Archive for April, 2010

Constructing knowledge

Friday, April 30th, 2010

When designing learning, the nature of the learning objective will largely determine the approach you use.

Teaching and learning models that are effective in meeting these types of learning objective are often referred to as ’social models’.

These sequences include models that require learners to work collaboratively, sometimes learning from each other and the teacher providing scaffolded support to address misconceptions, acting in both teaching and facilitation modes.

Models include:

  • constructivism;
  • group problem solving;
  • role-play;
  • dialogic teaching.

Developers in this area include Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey and Shaftel.

A constructivist approach can challenge and address misconceptions. Learners are asked to make explicit their thinking about a particular notion or idea. This will often reveal a range of ideas. Learners are then challenged to consider what would happen in a particular circumstance for each of the ideas. Following this learners are asked to rethink their ideas in light of what actually happens.

Read more @ http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/97271?uc=force_uj

Developing concepts

Friday, April 30th, 2010

When designing learning, the nature of the learning objective will largely determine the approach you use.

The teaching and learning models that are effective in meeting these types of learning objective are often called ‘cognitive‘, but are also referred to as ‘information processing’.

Cognitive approaches are tightly structured sequences and include models that require learners to think and reason in specific ways. By engaging in these sequences learners also develop their thinking and learning skills.

Models include:

  • inductive;
  • enquiry;
  • concept attainment;
  • visualisation;
  • using metaphor.

The impact of these models is increased when due attention is given to the inclusion of plenaries that require learners to reflect on their reasoning, how it has helped them solve problems and in which other situations they might use these types of reasoning.

Developers in this area include Taba, Joyce, Bruner, Schwabb and Ausubel.

Inductive teaching, also referred to as classifying, is a means of helping learners to solve problems. Learners are presented with an array of data and asked to sort and classify it, so generating a hypothesis or rule. For example, when provided with a number of words containing ‘i’ and ‘e’, they may hypothesis that there appears to be a spelling rule ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. This can be further tested by examining new words to see whether they fit the pattern. The process requires learners to think inductively by generating and testing the hypothesis.

Enquiry requires learners to set and test hypotheses. An observation of an event may require learners to speculate and hypothesis about possible causes and then to gather evidence to test the hypothesis. This requires learners to think deductively.

Read more @ http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/97679?uc=force_uj

‘Success depends on teachers’

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

JOHOR BARU: It is the leadership quality and creativity of its teachers more than physical infrastructure that will determine the success of a school in educating the young ones.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said such achievement by schools is given due recognition by according them with the status of “cluster school” and “high performance school”.

“The Education Ministry can provide infrastructure, such as beautiful buildings, but without teachers who are dedicated and creative in educating our children, it is of no use,” he said when launching the golden jubilee celebration of SMK Sultan Ismail here yesterday.

Citing the school as an example, Muhyiddin said the cluster school continues to be known for academic and co-curricular achievements after 50 years due to good leadership from its teaching staff.

“This school was awarded a cluster school status in 2008. And the principal says it is now nominated for a high performance school status. This achievement could be enjoyed by other schools, too.”

Muhyiddin, who is education minister, said certain criteria needed to be met for a school to be awarded high performance status, among them academic and co-curricular successes, and having various activities that spur creativity and a culture of excellence.

He said having high performance schools would ensure that Malaysian schools’ quality were on par with established institutions at a global level.

“Even if there were 20 high performance schools now, it could be increased to 30 next year and probably 100 in years to come.”

He said the level of creativity in school activities could be improved as it was still at a moderate level.

“That is why we created the School Improvement Programme, in which every school is given an improvement tool kit and given a period to alleviate itself to a higher level of success.”

Muhyiddin said the autonomy should not be limited to school administration alone, as principals and headmasters could be more creative in improving students’ performance.

