Teacher Perceptions of Inquiry and STEM Education in Bangladesh
AuthorShahidullah, Kazi K.
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This dissertation reports lower secondary science teachers perceptions of current practice in Dhaka, Bangladesh concerning inquiry and STEM Education in order to establish a baseline of data for reform of science education in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been trying to incorporate inquiry-based science curricula since the 1970s. Over time, the science curricula also aligned with different international science education movements such as Science for All, Scientific Literacy, Science, Technology, and Society. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is the most recent science education movement in international science education. This study explored current practices and perceptions of lower secondary science teachers in order to establish a baseline of current practice so that future reform recommendations may be pursued and recommendations made for Bangladesh to overcome the inquiry-based challenges and to incorporate new STEM-based science education trends happening in the US and throughout the world. The study explored science teachers perceptions and readiness to transform their science classrooms based on self-reported survey. The survey utilized Likert-type scale with range 1 (very strongly disagree) to 6 (very strongly agree) among four hundred lower secondary science teachers, teacher training college faculty, and university faculty. The data is presented in four different categories: curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development. Results indicated that the participants understand and practice a certain level of inquiry in their science classrooms, though they do not have adequate professional development. Participants also stated that they do not have sufficient instructional materials and the curriculum is not articulated enough to support inquiry. On the other hand, the participants reported that they understand and practice a certain degree of inquiry and STEM-based science education, but they also state that the current curriculum and instructional materials are not sufficient to practice inquiry nor to integrate more than one or two disciplines with science as is required in STEM integrated teaching. Finally, this study recommends a framework for science education reform for Bangladesh based upon a combination of successful international science education reformation practices.