Academic performance versus creative and critical thinking

“ 7,987 directly As in SPM ” screamed the headlines of major newspapers when the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia consequences were announced on the 10th of March 2010. The arrested development with academic accomplishments among Malaysians knew no bounds. Every twelvemonth, exhilaration and joy, anxiousness and letdown, pervade among pupils, parents and instructors when the Ministry of Education and Malaysian Examination Board releases the consequences of public scrutinies, be it UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM. The compulsion with academic accomplishment is dominating all other facets of a holistic instruction system in Malaysia.

The Malayan Education Philosophy clearly states that the function of the school course of study is to guarantee the holistic development of the single mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally by leaving general cognition and accomplishments ; cultivating, transfusing and furthering healthy attitudes and recognized moral values. The course of study aims to convey forth the Malayan citizen who is a balanced and all-around person, trained, adept, and cherishes the national aspiration for integrity.

Why all the ballyhoo with pupils ‘ academic accomplishments? Harmonizing to Professor Dr. Ray Wilks, Head of the School of Psychology, International Medical University, there is no grounds to demo a positive correlativity between academic accomplishment in scrutiny and acquisition. Learning should non be about go throughing scrutinies. “ We should alternatively make more wonder in kids ‘s acquisition to foster creativeness and innovativeness, ” says Professor Dr. Ray Wilks.

Indeed, the instruction systems in Malaysia purposes to model persons to go better Malaysians with the right attitudes, and to fit them with the cognition and accomplishments necessary in the 21st century to do Malaysia a developed state by the twelvemonth 2020. To run into the challenges of the 20 first-century and Vision 2020, learning and learning patterns and school direction are invariably reviewed to develop persons who are technologically literate and can lend to a originative and advanced work force. This transmutation will imply altering the school civilization, from one that is preponderantly memory-based to one that stimulates believing, creativeness, and innovativeness.

Yet the importance placed on academic accomplishment has earnestly impacted on the ability and efficiency of the Malayan instruction system in developing holistic persons that are able to manage the challenges of life after formal schooling. In fact many a times, newspapers highlighted employers ailments that school departers and even university ‘s alumnuss have jobs discoursing and pass oning efficaciously, allow entirely to believe critically and creatively. In add-on the deficiency of critical and originative thought abilities among Malaysians school departers and university alumnuss has been pinpointed by the Minister of Human Resource, Datuk Dr. S Subramaniam, as one of the chief jobs lending to their low marketability in the occupation market. The deficiency of believing accomplishments among the present and future work force of the state will halter the state ‘s attempts toward accomplishing a developed state position by 2020.

What are critical and originative thought? Critical thought is a type of believing that converges on a individual idea or entity. One must form, analyse or measure information, which might besides be broken into parts and taught explicitly. A cognitive procedure complimentary to, but different than critical thought, is originative thought. This believing diverges from a individual idea or entity. One must bring forth, synthesise, happen options, adapt, replacement, or elaborate. Critical and originative thought are the edifice blocks that will do certain our pupils will hold the required thought accomplishments to win in life and at work and guarantee the attainment of Vision 2020.

Detractors of attempts to stress critical and originative thought in the course of study have point to the possibility of poorer academic accomplishments as a effect. However, research has shown that when pupils develop their thought accomplishments by looking beyond the obvious, doing originative connexions, developing schemes, doing determinations, be aftering in front and reflecting, they besides improved their academic public presentation. Therefore, stressing critical and originative thought will augment academic accomplishment.

How to promote critical and originative thought? One manner is to cut down the accent on the usage summational appraisals such as UPSR, PMR and SPM. Summational appraisals are used for categorising pupils and emphasize the usage of written scrutinies. The UPSR and PMR summational appraisal have deviated from its original intent of naming larning jobs with the purpose of fixing remedial actions to better pupils larning. They are now used to stream kids into categories. In psychological footings, it is bad to label kids. It is positive support for smart kids, as defined by our appraisal system, but non for the kids who do non make good. The tools used in our public scrutinies are picking up all the rote scholars. Professor Dr Ray Wilks says, “ From a psychological point of position, to label a kid of 12 is a sort of life sentence. ” He further provinces that experiments have shown that if we tell instructors that a kid is of certain achievement degree, they will learn to that point. The instructors will non raise their instruction to the following degree for that kid.

