Friday, July 10, 2009

PPSMI -- 20 questions on the UPSI study on the teaching of Maths and Science in English


Below is a Bahasa Melayu version of the UPSI (Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris) study on the teaching of science and mathematics in English.

Think of the following questions as you read the summary. I invite comments as well.


1. Who sponsored the research?

2. What methodology is used?

3. What is the nature of the sampling strategy?

4. How is the data triangulated to check for validity and reliability?

5. What are the strategies of data gathering used?

6. How complex is the analysis, given that the questions are simple (the questions asked are not higher order questions nor phenomenological)?

7. What paradigm governs this research?

8. What theory informs the process and premises of data interpretation?

9. What dimensions of race, gender, class, and ethnicity, school culture, curricular design, ecology of the child, etc. is at play here?

9. How are recommendations made in vis-a-viz influencing factors and political demands?

10. Who are the researchers? What political affiliation do they hold, if any? How political is the institution?

11. How does the institution influence the reporting and next, public sharing of the findings?

12. How conclusive, as claimed, is the finding? Why does the finding warrant such a political decision?

13. How will policy-makers use findings?How has it been used now and will continue to be used?

14. What long-term consequence will this brief and inconclusive study have on the politics of education, race, teacher professionalism, human capital development, and national preparedness on globalization as well?

15. Is there a qualitative/discursive dimension of this research available in order for another set of findings to be be compared to; dimensions such as narratives, ethnographic observation, document and conversational analysis, etc.?

16. Is there a follow up study on teaching strategy, teacher qualification, etc.?

17. What is the level of competency desired as baseline and what set of rubrics is used to define competency?

18. Since the beginning of the implementation of the program, has the Teacher Education Research Unit of the Ministry of Education develop a cumulative research strategy (say, over a five-year period) to collect baseline data on the multidimensional aspects the effectiveness of the strategy?

19. How is ideology tied to this research agenda?


20. What premises inform the claim of neutrality of this research? In other words, what is this study neutral against, if any?



THE STUDY

Kajian PPSMI oleh UPSI

Kajian dijalankan oleh sekumpulan penyelidik dari Fakulti Sains Kognitif dan Pembangunan Manusia, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Tanjung Malim yang diketuai oleh Profesor Emeritus Isahak Haron anjuran Yayasan Kajian dan Strategi Melayu.

Kajian tersebut membabitkan hampir 4000 murid tahun 5 di 68 buah sekolah rendah di Semenanjung Malaysia antara tempoh Februari 2007 dan Januari 2008.

Kajian UPSI tersebut adalah berkaitan dengan PPSMI dalam menjawab beberapa isu Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran berikut:

1. Sejauh manakah guru menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris sebagai bahasa pengantar Sains dan Matematik ?

Kajian dari sample yang berlainan pelajar sekolah rendah sepanjang 2003-2007 mendapati:

i. Lebih 85% pelajar melaporkan guru mengajar Sains dan Matematik dengan campuran Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu . Ini adalah kerana guru-guru ingin membantu murid-murid yang lemah Bahasa Inggeris memahami apa yang diajar.
ii. Hanya 02% guru menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris sepenuhnya.
iii. Dan 05% menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia sahaja.

2. Sejauh manakah pelajar sukar mempelajari Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris ?

Berdasarkan sampel Januari 2008:

i. 83% murid pelbagai kaum menyatakan sukar belajar Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
ii. 87.2% di kajian di kalangan pelajar Melayu mengatakan sukar belajar Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
iii. 65%kajian di kalangan pelajar Melayu mengatakan sukar belajar Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

Berdasarkan sampel Februari 2007:

i. 70-80 peratus pelajar Melayu sekolah kebangsaan masih menghadapi masalah mempelajari Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris walaupun telah menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris sejak tahun 2003.

3. Adakah mempelajari Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris meningkatkan pembelajaran dan prestasi Matematik pelajar ?

Kajian Sampel murid Tahun 5 Januari 2008 mendapati:

i. Skor prestasi Matematik pelajar-pelajar berkenaan adalah rendah iaitu 7.89 daripada skor maksimum 20.0.
ii. Skor murid Melayu (7.66) adalah lebih rendah dari skor murid Cina (13.0) dan India (8.21)
iii. Peratus murid Melayu yang memberi jawapan tepat adalah lebih rendah dari murid Cina dan India terutama dalam soalan yang memerlukan murid memahami ayat atau arahan dalam Bahasa Ingerís.
iv. Murid Melayu lemah dalam operasi asas dengan hanya 58.2 peratus yang mampu menjawabnya.
v. Dalam asas darab hanya 53.9 peratus murid Melayu mampu menjawab berbanding murid Cina 80 peratus boleh menjawab dengan betul.
vi. Dalam asas bahagi yang memerlukan membaca ayat dalam Bahasa Ingerís , hanya 14 peratus dan 35 peratus sahaja murid Melayu yang mampu memberi jawapan yang betul.

