Current views of science educators in madrasahs in Singapore about science and other issues
Muhammad Faizal Othman
Subramaniam, R. (Ramanathan)
In Singapore, science teachers in Madrasahs work in an environment where Islamic principles are pronounced. The curriculum offers both Islamic and secular studies. One subject of its secular studies is science. The content of the science syllabus is primarily based on modern science. This research aims to document the current views of science educators in the Madrasahs about science, its connections with epistemology, religion, economy, environment, health, public policy, aesthetics and literacy. A total of 34 Madrasah science teachers, representing about 94% of the Madrasah science teacher population in Singapore, responded to two survey instruments for the purpose of this research. Results showed that science teachers in the Madrasahs are positive about science. Almost all teachers felt that science and Islam could be integrated, and that science should be taught in the classroom. The teachers were also comfortable in treating science as a domain which could be harmonised into their own culture. The study further indicated that science teachers in the Madrasahs feel that science is important, and that scientific research should be adequately funded by government. More than 90% of the respondents felt that a person can be both religious and scientific, that science has made contributions to public health, and that it has contributed to mankind’s appreciation of beauty. However most (91%) disagreed that science is more important than religion.