Alternatively we should promote more formative appraisal in the acquisition environments. Formative appraisal besides called uninterrupted appraisal is a more dependable manner to look at the acquisition procedure. School-based uninterrupted appraisal looks at broader instruction accomplishments, such as communicating, critical and originative thought, and teamwork, instead than merely textbook accomplishments. These accomplishments are assessed by instructors through activities like arguments, play, analyzing issues and undertaking work. Formative appraisals besides provide diagnostic information to enable instructors to help pupils with larning troubles.

Furthermore, when there are less public scrutinies, kids can hold more clip to research other involvements such as music and humanistic disciplines that would assist instil creativeness in them. “ I ‘ve ever wanted my kids to larn to play the piano, but they are ever tired after schools and tuition, ” says one parent. With less scrutiny, instructors will besides hold more clip to form field trips and jaunts, which will let pupils to be in contact with nature and detect new larning chances for critical and originative thought that may non be present in the schoolroom.

Given appropriate chances, kids can prosecute in sophisticated cognitive procedures. Research suggests that either excessively much or excessively small construction can forestall development of critical and originative thought and in the procedure kids are non equipped with active and strategic attacks to larning undertakings. Therefore, appropriate instructional attacks could consequences in pupils heightening their critical and originative thought accomplishments. Three attacks are normally used in the instruction of believing accomplishments: stand-alone attack, submergence attack and embedded attack.

Stand-alone attack consists of learning believing accomplishments separate from capable affair content. In this instance a general set of thought accomplishments are identified and taught as a separate class or capable. Students are taught how to reassign the accomplishments to assorted topics and state of affairss. However, believing accomplishments taught in isolation tend to consequences in pupils holding jobs reassigning believing accomplishments to academic or existent universe jobs.

The submergence attack does non affect learning believing accomplishments. Rather it allows good thought to develop of course as a consequence of pupils being to the full engaged or immersed in content-related activities which calls for higher degrees of thought. Students are provided with perennial patterns in complex cognitive activities with the premise that they will finally develop the necessary cognitive accomplishments to successfully prosecute in high-ranking thought. However, research has shown that merely plunging pupils in thought activities is non an effectual instructional attack.

The embedded attack involves learning believing accomplishments within a subject-matter context. Thinking accomplishments are taught in scientific discipline, societal surveies, linguistic communication, humanistic disciplines, and some other topics. Students than use these accomplishments straight to the peculiar topic being studied. This allows pupils to utilize the accomplishments in a meaningful context and helps them larn the capable affair more profoundly. An embedded attack is an effectual manner to learn believing accomplishments. Rather than an extra topic, believing accomplishments are used to heighten whatever course of study presently being taught.

Training instructors in specific instructional attacks means that schools must put in instructors ‘ professional development. Instructional attacks that help instructors incorporate a “ acquisition to believe ” constituent into their course of study empower pupils to take duty for bettering their thought and acquisition. Although cognitive development is merely one portion of a kid ‘s overall development, it is indispensable that instructors respond to the community demand for and the kid ‘s right to cognitive competency. Teacher developing suppliers need to go cognizant of the benefits of certain instructional attacks on pupil public presentation and integrated preparation in such attacks in their classs.

Therefore, in decision, Malaysia needs to guarantee that its future coevals does non merely execute good academically but should possess the ability to believe critically and creatively. All Malaysians should back up the integrating of critical and originative thought in its educational course of study. It should non merely simply be stated in printed paperss. Affirmative actions should be put in topographic point to guarantee that the instruction and acquisition of critical and originative thought is actualized in the schoolroom context. Lest, Vision 2020 remains a dream and Malaysia will bumble in its ability to accomplish the New Economic Model towards accomplishing 1Malaysia, “ Peoples First, Performance Now ” .

( 1497 words )

July 12, 2017