I had just read few pages from Alan Bishop's bible about maths educ critical issues.
One of the words is '.. teacher learning'. I think it is good to write something here.
In regard to Malaysian Education System .. and by reflecting at my experience to have worked in JPNK Kelantan many years down the road ..
* not many teachers wanted to learn new things.
** what more if they have built big houses some where near their parents' graveyard, favorite mosques and nasi Kerabu hitam / Yati Ayam Percik stalls etc etc
what are they ?
1) common content knowledge
2) specialized content knowledge
3) knowledge of maths and students
4) knowledge of maths and teaching
Reference: Bishop, pg 56
Isn't that true my readers? In short , we lack the zeal in exploring new ideas. With the present culture which .. dictate somehow in our daily actions ..in between .. rezeki secupak tak akan jadi segantang ( Shukur Omar, 2008)..
we have very limited knowledge of our own subject contents .. but from observations we are richer in many sorts of unrelated experience as school teachers and many more.
When I was working with Tan Sri Dr Wan Zahid Mohd Nordin in the Mid 80's ..
every time we invited selected senior maths and science teachers for computer courses given by Sapura Holdings, IBM (Kuala Lumpur) and Neoh Foundation (Penang) to PSPN Pengkalan Chepa
what we got at the end of the day . we met new faces attending the courses LEVEL1, Level 2 and LEVEL 3. According to the world of teaching .. your learners remain the same. But unfortunately, I saw different faces at every stage. There was no continuity in our learning and teaching culture. From direct observation, a senior staff was willling to pay the expenses of a replacement .. as long as he/she was excused of attending the so called course(s). What a let down, that was!
As an Asian country , we are rich with many natural resources .. we could afford to buy new things like computers, cars, motorbikes .. but we lack the natural desire to learn, relearn and relearn as time demands.
Now in 2013 .. we saw the 'disaster'. Our children cannot compete so well with our next door neighbors Thailand and Singapore. In TIMMS 2011 report our children managed to settle for a position so far behind their counterparts in Singapore. In spite of billion of RM that we pour into the education system.. we missed so many things along the way. According to Dr Azian (Deputy Director , CDC, Kuala Lumpur) our children at 15+ aged missed again the international standard of reading , understanding maths and sciences and thinking skills as PISA 2011/12 measured. Our students got 400 plus marks while the average standard is 500. She put it nicely ... we are willing to catch the rest of them next time. He..he..
Today I read the Ministry of Education is introducing .. a special tool to check on the attitude and inner strength of would-be trainee teachers . I read with some feeling of '.. are they sure?'
Every time there is a problem in teacher learning .. we always start at the first point ..the entry point of the trainee teachers.
Why can't we check the senior teachers?
In my part of the country, the most common statements was .."they are k*firs. they got nothing else to do except reading the books, explore new things, writing journals, .. we as m_slims ..we are forced to do multitaskings. Who is going to fetch my children at school ? who is going to take care of my dying parents etc etc.. They are really good putting excuses after excuses .. for not doing many things related to teaching within 1 working day ..
Yes ..you are right .. we are in the most comfort zone.
Our nation can progress to higher achievements if .. the teachers and lecturers that we have .. do learn, teach, relearn, reteach, explore new areas, research, adopting new findings and many more .. especially in this era.
Technology is all around us. The students can take our teaching ..and the next minute or two .. our actions and probing them with all kinds of relevant questions, decision makings .. will be seen by many people all over the world. Technology is At their finger tips.
What to do?
Bishop ask ..us .. to learn more as teachers about our content. If we are a science teacher ..we must learn more. Taking masters degree and Ph.D are some interesting tasks for us to pursue if .. we haven't met that 'comfort area' yet/
The question is .. do you have the guts .. now, tomorrow and the day when you are about to retire to do learn and relearn without feeling out of place and out of time.
Try and use these questions '.. what would you do now? why chose to do that? what other choices are open for you ? etc etc.
Ask yourself , what would you do and why? what type of options would you chose and why? what inferences , if any, would you be prepared and make about a teacher who chose one option rather than others? what inferences would the child make about the teacher , about maths , about learning? what do any theories of learning offer in terms of judging the potential value of any particular options? pp 44 Bishop (1976)as cited in Bishop (2008) pg 57
To that . .. I conclude .. we must improve ourselves at many more levels today and tomorrow.
Forget about yesterday. We can't do anything that was gone. Now is something that we can do .. so let us do something more positive... for the name of God. Bismillah hi roh maneer raheem.
Wallahu aklam bis sawabbbb.
p/s: pardon me.
Bishop (2008). Critical issues in mathematics education. Clarkson Presmeg Eds. Springer.
Shukor Omar (2008). Malay Business. Kuala Lumpur: Pelanduk