For example, Muhyiddin said subjects which saw weak performance should be given more class hours.

by Ahmad Fairuz Othman and Syed Umar Ariff.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/6dpmld2/Article/index_html

Kaji Pendidikan Moral?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) ingin merujuk kepada Surat Pembaca “Yung Siew Fong, Kajang, Selangor” dalam ruangan Surat Kepada Pengarang (Utusan Malaysia bertarikh 24 April 2010 – Kaji Pendidikan Moral?

Pendidikan Moral merupakan mata pelajaran teras untuk murid bukan Islam mengikut Akta Pendidikan 1996 (Akta 550). Mata pelajaran Pendidikan Moral yang diperkenalkan kepada murid-murid bukan Islam di peringkat sekolah rendah dan menengah bertujuan untuk membentuk insan yang berakhlak mulia, bertanggungjawab dan boleh menyumbang ke arah keharmonian dan kestabilan negara serta masyarakat global.

Dalam sesi pengajaran dan pembelajaran Pendidikan Moral KBSR dan KBSM yang sedia ada, isu-isu sosial dibincangkan oleh guru yang mengajar mata pelajaran ini. Antara isu sosial yang dibincangkan adalah seperti pencegahan dadah, anti-rokok, vandalisme, gengsterisme/kongsi gelap, penderaan, bahan media berunsur lucah (pornografi), gangguan seksual, lumba haram, pergaulan bebas, seks luar nikah/pelacuran, pencegahan HIV/AIDS, salah laku penggunaan ICT dan gejala sosial/jenayah semasa.

Melalui isu-isu di atas, murid-murid didedahkan tentang masalah, kesan dan akibat serta undang-undang yang berkaitan dengannya. 24 nilai murni dalam Pendidikan Moral di peringkat KBSR dan 36 nilai murni dalam Pendidikan Moral di peringkat KBSM yang berkaitan dengan isu-isu tersebut diajar berulang kali agar mereka lebih memahami dan menghayati kesan dan akibat sekiranya terlibat dengan isu-isu tersebut. Isu-isu ini dibincang bagi memberi kefahaman dan kesedaran kepada murid agar mereka menghindarkan diri daripada terlibat dengan gejala tersebut. Menerusi pembelajaran Pendidikan Moral diharap dapat membentuk jati diri murid yang kental dan menjadi warga negara Malaysia yang berakhlak mulia.

Unit Komunikasi Korporat
Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia.

Govt committed to road safety education

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

THE Road Safety Department would like to thank the writer CAT from Klang, “Road safety education is important” (The Star, April 21) and Disillusioned Citizen from Subang Jaya “Buck up on road safety education” (The Star, April 22) for their feedback and shared concern about the current status of road safety education in schools.

Road safety was first introduced into the school syllabus in 2007 as part of a pilot project and taught for one period a week to Year 1 students through the Bahasa Malaysia subject where elements of road safety were incorporated in the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia. This means that children were taught road safety while learning to read and write.

The success of the pilot project prompted the Government to implement Road Safety Education for Year 1 students nationwide in 2008. As of 2009, the programme has already been taught to all Year 1, Year 2 and Year 4 students in government and vernacular schools through the collaborative effort of the Education and Transport Ministries.

The Road Safety Department has already printed the educational material for Road Safety Education in schools for the primary level from Year 1 to Year 6. There is currently some delay in the training of school teachers for Year 3, 5 and 6 which we still hope to commence by May to allow implementation of road safety education for Year 3, 5 and 6 to commence upon completion of the training programme for teachers.

The Government is very committed to this programme and will see it through as it realises the importance of such education in shaping and moulding the minds of our younger generation to create and nurture a first world road safety mindset within our society.

by Datuk Suret Singh,

Director General, Road Safety Department.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/4/28/focus/6142106&sec=focus

Acquiring and learning skills

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

When designing learning, the nature of the learning objective will largely determine the approach you use.

The teaching and learning models that are effective in meeting these types of learning objectives are referred to as ‘behaviourist’. These models require learners to behave or respond in a particular way through a stimulus-response interaction together with associated feedback on progress.

