Academic journal article International Education Studies

Teachers' Teaching Practice and Student Achievement in Basic Economics-A Comparison in Two Types of Schools in Malaysia

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Teachers' Teaching Practice and Student Achievement in Basic Economics-A Comparison in Two Types of Schools in Malaysia

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to compare teachers' teaching practice based on students' perception towards achievement in the subject of Basic Economics between two different types of secondary schools in Malaysia, the National Secondary Schools (SMK) and Chinese National Type Secondary Schools (SMJK) in the state of Penang, Malaysia. The respondents involved in this study consist of 125 17 year old students from four SMK schools and 125 students from three SMJK schools in Penang. Survey method was employed in the data collection. The quantitative data obtained was analysed using the SPSS. The research shows that there are significant differences between SMK and SMJK in terms of teachers' teaching practice towards Basic Economics. The result of correlation analysis indicates that correlation between teachers' teaching practice and the students' achievement in SMK is significant unlike in SMJK.

Keywords: basic economics, students' achievement, teachers' teaching practice, secondary national schools, secondary national type schools

1. Introduction

Malaysia's education system aims to produce a balanced student physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually so that they can serve as productive citizens who are able to support the vision and mission of the country. In connection with the government's interest, one of the agenda of the Ministry of Education (MOE) is to strengthen all National Schools or 'Sekolah Kebangsaan' (SK), since SK was established as a vehicle for unity among the various races. SK serving as a place for young people to live in community, working together to achieve the vision of State (Ministry of Education, 2006). The Chinese National Type Secondary Schools (SMJK) are schools with Chinese being the main language and students who are also almost all of the Chinese race.In general Malaysian education system is exam oriented and often used as an important indicator in determining the career of students and a school performance success. Comparison of students' performance between SMK and SMJK has always been a reference material and widely reported in the media. This can be seen each time a national exam results are announced. Generally the SMJK will fare better than SMK although both schools are well equipped equally with good infrastructure and trained teachers provided by the government. Most of the Chinese parents emolí their children in SMJK schools as Mandarin language is offered as a compulsory subject where else in SMK the subject is only offered as an optional subject. As a result SMJK is consists mainly of Chinese and a very few Malay and Indian students where else in SMK schools consists mainly of Malay and Indian students and a very few Chinese. In accordance with the goals and objectives of the MOE, Basic Economics was made as an elective subject in group II (Vocational and Technology) to Form Four and Form Five students in all the secondary schools. This subject was introduced in 1991/1992 as an experiment and the first group of students sat for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) officially in 1994. The shortfall in the Higher Certificate Examination Malaysia (STPM) and at the same time the dwindling number of students taking this subject (Faridah, 1999) led to the introduction of the subject at Form Four and Form Five level. Many students are of the opinion that Economics is a difficult subject to understand and this perception has become a hindrance for the student to excel in this subject. The status of Economics as an elective subject in schools has also led the students to become nonchalant in learning and teaching process of the subject (Khoo & Kassim, 2005). The 'chalk and talk' is the common method of teaching used in classrooms with high number of students, hoping to complete the syllabus in a stipulated given time (Becker & Watts, 2001). Situation in Malaysian schools are that students enter the class without proper preparation and the lack of discussion in the classroom resulted in many students just waiting for a response from the teacher instead (Khoo & Kassim, 2005). …

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