THE letter under the heading “Need for kids to think on their own” (StarEducate, Aug 7) is truly reflective of Malaysian pupils these days.
I teach in a primary school and experience similar situations when it comes to writing.
In the letter, the writer said that schoolchildren are not trained enough to think on their own when it comes to writing assignments.
It stems from the fact that they are more often than not, spoonfed with pictures and guided words.
My method of teaching is to use mind-maps in class. I try to get pupils to brainstorm and pen down their thoughts before they begin their writing task. I usually give pupils about 15 minutes to put their ideas together.
During the brainstorming session, I am bombarded with so many questions. I sometimes wonder if my instructions have been unclear, or if I need to further simplify my instructions.
Although they are reminded to jot down their thoughts so that we can have a discussion in class, the pupils don’t.
In the end, I guide them to complete their writing assisgnment. By doing so, it becomes a guided writing composition. It is the same for other activities too.
Students tend to be very dependent on their teachers when working on projects.
I have done scrap books with my students, giving them clear written instructions and the resources that they can use to complete their scrap book.
However at the end of it all, nothing much is done.
Most students have a tendency to print and paste information from the Internet into their scrap books.
They don’t research for information from encyclopaedias or reference books from the library. My hope is for children to be more independent. They must take the initiative to work harder for it will be to their advantage in the long run. Anuradha Chelliah Banting, Selangor The STAR Letters August 28, 2016