4. Adakah mempelajari Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris meningkatkan pembelajaran dan prestasi Sains pelajar ?

i. Prestasi am Sains murid semua keturunan adalah rendah dengan skor hanya 4.28 daripada maksima 14.00.
ii. Skor murid Melayu lebih rendah (4.11) dari skor murid Cina (7.22) dan India (4.64).
iii. Kira-kira 83 peratus murid Tahun 5 dari semua keturunan mendapati sukar mempelajari Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris dengan peratusan tertinggi di kalangan murid Melayu (84 peratus).
iv. Hampir 83 peratus murid Melayu tidak faham pengajaran guru Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

5. Adakah pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris membantu meningkatkan pembelajaran dan prestasi pelajar dalam Bahasa Inggeris ?

i. Prestasi am Bahasa Inggeris murid Tahun 5 dari semua keturunan adalah amat rendah dengan skor 11.97 daripada skor maksimum 31.0. Skor murid Melayu hanya 11.87. Skor murid Cina (21.77) dan India (16.14).

ii. Kira-kira 73.7 peratus murid Tahun 5 dari semua kaum menyatakan sukar mempelajari Bahasa Inggerics dengan peratus tertinggi ialah murid Melayu (81.4 Peratus).

iii. Lebih 75 peratus murid Melayu tidak faham pengajaran guru Bahasa Inggerís.

Sumber: Suara Keadilan 24-31 Dis 2008

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The survey seems to have been done on a selective sampling. The mot serious problem here is that we have all missed thew point why the 2 subjects were taught in English in the first place. It's the language of knowledge ws i nthe field of schience and tech.
Is no one bothered by the fact that a huge percentage of urban children's "mother tounge" is English. They speak very little of any other language at home! Aren't we being unfair to them with this switch???

Anonymous said...

Allow me to draw yr attention to another "study" done a few years back. The then President of the NUTP Dato N. Sivasubramaniam lamented that there was racial polarization in our schools. The then Min of Ed Hishamnuddin got very angry and roundly condemned his biased and "baseless" statement. He then commissioned a study headed by no less than a Professor at University Sains Malaysia to determine if the NUTP chairman was speaking the truth. As expected the good professor came out within a few months to pronounce that there was "no racial polarization" in schools!! Another round of condemnation by the Minister on the lying Sivasubramaniam!
Less than a year later the PM himself said there was racial polarization.

Anonymous said...

Ohh my god...that list of questions really sound like the 'PhD viva questions' for those invovled in the study !!

I am sure none of them could answer your questions satisfactorily , even the VC of UPSI.

Bravo beb...

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

PRESENT CASE OF LOSING FUTURE REWARD

It seems so easy to take one small step forward
While really moving three big steps backward
When the whole situation is so very awkward
For compromise's sake we lose the real reward

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 120709
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Sun. 12th July 2009.

azmanum said...

Azly,
I do admit that the survey is not adequate enough. However, many studies done on teaching science in a foreign language did show its detrimental effect on the students' learning. One example, findings from a paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 6, Issue 2, Article 2 (Dec., 2005).

"The results of the study indicate that there is a considerable difference between the two groups of students: those who studied the science course in the native language (Ss2) and those who studied in a foreign language (Ss1). Findings showed that Ss2 gave more scientifically acceptable answers to the questions than did Ss1. Besides, Ss1 had more difficulties in explaining the reasons for their answers; presumably because of the scientific language they used in their written explanations.

Abundance of scientifically unacceptable responses by Ss1 identifies a close relationship between the language and conceptual understanding in the science course. In other words, foreign language used in the science course becomes a barrier for students. Science is a discipline in which experiential and concrete examples should be presented as an in-class process in order to improve the level of students' conceptual understanding. Thus, if students are exposed to everyday concepts by using their native language, it will be easier for them to understand scientific concepts in a classroom setting. This will take the load off the students and will give more time to present experimental examples to comprehend scientific ideas more efficiently. From the teachers' point of view, it will also be easier to diagnose scientific misconceptions by asking students to give everyday examples for the topic taught." (End of excerpt)

Of course you don't have to accept this finding without critical review, and you might also find findings that support your views. My point is, don't just simply label those who oppose PPSMI as stupid, ignorant, nationalistic, racist, xenophobic, irrational, emotional unreasonable, mentally unstable,PAS/UMNO/Kampong malay chauvinist types. I really want the best for my kids and malaysians. For those city kids whose native language is English, I support your right to use PPSMI and the government should somehow provide opportunity for them to study science using their own language.. But please don't punish many of us whose mother tongue is not English.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Azly. Allow me to critique the study done by Prof. Isahak Harun and his colleagues from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

The study was reported in " Kesan Dasar Pengajaran Matematik dan Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris di Sekolah Rendah", and has yet to be published in any international journal of educational research. It's basically a very kampung-style research, using flimsy methodology and with distorted reporting. Why distorted?? Well let me give you a few examples.

