Academic journal article International Education Studies

Gender and Ethnicity Differences Manifested in Chemistry Achievement and Self-Regulated Learning

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Gender and Ethnicity Differences Manifested in Chemistry Achievement and Self-Regulated Learning

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine whether gender and ethnicity differences are manifested in chemistry achievement and self-regulated learning among a matriculation programme students in Malaysia. The result of students' midterm chemistry exam was used as the measure of chemistry achievement. The information of self-regulated learning was collected by using a survey questionnaire that was adapted from the Motivated Strategies and Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Random sampling method was utilized to select 358 students of Matriculation Science One-Year Programme. The results of gender differences showed that male students obtained significantly higher achievement in chemistry compared to female counterparts whereas there was no significant gender difference in self-regulated learning. The results of ethnicity differences confirmed that there was a significant difference in chemistry achievement between Malay and Chinese students, Malay and Indian students, respectively. In terms of self-regulated learning, however, a significant difference was found only between Malay and Indian students. The findings suggest that science instructors in higher education institutions utilize the MSLQ to get the information about students' self-regulatory level and motivational level, design a "gender-based initiative" to address the lower science achievement of female students, and be ready to having learning resources and pedagogical practices available for a learning condition with diverse groups of different ethnicities.

Keywords: chemistry achievement, self-regulated learning, gender difference, ethnicity difference

1. Introduction

The Matriculation Programme is one of the Malaysian Education programmes which are open to the students who completed their secondary school programme with good performance in the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM). This programme, which is managed by the Matriculation Division in the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, includes One-Year Science Programme and Two-Year Science Programme, Accountancy Programme and Technical Engineering Programme. Students who get the offer from the Matriculation Division may choose one of the programmes based on their SPM result and their interest. The objectives of Matriculation Programme are focused on generating the knowledgeable, creative and competitive students who are able to fulfil the needs of higher learning institution in the fields of science and technology professions. These objectives are in line with the Malaysia National Education Blueprints 2013-2025 that aim to prepare young Malaysians for the challenges of the 21st century.

The Chemistry Unit of the Matriculation College (MC) in Malaysia has introduced and run a few academic programmes such as "Chemistry Excellent Class", "Consultation of Chemistry", and "Score Chemistry Workshop". Although the primary goal of these programmes is to produce the excellent students who will be evidenced in their chemistry results of Matriculation Programme Semester Exam, chemistry plays an important part in all of the other natural sciences, basic and applied. The rapid development in chemistry contributes towards vast development in various fields including medicine, engineering, biotechnology and agriculture. Chemistry is sometimes called a central science because it connects physics with other natural sciences such as geology and biology.

Current syllabus of chemistry in the One Year Science Programme in Matriculation College covers the basic principles of physical and organic chemistry. The syllabus (Physical & Organic Chemistry) is similar to the A-Level Syllabus and is used in two semesters or one year. Teaching and learning of chemistry currently conducted in Matriculation College intend to provide a platform for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, enriching mastery of concepts and application of theories in chemistry. Hence, The Matriculation science students can apply for the universities that require A-Level or equivalent level of subjects. …

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