFL preservice teachers for teaching astronomy. In: AsiaTEFL Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam.


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Malaysia’s Vision 2020 for enhancing its education system includes the development of scientific literacy commencing at the primary school level. This Vision focuses on using English as the Medium of Instruction (EMI) for teaching primary science, as Malaysia has English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in its curriculum. What changes need to occur in preservice teacher education programs for learning about primary science using EMI? This paper investigates the education of Malaysian preservice teachers for learning how to teach one strand in science education (i.e., space, primary astronomy) in an English language context. Ninety-six second-year preservice teachers from two Malaysian institutes were involved in a 16-week “Earth and Space” course, half the course involved education about primary astronomy. Seventy-five of these preservice teachers provided written responses about the course and their development as potential teachers of primary astronomy using EMI. Preservice teacher assessments and multimedia presentations provided further evidence on learning how to teach primary astronomy. Many of these preservice teachers claimed that learning to teach primary astronomy needs to focus on teaching strategies, content knowledge with easy-to-understand concepts, computer simulations (e.g., Earth Centered Universe, Stellarium, Celestia), other ICT media, and field experiences that use naked-eye observations and telescopes to investigate celestial bodies. Although generally proficient in using ICT, they claimed there were EFL barriers for learning some new terminology. Nevertheless, powerpoints, animations, videos, and simulations were identified as effective ICT tools for providing clear visual representations of abstract concepts and ways to enhance the learning process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 20:13
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:10

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