Teaching and learning models include:

  • direct interactive teaching;
  • modelling;
  • demonstration;
  • reading and writing sequences;
  • mastery learning;
  • simulation.

The impact of these models is increased when attention is given to the inclusion of plenaries that require learners to reflect on how well they have acquired their new learning and what more they need to do to improve.

There are many developers in this area, including Skinner, Good, Brophy, Bloom and Smith.

Direct teaching is whole-class teaching characterised by a stimulus-response approach. The teacher draws learners in, actively engaging them through a variety of techniques such as questioning, explaining and organising group work. There will often be a starter then plenaries at appropriate points to clarify learning.

Modelling is effective in teaching new skills or procedures, for example how to construct a paragraph, evaluate a painting or draw a conclusion from evidence. Not only will the teacher demonstrate the procedure, but will also talk through their thinking, so making explicit the decisions that have to be made at each stage.

Demonstration is an approach used to illustrate an event or procedure. It is often used to stimulate thinking, particularly in the teaching of science.

Read more @ http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/97631?uc=force_uj

Selecting a teaching and learning model

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

A number of teaching methodologies have been developed as a direct consequence of theories about learning. They are often referred to as teaching and learning models. Each one can be expressed as a tightly structured sequence that is designed to elicit and develop a specific type of thinking or response.

The choice of the appropriate model (or combination of models) will be determined by the learning objective as well as the nature of the learner. A strong body of research and practice suggests that learners’ attainment can be enhanced by the consistent use of specific models.

For example, where pupils learn models for memorising information and how to understand concepts, and invent their own, they gain the skills to build hypotheses and theories and use the tools of science to test them; to extract information and ideas from lectures and presentations; to study social issues and analyse their own social values to profit from training (and learn how to train themselves); to make their writing and problem solving more lucid and creative and, perhaps most importantly, to take initiative in planning personal study and working with others to initiate and carry out cooperative tasks.

Types of learning objective

  • Acquiring and learning skills, procedures and academic knowledge
  • Developing and acquiring concepts, reasoning, processing information and thinking creatively
  • Constructing knowledge, addressing misconceptions, solving problems and reasoning empathetically

Read more @ http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/97753?uc=force_uj

There goes teachers’ off days on Saturdays

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

THE Government’s decision to implement five working days in a week was well received by civil servants in the country. The ultimate aim was to forge a closer family relationship in line with the Government’s initiative of creating a caring society.

The Public Service Department issued a circular on July 1, 2005 to all the ministries under its jurisdiction on this and teachers, who are part and parcel of the civil service, were also covered by it.

However, the Education director-general (D-G) in another circular dated July 20, 2005, appealed to teachers to carry out activities on Saturdays on a voluntary basis. This was done after taking into consideration programmes that had already been planned at the beginning of the year and also other mitigating factors. Teachers followed the appeal whole- heartedly, thinking that it was only a short-term hiccup.

However, this was not the case. Teachers are now being called on to carry out activities nearly every Saturday without fail, citing the D-G’s directive. The incredulous argument is that the NUTP has given its blessing and so teachers have no excuse, but to follow.

The introduction of j-QAF teachers in primary schools has created an additional burden to classroom teachers. The j-QAF teachers have to carry out a programme called Kem Bestari Solat four times in a year on a Saturday for each standard. If there are six, then the programme has to be carried out 24 Saturdays a year. The task is not only handled by the j-QAF teachers but normal classroom teachers are also compelled to help out.

Teachers have also to be in school on the second and fourth Saturdays to assist in co-curricular activities. They have got to attend in-service training at least seven times in a year, usually held on Saturdays.

In addition, teachers are expected to be in school on Saturdays on Sports Day, Prize Giving Day, PTA AGM and for other activities. In a nut shell, teachers have to sacrifice all their Saturdays because of some overzealous principals and, district and state education officials.

But the irony is that these officers have their Saturdays off with their families. The school principals get their Saturday breaks too.

