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BUBBLES IN THE OCEAN

The humble journey to The Creator: After all, we are just a tiny bubble in the ocean

Month

September 2016

MY REFLECTION OF ACTIVE LEARNING

I’ve two experiences that I’d like to share, as a participant/student myself with regards on how, a student can decide whether to be active learner or not.

Last month I attended a conference. Most of the sessions I attended, I questioned the speakers or gave some opinions. Other participants noticed my presence, just to show how active I was as the participant.

However, in one of the occasions, I was talking personally to one of the big speaker and asked his opinions on certain matters after his speech. I was a little bit feeling intimidated when he started to be condescending and cynical about what I’ve been doing and plan to do. When I asked him questions, he showed this kind of expression that made feel scared to approach him again in the future.

The next day, I attended a workshop and surprisingly he was actually there as the speaker. I arrived a bit late and got my seat at the back. At that time, I already felt unease and I did not participate at all in any of the discussion. I chose to be a laid back person and just followed the flow. I was scared to ask question because if I do so, I might get that kind of expression again. And yes, I didn’t learn as much as I want, because I felt scared to talk to my ‘teacher’.

The other participants only noticed my presence during the break. They said to me, “We didnt notice that you’re here. You’ve been quiet!”. I smiled to them anyway.

Two lessons that I can reflect from what I experienced last month

1. You choose who you want to be. Nobody will force you to be who you do not want to be. If you are an active learner, you can choose to be a passive learner. Even if you’re forced to be active, you can be passive among the active learners. You can stay at the back and not talking and end up you’re not learning anything because you’ve already a negative mindset or some bad experience.

So students, it is all up to you. We know that for all these years we’ve been practising active learning in the class and the students i.e. your senior, did very well because they persevere. If you keep saying that this is not for you, and it is difficult for you to adapt, it is just that you refuse to move yourself out of your comfort zone.

There are more than 1000 reputable research works had been conducted to test the effectiveness of active learning worldwide and it has been proven successful. It is a matter of embracing it and believe it.

2. During the workshop, I can actually choose to be active learner, as I used to be, but sadly I didn’t. According to the framework of How People Learn by Bransford, community centred is an important lens that the teacher must not forget. If you make the students feel intimidated to you or you make the students scared of you and you shouted angrily in the class for example (like I used to do maybe 7-8 years ago) or you scold them for their mistakes you’re just making the students felt unsafe in the class to ask questions or to participate or to make mistake as part of their learning curve.

So teachers, have more patience to deal with your students. Avoid sarcasm, avoid being cynical. Be direct to them. If you feel they are being ungrateful for now, they will learn to be one if you be patience and keep reminding them. They will be the one that you want them to be, maybe not in our class, but they’ll come back to you and say thank you for whatever you’ve been doing to nurture them.

Importantly, all this work that we’ve been doing is for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of getting praised by other human being. Gambatte students & teachers!

MOTIVATION OF THE TEACHER IS THE KEY TO…

 

It has been quite sometimes I did not write anything in this blog, so I am sharing my thought here.

MOTIVATION IS THE KEY

There are six main criteria, which are interconnected to each other as far as I could recall, which need to be overcame prior to ensuring we can do excellently well in our education system.

1. Pedagogy
2. Learning Space and Facilities
3. Curriculum
4. Skills of Instructor/Facilitator
5. Student’s Readiness
6. Instructor & Facilitator’s Motivation

All of these six criteria are important. However, all I can say that the most important criteria that we need to address here is number 6.

No matter how good the trainings are, how good the facilities are, how good the curriculum is, how ready the students are and how many types of pedagogies developed, if the instructor, the faculty members didn’t have the right motivation to do it, then we are definitely doomed. This is why it is very important for a teacher or a lecturer to have the right mindset and deeper motivation to teach.

If you really want to be a teacher or a lecturer, you must first have a strong and deep passion in teaching. It is like being a doctor, if you want to be a doctor, you must feel like there is no other career suit you, only to be a doctor. Similarly, this passion must be rooted among the teacher or lecturer. If one only decided to become a lecturer just for the sake of doing research, it is highly recommended for him/her to become a research scientist, not to become a lecturer. The role of a lecturer is changing now and apparently, teaching with a deep passion is a role that we have to play. Or if you want to be a teacher, it is not because you can’t get other job then you decide to become a teacher. You must want to become a teacher. Of course in certain cases we’ve tried to find other jobs but still landed to become an academia, but it is still not too late to become passionate with what we’re doing.

If one is highly motivated to make a change in the education system, come what may. He/she will make full use of whatever resources he/she had and whoever kind of students he/she encountered, as long as he can make significant impact, at least to his/her students. He will create a relationship with his students, because there’s no teaching without a relationship.

Teaching& learning activities is not about dealing with the number of students passing or failing our course, but it is about individual development, for them to grow not only in terms of knowledge capacity, but for the lecturers and teachers to assist in terms of the right attributes and skills that they wanted or should have.

Nonetheless, we’re the one who suppose to give the right example to our students. How come if we say something that we ourselves didn’t practice in the first place?

And that require our motivation. Our own self-motivation, to change to become a better person, so we can build another generation, who are better than us.

Teaching is a noble job. Let’s us maintain it as the way it is, despite any challenge we have, despite any changes that we have in our current generation. We have to do it with full of LOVE, even it is a TOUGH LOVE.

What is a tough love?

Well, it is like putting your students to persevere by giving them complex problems to be solved, you know they will hate you, you’ll end up not getting a good evaluation (as what you expect to get), but you know, it is for a good cause. They may not like it now, but in the future, they will really appreciate it, because we shaped them to become a better person. But you’ll be with them against the tide and fall, because you have to show to them that you CARE. You dont just give them problem to solve but let them surviving alone, you’re there to guide them. That is the strongest motivation that we have to develop in ourselves, because our students will grow up to become a change agent that will change the society in the future. That’s the strength of a TEACHER.

Let us build a strong motivation in ourselves as a teacher/lecturer for the sake of our future society.

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