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Title: Science education practices in the framework of secondary school curricular restructuring in East Timor
Author: Capelo, Ana
Cabrita, Isabel
Keywords: Timorese curricular reform
Curricular materials
General secondary school
Applied sciences
Science education practices
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Abstract: Education in East Timor is facing enormous challenges and struggling under harsh conditions in all aspects of education reconstruction, namely infrastructure, human and material resources, the curriculum and the dilemma of language learning. Like other developing countries, East Timor has given great importance to reform of the secondary school curriculum. This chapter reports on the findings of a study to investigate the status of and challenges to current science practices in East Timorese secondary schools, after the curricular reforms, and the impact of evaluation on these practices (2013 to 2015). A multi-method approach using qualitative data with quantitative analysis was implemented. Research data was obtained through focus group discussions and interviews with teachers, teacher trainers, students and school directors from schools selected for the study. The study also drew on observations of science classes and key curricular documents, allowing the data to be triangulated. Bearing this in mind, this work is divided into two main parts. After the introduction, there is a presentation of what the new secondary school science curricula suggest, in curricular, scientific and didactic terms. Next, based on the opinions of interviewees,(a) the diversity of strategies, including didactic resources used in science disciplines, (b) the relevance for their users and also (c) any limitations are described and analysed. Finally, the conclusions are presented. One of the findings of this study is that most science teachers in secondary schools in East Timor have never done any laboratory work and do not carry out demonstrations. Many of them have never been given any training in practical activities but, in the opinion of some Portuguese teacher trainers, it is possible to do so using simple and existing materials on site. Teachers recognized their lack of skills in this area, and attributed their low motivation to factors such as large classes, length of lessons, lack of physical space in schools and a lack of in-service training. With respect to what students think of the learning of science, they feel they are passive learners with the teacher merely imparting knowledge. Concerning infrastructure and resources, as in many countries with a low level of development and with transitional societies, all of the interviewees thought that quite a few schools function with barely minimal resources: they have no roofs, desks or chairs, no electricity or water, and the sanitation facilities are extremely poor.
ISBN: 978-1-63485-054-4
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Appears in Collections:CIDTFF - Capítulo de livro

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