New Straits Times - - Letters -

THE Malaysian ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is said to be a role model for other coun­tries. There is no doubt about Malaysia hav­ing many qual­i­fied and knowl­edge­able doc­tor­ate­hold­ers who have come from the ex­ist­ing ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

We must ad­mit that most of them have con­trib­uted in the devel­op­ment of so­ci­ety and the state.

But there are too few schol­ars who pub­licly crit­i­cise our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

Teach­ing and us­ing ba­sic meth­ods in the class­room has been an in­ter­est­ing is­sue in train­ing for a con­sid­er­able length of time, with new de­vel­op­ments and method­ol­ogy be­ing pushed into schools.

“Crit­i­cal think­ing” is “the tar­get in­ves­ti­ga­tion and as­sess­ment of an is­sue to shape a judg­ment”. Trans­lated it into teach­ing, it is teach­ing stu­dents to be schol­arly thinkers, with psy­cho­log­i­cal, cog­ni­tive and per­sonal skills, who man­age to give feed­back into any idea, who chal­lenge “great thinkers”, and are never self-sat­is­fied and meek.

They over­flow with what Amer­i­can poet-es­say­ist-jour­nal­ist Walt Whit­man called “unique vi­tal­ity”.

Our stu­dents, though scored in their Malaysian Cer­tifi­cate of Ed­u­ca­tion, Form Three As­sess­ment or Ujian Pen­ca­pa­ian Seko­lah Ren­dah, are said to be poor thinkers.

Many writ­ings men­tioned that crit­i­cal think­ing is nec­es­sary “to pre­pare for life and cit­i­zen­ship, col­lege and ca­reer” and yet not many solutions are given on how to “work out the crit­i­cal think­ing stages”.

Most ar­ti­cles will say crit­i­cal think­ing is “a cure-for-all”, so­lu­tion or rem­edy for all dif­fi­cul­ties in teach­ing and learn­ing.

The cur­ricu­lum and as­sess­ment bod­ies de­scribe it as “de­vel­op­ing the crit­i­cal-think­ing, prob­lem-solv­ing, and an­a­lyt­i­cal skills stu­dents will need to be suc­cess­ful”.

The In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for the As­sess­ment of Higher Or­der Think­ing, which pro­motes crit­i­cal think­ing in the class­room, says “the prob­lems we now face, and will in­creas­ingly face, re­quire a rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent form of think­ing, think­ing that is more com­plex, more adapt­able, more sen­si­tive to di­ver­gent points of view.”

There is sig­nif­i­cantly more to re­tain than to study.

Be­fore turn­ing into a thinker or

FRI­DAY, MARCH 31, 2017 mas­ter­mind, you must first be a learner.

I’m sure there is a less de­mand­ing ap­proach. We are a coun­try that needs to hack ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing learn­ing.

How­ever, in spite of the abun­dance of voices clam­our­ing about crit­i­cal think­ing, sev­eral peo­ple have no­ticed that an ac­cen­tu­a­tion on that has got us into an in­con­ve­nience.

“We have over­looked what is im­por­tant.

“We have failed to show that one can’t think ba­si­cally with­out a con­sid­er­able amount of in­for­ma­tion mo­tor­cy­cles are due to the speed­ing.

Speed lim­its are not ob­served. Buses and lor­ries on high­ways have a speed limit of 90kph but most of these ve­hi­cles travel at break­neck speed on high­ways.

Many mo­torists will vouch how they have been in­tim­i­dated and ha­rassed by these huge ve­hi­cles tail­ing them, and flash­ing their head­lights for right of way.

Some bus and lorry driv­ers will sneak blare their horns to scare mo­torists.

The au­thor­i­ties have to en­force to con­sider.

“Think­ing in­cludes look­ing into and in­te­grat­ing what one has re­alised. Also, a lot of in­for­ma­tion is fun­da­men­tal be­fore one can start to con­sider its sig­nif­i­cance and search for clarifications.” (Diane Rav­itch, Re­search Pro­fes­sor of Ed­u­ca­tion at New York Univer­sity).

So, don’t push too hard on crit­i­cal think­ing skills. In­stead, we need the cor­rect way for us to fol­low. Please.

AZ­IZI AH­MAD, Kuala Lumpur

the 90kph speed limit strictly for heavy ve­hi­cles and re-in­stall the au­to­matic flash­ing lights on these ve­hi­cles so that mishaps do not re­cur.

As a longterm mea­sure, the RTD must step up on en­force­ment and nab speed­sters and traf­fic of­fend­ers.

And please, DO NOT raise the speed limit to 130kph or all hell may break loose on our high­ways be­cause SPEED KILLS!

SA­MUEL YESUIAH, Serem­ban, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan

Stu­dents who are crit­i­cal thinkers over­flow with what Walt Whit­man called “unique vi­tal­ity”.


We lose an av­er­age of 18 lives daily due to road ac­ci­dents.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.