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besitai2007
12-03-2010, 11:31 AM
I post this not to belittle the effort by our nation's SPM top scorer, Gladys Tan Yee Kim of SMK Green Road, Kuching. I want to congratulate her but I want to voice concern at the wrong reasons why a student can become a top scorer - not by just regurgitating facts but by being a thinker and problem solver. Such a student will excel in courses where they need to remember lots of stuff and regurgitate them. But where they need to think and where there are no ready answers to be had, they will face problems. I want to point out the danger in our education system and the message conveyed by the Sun newspaper today that a student can become a top scorer if they are human photocopiers who can reproduce facts verbatim but cannot move to a higher level of thinking. American students may not have all the facts at their fingertips eg. they may not know where Malaysia is, but they can think and do problem solving.

Hiliary
12-03-2010, 12:02 PM
I post this not to belittle the effort by our nation's SPM top scorer, Gladys Tan Yee Kim of SMK Green Road, Kuching. I want to congratulate her but I want to voice concern at the wrong reasons why a student can become a top scorer - not by just regurgitating facts but by being a thinker and problem solver. Such a student will excel in courses where they need to remember lots of stuff and regurgitate them. But where they need to think and where there are no ready answers to be had, they will face problems. I want to point out the danger in our education system and the message conveyed by the Sun newspaper today that a student can become a top scorer if they are human photocopiers who can reproduce facts verbatim but cannot move to a higher level of thinking. American students may not have all the facts at their fingertips eg. they may not know where Malaysia is, but they can think and do problem solving.

i guess you have not met many Americans

Sentinel
12-03-2010, 12:07 PM
I post this not to belittle the effort by our nation's SPM top scorer, Gladys Tan Yee Kim of SMK Green Road, Kuching. I want to congratulate her but I want to voice concern at the wrong reasons why a student can become a top scorer - not by just regurgitating facts but by being a thinker and problem solver. Such a student will excel in courses where they need to remember lots of stuff and regurgitate them. But where they need to think and where there are no ready answers to be had, they will face problems. I want to point out the danger in our education system and the message conveyed by the Sun newspaper today that a student can become a top scorer if they are human photocopiers who can reproduce facts verbatim but cannot move to a higher level of thinking. American students may not have all the facts at their fingertips eg. they may not know where Malaysia is, but they can think and do problem solving.
Sorry, your opinion of Americans over-rated. I worked in an American MNC in several countries for almost 15 years and I don't share your opinion.

Those you see on TV's CSI and those you meet daily are of opposite extreme, sorry.

xaviers
12-03-2010, 12:16 PM
... American students may not have all the facts at their fingertips eg. they may not know where Malaysia is, but they can think and do problem solving.

They can talk about problem solving extreemly well.
Talking about problem solving does not equate to solving the problem.

besitai2007
12-03-2010, 01:02 PM
I am talking about my University days where I was the only Malaysian and my classmates were from America and Canada (at the University of Guelph, Canada). The first two years I was top of the class as the subject matter was not new to me. During the third and fourth year where a lot of projects and research had to be done, my classmates were out-shining me. Of course there are American students who are dances..but I am talking about the cream of the students there. Our top of the crop could only regurgitate facts as I did but I soon learned how to think rather than to parrot facts. I wanted to bring this up as our education system is counter productive as I was a product of that system. I wonder if many of you can honestly say our system made you a thinker?

As part of my Colombo Plan Scholarship I had to do my practice teaching in two Canadian High Schools (our form six equivalent) and the method of teaching was not the listing of facts on the board for students to copy (lecturing method) but through an enquiry (Socratic) approach plus investigations through experiments and projects. It was challenging and taught me how to teach my future students in Malaysia as a lecturer in one of our teachers' training college.

Justme123
12-03-2010, 01:18 PM
I am talking about my University days where I was the only Malaysian and my classmates were from America and Canada (at the University of Guelph, Canada). The first two years I was top of the class as the subject matter was not new to me. During the third and fourth year where a lot of projects and research had to be done, my classmates were out-shining me. Of course there are American students who are dances..but I am talking about the cream of the students there. Our top of the crop could only regurgitate facts as I did but I soon learned how to think rather than to parrot facts. I wanted to bring this up as our education system is counter productive as I was a product of that system. I wonder if many of you can honestly say our system made you a thinker?Agree with you on this.
Asians (majority, not all) has evolved with the tendency to copy and paste.
To be more creative, i guess we have to rewire the brain of the majority.

usehead
12-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Agree with you on this.
Asians (majority, not all) has evolved with the tendency to copy and paste.
To be more creative, i guess we have to rewire the brain of the majority.

