Cultural Influences in Inquiry-based Science Learning (IBSL) practices: Malaysia and Indonesia contexn

Lilia Halim, Murni Ramli, Nurfaradilla Mohamad Nasri


Scholars in science education around the world have actively encouraged science learning to be well-grounded in inquiry. Nonetheless, the feasibility and suitability of implementing inquiry in a new context should be carefully carried out. This is because local cultures have proven to significantly influence how inquiry is practiced in every country. This study aims to assess and understand the influence of Malaysian and Indonesian culture in science inquiry. 226 Malaysian science teachers and 42 Indonesian teachers were interviewed to obtain their views on cultural influences towards science inquiry. The findings of this study suggest that in Indonesia, the influence of culture on teachers’ practices of inquiry-based science learning (IBSL) is very weak compared to Malaysia. Indonesian students have the tendency to listen attentively in the classroom due to the respect for the authority. However, in Malaysia, various cultural factors lead to passive acts such as shyness, face-saving and the need to maintain social harmony. As a result, the nature of IBSL, which is to promote critical and active dialogue among students for knowledge discovery, is impeded. Nevertheless, teachers in both countries reported that they are very comfortable with deductive teaching approach as they can control the classroom. This study concludes by suggesting that to ensure smooth and effective implementation of IBSL, the adaptation process of ISBL should be done cautiously by taking into account the sensitivity of local culture.

Kata Kunci

inquiry-based science learning; culture; shyness; passiveness; face-saving

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