Women make up a large percentage of teachers in schools. Most are young and have just started their own families. They have children and their salaries aren’t enough to hire maids. They rely on baby-sitters or nurseries.

We have strong faith and high hopes that this matter will be resolved soon.

by Teachers Rights, Klang.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/4/27/focus/6135170&sec=focus

ePKhas for special education teachers

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

PENANG (Bernama): Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has introduced the first open-access online multimedia learning objects repository to support the teaching and learning processes of students with special needs in Malaysia.

Known as “ePKhas”, the project was designed by USM’s researcher Asso Prof Dr Lee Lay Wah from the School of Educational Studies, specifically to provide a platform and a collaborative network among teachers, especially those in the field of special education, to seek and find multimedia sources to be used for their teaching methods.

“ePKhas will function as a teaching aid for the special education teachers in the teaching and learning processes of children with Down Syndrome and autism,” she told reporters today.

She said ePKhas contained dynamic teaching sources which were relevant to the local culture and could be modified according to the students’ needs.

“Among the teaching sources available in the ePKhas were lesson plans to enable the students to identify the alphabets, spell the words and read a short article using visual graphic, animation, interactive multimedia, images and work sheets according to their level of capacity,” she said.

Lee said these teaching sources could be accessed and downloaded by registered individuals for free.

“Teachers, parents or individuals who would like to use this application need only register as a member at http://epkhas.ses.usm.my,” she said.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/4/27/nation/20100427180641&sec=nation

Schedule makes it difficult.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Physical and Health Education is a compulsory subject all primary and secondary schools. The Physical Education Curriculum has been prepared to fulfill the growth and developmental needs of the individual in order to achieve an active, peaceful and productive society. The Health Education Curriculum has been prepared to fulfill the growth and developmental needs the individual who will be a member of a society that practice a healthy lifestyle.

Allocation of time given for teaching and learning are as follows:

1.         Primary school for Standard 1, 2 and 3 – 2 periods per week x 30 min. per period for Physical Education and 1 period per week x 30 min per period for Health Education.
2.         Primary school for Standard 4, 5 and 6 – 2 period per week x 30 min per period (Shared with Health Education).
3.         Secondary school for Form 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – 2 periods per week x 40 min per period (Shared with Health Education).

The curriculum for Physical Education is divided into three main components namely Fitness, Skill and Sportsmanship. By the end of this programme, pupils should be able to put into practice the knowledge, skills and experiences they have acquired in Physical Education so as to make fitness a part of the Malaysian culture. The knowledge and practices in Physical Education help pupils mould their personalities and attitude in preparation to face future challenges.

The curriculum for Health Education is divided into three main components namely Personal and Family Health, Health Lifestyle and Environmental Cleanliness and Safety. Pupils should understand and practice the knowledge, skills and experience gained in Health Education so as to lead a healthy lifestyle. Pupils are trained to be prepared to adapt to the challenges of social and environmental changes.

Evaluation in Physical and Health Education is planned and carried out by the teachers at school level whereby evaluation instruments are developed by them. Evaluation is carried out through observation as well as in written and oral form. The evaluation result are used for follow-up activities to enhance pupils’ learning and improve teachers’ teaching. Reports which are school-based provide feedback to the pupils, parents and other teachers.

The Physical and Health Education curriculum comprises three important aspect, namely:

i.          Pupils active participation
ii.         Creative and constructive interaction
iii.        Keeping of record of pupils’ activities as evidence that learning has taken place.

Physical and Health Education is being taught in the school timetable whereas sports and games activities are carried out after school as extra-curricular activities. Extra-curricular activities come under the jurisdiction of The Schools Management Division (BPSH) and Sport, Arts and Co-curriculum Division (BSSK) of the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) appreciates the writer’s feedback in “Schedule makes it difficult” by Concerned Parents – New Straits Times, 11 April 2010, page 20.

Corporate Communication Unit,
Ministry of Education Malaysia.