History lessons need creativity, say dons

KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers must be retrained in the latest method of teaching History in the classroom before making it a must-pass subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination.For one, there is a need to make History a fun subject for students, historian Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Hashim said.

A suggestion is for teachers to take their students to visit historical sites and combine class work with fieldwork to broaden their horizons.
“We are currently lacking in this area,” Yusof said yesterday.

While it is fine for History to be made a compulsory must-pass subject for SPM, Yusof yesterday urged teachers to be more creative.

“There should be discussions on why it is important to know about people and what and how they have contributed to the nation.”
Yusof was commenting on a recent announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that History would be made a must-pass subject in SPM by 2013, and a core subject in primary schools from 2014.

Universiti Malaya Literature and Social Sciences Faculty’s history department senior research fellow Professor Emeritus Ahmat Adam yesterday said History must be presented to students based on truth and facts, and not propaganda elements.

“It is propaganda if the same old stories are repeated. We must improve how History is taught and learnt.”
He said this after the National History of Malaysia seminar at Universiti Sains Malaysia in George Town.

Asked what he meant by “propaganda”, Ahmat said an example is how non-Malay citizens of the country are referred to as “immigrants” by insensitive people.

He believes History is the key to nation-building.

“Introducing the subject at primary school level and making it a must-pass SPM paper should had been done long ago,” he added.

Read more @ http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/6gia/Article

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