Saturday, August 27, 2011

Malaysia education equivalent to disadvantage refugees

TEACHERS who always give their students time to ask questions, who ask challenging questions themselves and who tell students how their work will be judged can dramatically improve literacy performance.

The study is based on students' assessment of their teachers. It identified five key areas of teacher practice that, if used in most or all lessons, can improve a child's literacy scores by the equivalent of one school year.

Those teacher practices are: gives students the chance to ask questions, asks students to explain the meaning of texts, tells them in advance how their work would be judged, gives them time to think about their answers and asks questions that challenge them to better understand a text.

Research shows the difference between good and poor teachers can amount to two years of student achievement. Not surprisingly, the impact of bad teachers in succession is particularly disastrous.

A US study which shows the average eight-year-old, in a class with a high performing teacher for three years, can rise from the 50th percentile to the 90th; a student with a low performing teacher for three years will drop back to the 37th percentile.

The report states: ''The difference between good teachers and poor teachers can amount to two years of student achievement.''

The difference between students who suffer under three bad teachers and those who thrive for three years is equivalent to the educational disadvantage of newly arrived refugees in Australia who are only beginning to learn English.


Malaysia has more low performing teachers than high performers. This explain why our education system has gone from bad to worse. How long more do we allow our politicians to flip flop according to their moods? Can we have the Education Ministry answerable to Parliament instead?

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