Is it because of their socializing ( freely ) and reading ( a lot ) habits that make them differ.

Rhiga
12-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Agree with you on this.
Asians (majority, not all) has evolved with the tendency to copy and paste.
To be more creative, i guess we have to rewire the brain of the majority.

Firstly, I am not sure whether you represent majority of Asian.

Secondly, it would be good if you can help us to understand with fact-supported info regarding your hyphothesis.

besitai2007
12-03-2010, 01:44 PM
Firstly, I am not sure whether you represent majority of Asian.

Secondly, it would be good if you can help us to understand with fact-supported info regarding your hyphothesis.
I think you can find comments like this in the web where several local educators have commented on the learning ability of our university students. Plagiarising is a common practice - hence the "copy and paste method" of materials extracted from books and the internet. During my undergraduate years in Canada I had to research and read scientific papers, make a summary of what I have read and present my findings to the class during my third year. This method encourages understanding, evaluation and synthesis of facts and producing a fresh communication, which leads to creativity in writing and thought - which I am using now since I retired to write books and articles - no plagiarising.

Anyway I started this thread to provoke forum members to reflect on how we should educate our children. Remember a person eats for a day if you give him fish to eat but teach him how to fish you let him eat for a lifetime. Give him facts to remember and regurgitate the person will still depend on written/published sources of information. Teach our students how to think and they can think for themselves all through adulthood and may eventually be scientists who are Nobel Laureates in the future.

Rhiga
12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Plagarism happens everywhere, it is not an Asian phenomenon.

VeeJay
12-03-2010, 02:26 PM
Plagarism happens everywhere, it is not an Asian phenomenon.

Yes it happens everywhere, but I would say its more with Asian students.

bugbear
12-03-2010, 02:29 PM
I fully agree with besitai2007 on the state of our education. Unless something is being done, we will always be parrots. But then to change will be another political problem what with the MPM making havoc with their threat against the NEM. :p

Justme123
12-03-2010, 02:42 PM
Firstly, I am not sure whether you represent majority of Asian.
Secondly, it would be good if you can help us to understand with fact-supported info regarding your hyphothesis.Btw, when i mentioned 'copy and paste' i did not intend to imply plagiarism.
Plagiarism is copying and claiming it is one's own idea, i.e. cheating.

By 'copy and paste' i have to add, pasting after some amendments.
This mean that the majority of Asian are not creative, innovative and do not generate new ideas of their own.

The good examples of the copying traits of Asians are the undeniable and unashamed copying by Japanese technologies in the past 40 years and now the Chinese.

As for academic, as mentioned by besitai2007, it is well known by Asian educators that the majority of Asian students lack originality arising from our traditional education system and our cultural evolution.

One reason given is that the Chinese and Japanese language characters are by nature memory driven, i.e. learning by rote.
This tend to set the pattern for learning in the later part of their life.

As for research, i have read many research papers and articles on the topic.
It is matter of gathering and compiling them, but that would not be relevant for this forum.

AllUrban
12-03-2010, 02:54 PM
great topic.

My views on education would probably be easy to figure out so I wont comment about what system works best.

The one thing that I do think matters the most is a love of learning - that means, reading, discussing, questions, interpreting, re-interpreting as often and as much as possible.

As a teacher I can say with no doubt that learning & education are two completely separate things and should not be confused with one another. :D

Cheers, m

ivanhow
12-03-2010, 06:03 PM
Variety is the spice of life... there are those who will be excellent thinkers, those that are mere copiers... and those with different creativity... no two are exactly a replica...

We dun want stereotype kan?
So, let it be some who are just copiers lor... no harm mah! :eek:
If all are great thinkers, there wud not be any who will be followers and doers :D

On the other hand, we started off by being led and guided, by following exactly before we can invent our own. The Jap did the same, the Taiwanese did the same, the Chinese did the same... yah :)

mick123
12-03-2010, 08:49 PM
during my uni days in Oz, i saw one very distinct difference between asian and local students during exams. those exams that need lots of memorising and regurgitation, the asians beat the locals hands down but when it comes to open book exams, the asians do not do as well. of course there are exceptions.

credits and congrats to glady's.

