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Constraints on primary school curriculum reform in a multi-cultural society :the West Malaysian experience

Abraham, Sheela Joycelyn.; (1989) Constraints on primary school curriculum reform in a multi-cultural society :the West Malaysian experience. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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The aim of this study is to assess the reactions of pupils, teachertrainees, serving teachers and society at large towards the innovatory aspects of the New Primary School Curriculum, which represents an almost revolutionary switch from the formal, didactic, cognitive mode of teaching and learning to a more informal, participating, all-round, affective mode. The two terms underlined, used in the 1979 Cabinet Report itself, are central to the analysis made in this thesis. Commencing with an analysis of the Malaysian problems within its socio-economic, cultural setting and the attendant political and educational policies, the study describes the solutions attempted between 1957 to 1980, before considering the formulation and adoption of the new curriculum in 1980. The psychological concept of affectivity and cognition indicators in education and Holmes' "problem-solving" method and "ideal-typical model" provide the conceptual framework for this study. His theory is that change can only be introduced smoothly if it is "synchronous" and in keeping with the prevalent mental states of a particular society. An "idealtypical model" of Malaysian society has been constructed based on elements common to all communities in West Malaysia, in an attempt to predict the reactions to educational change and innovations. To reinforce the above framework the theories of self-concept and perceptions are used to investigate the pupils' perceptions of their relationship with teachers and parents in respect of their achievements so illustrating their mental states. This investigation validates the "ideal-typical model" of West Malaysian society constructed. The questionnaire method 2 was employed. The Barker Lunn academic self-image scale was adapted to measure self-concept, and pupil perception of parent and teacher regard. The Bledsoe self-concept scale was used to test general self-concept. Pupils achievement scores from school examinations were also used. The second part of the field study deals with an assessment of the views of teachers who had attended in-service courses and teacher-trainees in the new curriculum. Here simple analytical methods such as mean, mode, frequencies, percentages and correlations have been used. The main findings of the thesisc'that the prevalent attitude in West Malaysia, particularly in education, is traditional, therefore curriculum changes introduced should subscribe to existing mental states. Changes introduced by the New Primary School Curriculum do not appear to do so being "asynchronous" to these mental states. Further, teacher education programmes have failed to prepare and equip both teachers and teacher trainees for the challenge. These findings are followed by comments on their relevance elsewhere and by suggestions on further investigations

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Constraints on primary school curriculum reform in a multi-cultural society :the West Malaysian experience
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=1&uin=uk.bl...
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London 1989..
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10019713
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