Salam

*I dedicate this small writing to my students who are doing their masters and those who are finishing their PhD thesis writings. No other intention other than to get the real blessings from the Al-Mighty Allah.*

*This is on a chapter called 'Discussion'.*

This is the fifth chapter in your PhD thesis. It came after
your findings and methodology chapters earlier on.

Some students find it a big problem to discuss their work
with relation to previous researchers’ work.
Herewith I enclosed few tips to get them started. If you are drafting a chapter on discussion - i think this is OK. Remember you must show the end product to your supervisor. Nobody could write this chapter at a single attempt which is perfectly correct and accepted! So don't worry please.

Use 4 W and 1 H as a guide/ strategy. For examples?

The first ‘W’

**what**have you found out so far?
There must be something that have came out from your
experiments, surveys and programming work.
State them down here fast.

So what? Is it good/
bad?

The second ‘W’ is

**why is that so?**
Why do you think your findings is so and so. You can just put .. because (the reasons) here. First reason is because the Malaysian
students at large is weak in mathematics especially algebra. Evidence:
your data/ your findngs/ then try
to relate to your literature review.
This is parallel to TIMMS findings in 2003/2007 that stated that
Malaysians did not spend enough time on word problem exercises throughout
primary schools and lower secondary.
This could be attributed to weaker cohort of trainee teachers in
mathematics in most teaching colleges and institutions (Marzita Puteh, 2003).

Elaborate more here.

The third ‘

**W’ is when. This is closely related to time, time period**etc etc. Some sentences could help you here.
Many teachers were found to rush with their mathematics
syllabus especially at the end of the academic year. We have found out that many teachers were
very eager to start their teaching with number manipulations at the beginning
of the year. Then they moved to
factorization and simplification in the middle of the year. Since Malaysia is a multicultural and
multireligious country, we celebrated many kinds of celebrations like Hari
Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas. Plus Agong’s birthday and Independence
Day. When celebrations are too many
therefore the students enjoyed many holidays and this is shared with their
teachers. Some idea were just at the preliminary stage of its development before
the big holiday and celebrations and this idea must be given some time to
develop among the students. This cycle
of development could be disturbed if there are so many kind of holidays between
each cycle. So at the end of the year,
many teachers continued with harder syllabus of mathematics at a very fast pace
when the students are still struggling with the earlier kinds of theories,
concepts and theorems. Finally the
students suffered during the major exams.
When they entered polytechnics,
universities the students came with many unsolved theories, concepts , theorems
and weaker understandings. Their
application of mathematics is weak when the fundamentals were not properly
nurtured at their primary and secondary schools. That explain why Malaysians lag behind from the
counterparts from Singapore and Hong Kong in the field of mathematics ( 14+,
TIMMS, 2003 & 2007).

The fourth ‘

**W’ is where. This is related to a place/ location**. I have mentioned primary and secondary schools in the earlier paragraphs. What is still missing is the place. Just attach Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis, Serawak and Sabah as the supporting documents. You can elaborate further with your results. For example .you may write this “.. these states did not use English as the main communicational tool in their daily lives. As such ..many mathematical ideas by the teachers in English was not properly understood by many students in Kelantan. Proofs! See the work by Mohd Sazali et al (2010) in a polytechnic in Kelantan. Mohd Sazali et al documented this weakness as the major contributing factor towards poor understanding and application of engineering mathematics once the gradutes enterd MTUN universities in Malaysia”. Why is this so? Since 2003 many ministers think that English can help our students to be better salesmen in international business and dealings. Evidence? Mahathir (2011) page so and so.
Finally we come to the final “

**H” that is the how mechanism**.
You may suggest few important steps to solve the above
weaknesses in mathematics among the students.
For a start , please start your discussion with 2 steps only.

Once your confidence is properly built along the way, you
can change that number 2 to 3,4,5 and so on.
Don’t worry.

You can write like this.
In my opinion, the polytechnic administration would be advised to admit
only those who took additional mathematics in the Cambridge Examination GCE ‘O’
Levels as the first qualification in entering engineering programmes. Explain the why here? This can help to expedite many teaching chores
in mathematics classrooms.

Second suggestion is the polytechnics can drop English as
the medium of instruction in mathematics classrooms. You can elaborate this point. By taking mathematics in malay , this solve
many worries among the lecturers whose age is 30 – 50 who had taken mathematics
in malay language in their education systems throughout their lives. By doing so, they can focus more on the
theories and application of mathematics in malay rather than trying to interpret
English to malay and then mathematics jargon and technical engineering. Reference:
Essien in South Africa 2007.

I think I better stop there.
The rest I let you enjoy writing out your discussion
chapter. Good luck guys!

by: Sazali Khalid BSc (Leeds), M Computers in Edu (Birmingham),
PhD ( Batu Pahat)

References:

International Conference on Mathematics Education Research 2010
(ICMER 2010)

**The Effect of Using an Interactive Multimedia Courseware within a Collaborative Learning Environment on the Learning of Pre-Algebra Concepts among Pre-University Engineering Students**

Procedia- Social & Behavioral Sciences - Volume 8, 2010,
pg 571-579 ELSEVIER

Marzita Puteh (2003) Factors associated with mathematics anxiety. ISBN 983-2620-09-0 Tanjung Malim: UPSI Press

Mahathir Muhammad (2011). Doctor in the House. Kuala Lumpur: Popular BHP

so useful!thank you,Dr!

terbaek boss! tqvm! :-)