Monday, February 24, 2014

MALAYSIAN EDUCATION: STUDENT ASSESSMENT or TEACHER ASSASSINATION?

by azly rahman

this is a straight talk -- we have to get this right once and for all:

you can't expect teachers to have time to think and do what they are supposed to do, i.e. teach and grow through teaching, if you kill their creativity and critical sensitivity by assassinating their drive and motivation to do their best.

given good system of first-yer-teacher professional development coaching on understanding the culture of teaching, of their students, the curriculum, skills to make curriculum modification, enriching lessons, engaging students every moment of teaching, mastering classroom management skills, allowing time to reflect on their profession and making connections across subject areas, designing good interdisciplinary projects through collaborative teaching, and having time to balance work and family ... and more ... so that a teacher can grow with his/her craft, with the students, with the profession, and become passionate with what they are doing. each teacher is a powerful influencer of students' life .. a teacher can make or break a child .. (or even be broken into pieces by children) ... and consequently can make and break future generations, and a nation.

be realistic -- this is not an assassination attempt through the burden of mindless assessment.

assessments are good -- only if we know what we re measuring, whether they data will be meaningful (or merely used as piles of numbers to bury human beings) and if the will clearly improve and inform good teaching practices.

go for less but more. small is beautiful. understand what authentic assessment means .. teacher and student portfolio of growth in learning, showcasing projects as a process and not merely as products, engaging students via scientific thinking and at the end of the day not crunching numbers but showing excitingly produced artifacts of learning shown to the public as evidence of learning. throughout this process higher-order thinking skills permeates ... one need not worry using slogans such as "HOTS" etc. yet do not understand the process of cognition itself -- because learning was not done through doing but through parroting.

i hope i make sense ... but i hope our hard-working teachers and those dedicated and filled with hope for our children will not be assassinated, massacred, and exterminated by structure, structures, numbers, number, forms, forms ... NO SUBSTANCE and MEANINGFULNESS ...

and please reduce the class size to 20 max.! if we have the money to build useless towers in the billions of Ringgit, we ought to help teachers build confidence and sanity in teaching.

*kesian cikgu cikgi kita*

-- -- have a good rest you wonderful teachers out there!

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