PASSION FOR VOCATION: They will present papers at an international conference on their experiences
SHAH ALAM: IF you think that Malaysian teachers are not as creative nor passionate about teaching as their peers in other countries, then think again.
For the teachers presenting papers at the "International Education Conference on Innovative and Creative Learning and Teaching" tomorrow, teaching is not only a passion, it is an art.
"I found that by asking students to assume the personalities of historical personalities and leaders, they can retain information better.
"For example, a student can assume that he is Alexander the Great and write about the personality by getting into the character.
"This means they will experience his story and remember better," said History teacher R. Muhuntan, 44, from SMK (P) Kapar, whose paper is entitled My autobiography in teaching History.
Muhuntan said this technique helped students, especially the weaker ones, because those in Form Four and Form Five had to learn about 487 historical leaders.
"Usually, students these days do not recognise nor appreciate the good virtues of leaders. By doing this, they will know their leaders and their contributions."
English teacher Rachel Sharmala Koruthu, 45, from SMK Rawang, uses "cariterature" (caricature and literature) to help her students memorise literature characters.
"Weaker class students are not interested in reading novels.
"In the Klang Valley, the literature novel used is Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine and there are six other stories in the novel.
"I realised that the students got confused and mixed up the characters as there are many characters in each story. I make use of their love for cartoons to teach."
Sharmala said students would be asked to come up with their own cartoons and dialogues, but the theme stayed the same.
"This way, instead of long, lengthy words, they will only look at cartoons.
"I hope that this will encourage them to start reading, learn vocabulary and help them answer essay questions."
Special Education Bahasa Malaysia teacher Nor Aishah Tarim, 37, from SK Teluk Panglima Garang, found a way to teach students with learning problems, including the slow learners and hyperactive students, to read and write faster.
"My paper is on creative reading skills. I teach students to read, not using the traditional method of spelling, but by using syllables."
Nor Aishah said she gave students clues and pictures to help them guess what a syllable sounds like.
"My objective is to make sure they can master the 2Rs (reading and writing). I want them to really be able to read and write.
"My main problem is to get them to focus in class but we cannot give up."
Moral Education teacher The Yok Yew, 33, from SMK Taman Klang Utama, found a method to make sure her students got at least a passing mark in that subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.
Her research showed that weak students who mastered the definition of at least four moral values in the subject could pass the paper.
"There are 36 moral values that have to be memorised but these four values -- rationale, responsibility, loving family and protecting the environment -- are more important than the others.
The conference, to be held tomorrow and on Saturday here, is co-organised by the Selangor Education Department and Taylor's University.
MAZLINA MAHMOOD | email@example.com New Straits Times General 27 June 2013