CREATING A BEST PRACTICE OF THOUGHTFUL CHEMISTRY CLASSROOM
The search for best practice is a major concern of all education service providers. The general belief is these best practices can be emulated by other teachers. An earlier case study had been conducted on four Malaysian master teachers teaching the Revised Secondary Science Curriculum (RSSC), specifically the Physics, Biology and Chemistry subjects. RSSC advocated for thoughtful teaching and learning in the classroom. Subsequently the same study was repeated with three other Master Chemistry Teachers. Master teachers are experts instituted by the Ministry of Education Malaysia in the respective subject areas. It can be logically deduced that their teachings could qualify as best practice. The study is of the qualitative paradigm and exploratory in nature. Long term observations and interviews were the two main methods of data collection engaged in this study. The outcome of this study revealed that although the Chemistry master teachers demonstrated some similarities in their personal characteristics, played some similar roles in the classroom, used some similar instructional events in their classroom, each of them is still unique and each developed his/her own conception of thoughtful teaching. Idiosyncrasies existed in the implementation of a similar curriculum in the quest of developing a thoughtful classroom. Findings suggested that opportunities of communication between the curriculum planners and practicing teachers need to be provided. There is a need to establish relationship between teachers’ original ideas and the new ideas suggested by the intended curriculum. This also means that best practice cannot be emulated wholesale but served only as exemplars where ideas can be adopted and adapted.