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8 SEPTEMBER 2016 @ 11:12 AM

I AGREE with R. Mani Maran on “Varsity lecturers with PhD still need training”. (NST, Sept 5).

The PhD is an examination degree that gets insightful individuals to excel in a specific subject area.

It isn’t especially appealing to individuals with profound pedagogical interests.

A good teacher must be experienced and committed.


Individuals with profound exploration interests do not have a tendency for instructing students in the nuts and bolts of their fields of study.

One cannot be a good educator without years of experience and deep commitment to the practice and students.

While those with PhDs can be excellent teachers, a PhD doesn’t make one an expert on all subject matters.

Even a master’s degree doesn’t necessarily make for a better teacher. Teaching is both an art and a science.

Mastering subjects falls under science. But the art lies in relating to students, making them feel valued and knowing how to inspire them without indulging them.

You can teach the theory behind those “soft skills”, but the practice of it can only be learnt on the job.

Anyway, it isn’t a head full of theories that makes a good teacher.

It is the ability to relate learning to the student’s own world and that does not require multiple degrees.

It needs an everyday understanding about what makes students tick.

PhD teachers, too, without exception, seem unable to bring their high knowledge down to the level where it was relevant and understood by students.

Maybe it is due to their high esteem.

Malaysian educators who are in DG (Darjat Guru) grades are different from the university lecturers DS (Darjat Syarahan), polytechnic lecturers DH (Darjat Higher Education) and UiTM lecturers DM (Darjat Mengajar).

The darjat that educators are holding tells what they should do and who they are. Darjat Guru is “to teach”, Darjat Syarahan is “to lecture” and so on.

But, yet, the senior generation of DG teachers is taught in universities by DS, though some were from maktab perguruan.

Thus, it suits more for the postgraduates to help out more in research and development by producing papers of research interest locally and abroad.


AZIZI AHMAD,  Kuala Lumpur NST News Opinion You Write September 8, 2016




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The original posting dated September 5, 2016

Dear Editor,
I am with R.Mani Maran on “Varsity lecturers with PhD still need training”. (NST, Sep 5).
The PhD is an examination degree that gets ready insightful individuals to create ability in a specific particular subject area.
It isn't especially appealing to individuals with profound pedagogical interests, and individuals with profound exploration interests don't have a tendency to be as profoundly intrigued by instructing the nuts and bolts of their fields of study.
You can't be a good educator teacher without years of experience and deep commitment to the practice and the students. 
A PhD directs you elsewhere, and while PhDs can be excellent teachers, the degree itself isn't the primary reason why. A PhD also doesn’t make you an expert or subject matter expert on all subject matters.
Even a Master's degree doesn't necessarily make for a better teacher. However, secondary teachers in particular, should master their subject area, at a minimum level that expertise only has to exceed that of one's students.
Teaching is both an art and a science. Mastering subject falls under the science. But the art lies in relating to students, making them feel valued, knowing how to inspire them without indulging them. etc. You can teach the theory behind those "soft skills" so to speak, but the practice of it can only really be learned on the job.
Anyway, it isn't a head full of theory that makes a good teacher. It is the ability to relate learning to the student's own world and that does not need multiple degrees. It needs an everyday understand about what makes kids tick.
Ph.D teachers too, without exception, seem unable to bring their high knowledge down to the level where it was relevant and understood by kids. Maybe due to the high esteem they own.
Malaysian educators who are in DG(Darjat Guru)  grades are different from the University lecturers DS (Darjat Syarahan), Politechnic lecturers DH (Darjat Higher Education), and UiTM lecturers DM (Darjat Mengajar). The ‘darjat’ that educators are holding tells what they should do and who they are.
Darjat Guru is ‘to teach’, Darjat Syarahan is ‘to lecture’ and so on. But yet, the senior generations of DG teachers are taught in universities by the DS, though some were from original ‘maktab perguruan’ (now IPG).  Thus, it suits more for the PhD’s to help out more in the Research and Development (R&D) by producing papers of research interest locally and abroad.

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