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Context of science teaching and learning in Fiji primary schools: a comparative study of ethnic Fijian and Indo - Fijian communities

Dakuidreketi, Mesake R. (2006) Context of science teaching and learning in Fiji primary schools: a comparative study of ethnic Fijian and Indo - Fijian communities. The University of the South Pacific, Lautoka Campus, USP Lautoka Campus, Lautoka, Fiji. ISBN 9820108020 9789820108028

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Abstract

There is a general trend for Ethnic Fijian students to underachieve in science and science-related subjects as compared to Indo-Fijian students at school levels in Fiji. The trend creates feelings and thoughts amongst people that Ethnic Fijians are not academically as able other races in Fiji. The questions which may direct most people to ask are: Why are Ethnic Fijians not doing so well in science when compared to other races? Do they tend to find the subject difficult or do they tend simply not to find it pertinent or interesting? Either way, what are the reasons? Is their underachievement related to the teaching of the subject at school? Is it related to their cultural up-bringing? Do they have negative or positive perceptions of the value of schooling? If so, why do they have the perceptions they do? Can the situation be improved? If so, in what ways? The Book presents a research done to try and answer some of these questions. The Book is based on the author's PhD study at Canterbury Universioty in New Zealand. Primary level science in Fiji is the focus of this research - not only because it is where science is first taught but it was also chosen because it is the first point of contact between children from the respective cultural backgrounds with formal education per se. The author conducted an intensive study of both Ethnic Fijian and Indo-Fijian schools and communities in Fiji while gathering his data. He employs multiple observations both in the classrooms and the communities. He also used semi-structured interviews with students, parents and community members and analyse prescribed syllabi and selected policy documents. He also uses his own experience of being a student, a parent and a teacher in the Fijian Education system to reflect on the analysed data. He framed his study using Bronfenbrenner's ecological model to undrestand the role of home-school linkages and ecological transition and to promote a context-based approach for understanding human development. The ecological model he uses visualise the developing child as an egg situated in an ecological environment conceived as a set of nested structures of different layers with one placed within the next and ranging from micro to macro settings. In fact, the development of a child as he portrays it is influenced by the interconnection between these settings and the immediate settings of which the child (the egg) is a part. The findings shows that there are various other settings a part from the micro-setting of the classroom alone which influence the differential performance of the two ethnic groups in science at school. These settings constitute the child's direct and indirect experiences both at school and at home.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Education
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email mesake.rawaikela@usp.ac.fj
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2014 15:02
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2014 15:02
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/7100
UNSPECIFIED

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