i-Think Programme Motivates Teachers And Students In Sabah

KOTA KINABALU:  — When you walk onto the premises of Sekolah Menengah Kota Marudu in Sabah, you will be pleasantly surprised by a palpable sense of enthusiasm that starts in the office of the principal and is carried through to the staffroom and classrooms.

The source of the excitement is a new methodology for teaching and learning that centres around eight thinking processes, each represented by a thinking map, aimed at facilitating an innovation culture in primary and secondary school students.

The new methodology, dubbed i-THINK, was introduced to 10 Malaysian schools in January 2012 as part of a pilot programme initiated by the Education Ministry and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia.

It is aimed at inculcating thinking skills in students. Since its introduction, the feedback from parents, teachers and students alike has been very positive.

In the nine months since it was introduced to SMK Kota Marudu, it has changed the way students think about their lessons.

They are now more eager to come to school because the new methodology is more student-centric and encourages them to participate in classroom activities and become more involved in the learning process.

The project demonstrates how human talent can be instilled in Malaysian students through the development of thinking skills. Students will need to learn and develop these skills as well as learn how to become self-directed, independent and interdependent.

This will require a shift from a teacher-centred to a student-centred classroom.

No one is more excited about i-THINK than the school’s principal, Setia binti Ken, 47.

“It’s a really good thing. Having applied the maps in my science class, I can personally vouch for them,” said Setia, who teaches science to a Form Four class at the school.

She added that it has become so popular with the students that they not only use it for their lessons but also for their co-curricular activities.

“Many of the teachers have said they like the maps and they have become comfortable using them in their lessons. They see the benefit because they can see how good the maps are, as opposed to the traditional teacher-centric method of talk and chalk,” Setia told Bernama recently.

“Before we applied the thinking maps, students would just listen or read the text but didn’t know how to extract the information that was relevant. With the i-THINK programme, the maps allow them to visually depict the important information, making it easier for them to learn, remember, analyse and present it,” she said.

Setia added that the introduction of the i-THINK methodology is a positive step for education in Malaysia. “The thinking maps are extremely beneficial to both students and teachers. There is no problem implementing them as we can use the materials and resources we already have,” she said.

She has noted a great difference in the morale of students since the thinking maps were introduced in classrooms. “The weak or unmotivated students are not idle anymore as they have a chance to participate in finding the information to fill up their maps. I see them enjoying themselves in class now,” she commented.

She said the full impact of the maps would only be seen in the long-term and she is confident that in time to come, there will be statistics on attendance and academic results to prove their effectiveness.

by Mikhail Raj Abdullah.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=703840

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