Exploring Science Teachers’ Instructional Practices: A Need Analysis for the Development of Integrated STEM Instructional Practices through Scientist-Teacher-Student Partnership (STSP)

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Mohamad Hisyam Ismail, HidayahMohd Fadzil, RohaidaMohd Saat, Muhamad Furkan Mat Salleh


The declining number of students choosing STEM subjects and careers in Malaysia has raised concern aboutthe education system’s ability to produce sufficient human development for sound national development. The teaching approach used by the teachers to integrate STEM in the classroom practices is often claimed as one of the main determining factorscontributingto this issue. Concerning this issue, this qualitative study aimedto investigate science teachers’ practices in integrating STEM in their classrooms. The interviews were conducted with six science teachers who represented three major disciplines (Biology, Physics, Chemistry) from various secondary schools in Malaysia. The purposive sampling technique was employed to select six science teachers who wereinvolved in this study. As part of a larger study, the objectives of this study were mainly focus on exploring the instructional practices by the teachers to integrate STEM content in their classrooms where constant comparative methods were used for data analysis. Three themes had emerged from the interviews, namely, (1) instructional strategy, (2) elements of STEM, and (3) issues of the practice. The study found that all science teachers have different strategies to integrate STEM into their classrooms, such as inquiry-based and problem-based learning. To integrate STEMdisciplines, the teachers are mostly focused on embedding STEM skills through hands-on activity or highlighting the real-life applications of the STEM concepts during the lesson. Less emphasis isgiven on connecting concepts of different disciplines during teaching and learning, and teacher-driven activities were amongst the issues discovered in teachers’ instructional practices. Despite their efforts, they admitted that they still have lack of skills to integrate STEM and need help from the experts, especially from STEM practitioners like scientists and engineers. The study concludes that science teachers needto improve their delivery of STEM subjects in a moreeffective way.

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