kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Teaching students to think

IT is clear from the various articles published in the media that many teachers, students and parents are baffled over the PT3 results which were released on Dec 22.

They should make an effort to learn something every day, always be inquisitive and experiment with ideas.

The Nerds ....

While many were left in the dark over several issues that arose due to its hasty implementation, it cannot be denied that our students need to work harder in order to compete on the global stage.

The PT3 exam placed emphasis on high-order thinking skills (HOTS) questions. All this while, our students have been trained to rote learn facts from textbooks and to regurgitate them during exams. HOTS questions encourage students to think “outside the box” and come up with their own answers.

This is indeed a welcome move, since before this our education system was very much exam-orientated.

However, many students were not given adequate time to get used to the new format, resulting in them being unable to answer some, if not most, of the questions in the PT3 exam.

Eventhough we can lodge complaints and demand changes to the current system, I strongly believe that students should find ways to adopt ingenuity.

According to Wikipedia, ingenuity is defined as “the quality of being clever, original, and inventive, often in the process of applying ideas to solve problems or meet challenges”.

Students with ingenuity strive to try various methods, even unconventional ones, to achieve a certain objective.

They will dare to ask questions not normally asked, go to where their curiosity takes them and be relentless in the pursuit for valid and satisfactory solutions.

Sadly, ingenuity is one of the values many of our students lack, which may make or break them when they go up against others at the international level.

The unfortunate state of our education system leaves much to be desired. For years this system has been churning out students who “think inside the box” and give answers based on textbooks alone during exams.

Most of our students do not go beyond acquiring knowledge beyond the textbook, for fear of their answers being deemed “irrelevant”.

Therefore, it is high time that we teach our students to adopt ingenuity for the better.

As the saying goes, Rome was not built in one day. Teaching our students to think with ingenuity in mind will not happen overnight.

Steps must be taken to train teachers to come up with lesson plans and equip them with the latest tools to help students adopt this ingenuity. Students too should be given more opportunities to work on interesting assignments and learn to express themselves, doing the necessary research and presenting their findings in a comprehensive manner.

This will not only lead to well-rounded individuals, but also prepare our students to stand confidently in this ever-changing world.

Even if changes towards a better education system do not come into fruition any time soon, I urge students to start with themselves.

They should make an effort to learn something every day, always be inquisitive and experiment with ideas.

They should not be afraid to explore and discover things by themselves and in the process open new doors and learn even more.

Reading, surfing the Web and hands-on application are just some of the many ways students can learn by themselves outside the classroom.

In a nutshell, we need to shift our focus from simply memorising facts to applying these facts to our advantage with ingenuity.

The opinions and interests of every student and stakeholder must be taken into account if we are to cultivate this mindset.

If we succeed in producing more students who can think ingeniously, it is hoped that they will in turn be able to give back to society and contribute to our country, so that it becomes a high-income nation by 2020.

Tags: assessment, exam, pentaksiran

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