Contoh 1:
Dilaporkan bahawa "sebahagian besar (purata 70%) pelajar melayu 5 mendapati kurang senang mempelajari Matematik dan sains dalam bahasa Inggeris" (m.s. 22). Kesimpulan ini dibuat berdasarkan penarafan kendiri oleh pelajar Tahun 5 dengan skala Likert 3 poin, yakni 1=KURANG SENANG DIPELAJARI, 2=AGAK SENANG DIPELAJARI, DAN 3=SENANG DIPELAJARI.

Namun, apabila saya cuba meneliti angka tersebut, sebenarnya terdapat lebih kurang 25% yang mengatakan bahawa sains dan matematik SENANG DIPELAJARI dalam bahasa Inggeris, manakala lebih kurang 33% yang mengatakan sains dan matematik susah dipelajari. Sementara itu, terdapat lebih kurang 42% yang mengatakan sains dan matematik AGAK SENANG DIPELAJARI dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Tetapi, dalam kajian ini (m.s. 22 tadi), kumpulan penyelidik UPSI telah menggabungkan peratusan yang mengatakan "susah dipelajari" (33%) dan "agak senang dipelajari" (42%) sambil merumuskan bahawa lebih 70% pelajar melayu 5 yang mendapati KURANG SENANG mempelajari sains dan matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris, berbanding dengan 25% yang mengatakan SENANG DIPELAJARI. Keadaan ini merupakan distorted reporting atau, pelaporan yang memesong dan berniat mengelirukan pembaca.

Rumusan saya ialah, dengan adanya pelaporan yang memesong seperti ini, maka saya sememangnya berasa was-was, ragu-ragu dan syak terhadap dapatan-dapatan lain dalam pelaporan itu. Apa tidaknya, apabila kita mendapati sesuatu restoran itu menggunakan ayam yang TIDAK HALAL, maka secara spontannya segala yang ada dalam restoran tersebut sememangnya boleh diragui!

CONTOH 2:

Anonymous said...

CONTOH 2:

Dilaporkan bahawa " di kalangan murid Melayu min skor matematik murid di sekolah 'luar bandar' (8.34) lebih tinggi sedikit daripada min murid di 'bandar' (6.57) dan 'pekan besar" (7.07)' ... [tetapi] ini adalah sesuatu yang diluar jangkaan" (ms. 52).

Saya sungguh terkilan apabila kumpulan penyelidik UPSI boleh MENGENEPIKAN dapatan yang menunjukkan pencapaian matematik pelajar luar bandar lebih tinggi dan signifikan secara statistik berbanding dengan pencapaian pelajar bandar dan pekan besar. Apa yang mereka jangkakan???? Atau, apa yang ada dalam jangkaan kumpulan penyelidik ini???? Adakan mereka mempunyai prasangka bahawa pelajar luar bandar sememangnya lemah dan lembab dalam matematik, dan keadaan ini sepatutnya lebih teruk dengan penggunaan bahasa Inggeris?? Hello, kenapa tidak cuba mengupas keadaan ini? PENCAPAIAN PELAJAR LUAR BANDAR, sebagaimana yang ada dalam statistik kajian UPSI, ADALAH 20% LEBIH TINGGI DARIPADA PELAJAR BANDAR DAN PEKAN BESAR, DAN ANGKA INI ADALAH JUGA SIGNIFIKAN. Kenapa nak kata "tinggi sedikit" dan seterusnya mengabaikannya? kenapa tidak HIGHLIGHT dapatan kajian ini?

Pelaporan ini sebenarnya bukan sahaja menunjukkan ketidakprofesionalan dalam kalangan penyelidik UPSI, bahkan ianya menggambarkan prasangka buruk yang ada dalam minda dan sanubari kumpulan penyelidik UPSI tentang "budak luar bandar yang lemah dan daif".

KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA SEHARUSNYA MEMBUANGKAN DAPATAN INI KE DALAM TONG SAMPAH DAN TIDAK MENGGUNAKANNYA UNTUK MEMBUAT SEBARANG POLISI PENTING!

Anonymous said...

Saya telah meneliti kajian UPSI dan ianya penuh dengan pen merah sebab banyak pelaporan songsang dan memesong yang berlaku!

Azly, did you actually read the whole report? Please do, and I bet you could even find more rubbish in the reporting. I wanted to bring this up to my superior at the Ministry of Education but was warned not to do that because Prof. Emeritus is well connected to a number of VVIPs including Tun Abdullah. I rest my case, lest I be preceived as "seperti anjing menyalak bukit".

DR. AZLY RAHMAN said...

Thanks for the important information above, Anonymous. If there is a way to send me the report, I'd be glad. My (alumni) email is aar26@columbia.edu.

The public need to know this.

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