besitai2007
12-03-2010, 10:08 PM
Thanks mick123 for the observation. That is why I brought up the issue in this thread. Our Malaysian examination system stifles higher levels of learning by requiring our students to memorise tons of facts and then regurgitate them in exams. That's why tuition centres flourish as they are nothing but cramming centres - giving students examples of questions to be tried for public exams. So students learn how to pass exams but this becomes counter productive later in life. I can give you an example when I was a senior assistant and had to observe a new Physics teacher attached to my school. (Notice that I did not state the gender of the teacher to avoid gender issues) The teacher had a first class honours (!!) from a local university. The Principal had thus high expectations of the teacher and since I was the senior Physics teacher I was asked to observe the teacher. Unfortunately the teacher could not explain vectors to students but kept repeating the definition of vectors. During a physics demonstration later in the week to another class the teacher could not set up a cathode ray tube (because the teacher was not taught and did not know how to seek help?). In both cases I did not interfere as it would affect the teacher's self esteem. Case of panic? But all teachers go through teaching practice where a lecturer would sit behind the class and watch the student teacher teach.

zinglicious
13-03-2010, 02:35 AM
The difference of Asians and Americans could be this -

Asians asked teachers how and which way to scored A's

Americans asked themselves how and which way to scored better than the teachers.

Asians - top of the class with distinctions and end up working as a top salaried guys.

Americans - drop out of the class but end up emplioying top salaried guys while owning the corporations ( Bill Gates and Michael Dell ).

ivanhow
13-03-2010, 04:52 AM
.. Our Malaysian examination system stifles higher levels of learning by requiring our students to memorise tons of facts and then regurgitate them in exams. That's why tuition centres flourish as they are nothing but cramming centres - giving students examples of questions to be tried for public exams. So students learn how to pass exams but this becomes counter productive later in life.
Besitai,
For some subjects, it is possible just to memorise and those are hard facts without any logic required such as bio, history, geog etc. where no deduction required, even a no brainer can do - just memorise. But some subjects cannot (just cannot) score without understanding - such as statics and dynamics in physics, and applied mathematics where understanding is necessary for application of the theory learnt. So, if you ask someone who does not understand the workings of a cathode ray tube, it is difficult to explain to someone else, but may just describe the physical aspects (which require merely memory work). Memory fades over time, but understanding does not. Same logic (from understanding) can be applied to other similar situations where same principles exist only if it is understood properly. However, if by memory work, one will not be able to apply the same principle on different scenarios even if the same principles are obviously in play.



I can give you an example when I was a senior assistant and had to observe a new Physics teacher attached to my school. (Notice that I did not state the gender of the teacher to avoid gender issues) The teacher had a first class honours (!!) from a local university. The Principal had thus high expectations of the teacher ...

Unfortunately the teacher could not explain vectors to students but kept repeating the definition of vectors..
1st class honours at a local uni ?? - depends on which uni... and what subjects... most of our local uni's have gone down south. :eek: used to be high standards, but unfortunately no longer the case... :(

Bottom line - Most of the local students here who are given 'special tuition' are too spoonfed... not initiative enuf to learn on their own. Exam questions given almost identical to what was given in the 'special tuition' lar... :eek: To add insult, different marking system... :rolleyes: Our uni in bolehland are production (factories) house, churning grads, to meet demand (qty wi$e, not quality) :eek:

mick123
13-03-2010, 06:59 AM
indeed indeed. when i was looking for an engineer and looking through the applicants, i was quite taken aback seeing some local graduated applicants with a bachelor degree in engineering working as supervisors!! is our local unis' bachelor degree only qualifies to become supervisors in the real world or is it that these "engineers" don't want to work as engineers or there just weren't so many demand for engineers in the first place?? :confused: so i'm not surprised at all if some teachers/lecturers don't understand the subjects they teach.

during the interviews, even 1st class honours with very high CGPA, 10As in SPM, whatever score in STPM and all, can't explain some of the stuff they learned in uni. to me, it goes to show that, if you memorise, you tend to forget and very often you will forget most of it straight after the exam. - returned to the lecturer mah :rolleyes: . but if you really understand a subject, then you tend to remember it for a longer time.

we are in a race for top scores and not producing "thinking" students. how else to explain standard 1 students going for tuition??

besitai2007
13-03-2010, 07:28 AM
Precisely what I am trying to bring up in this thread. Rote learning has stifled creativity and the "ah-hah" response.

Hiliary
13-03-2010, 10:48 AM
The system cannot improve and i do not blame the schools only, i also blame the employers for demanding a stupid piece of paper and not considering the person.
I work for an American company and used to run the Asian service department, but the HO did not like my interview procdeure.
I had to interview people who had a qualification document, but i never looked at the document. In advance i called the school, described the sort of person i wanted and the school gave me a shortlist.
Before the applicnt sat down, i shook his hand and said "My name is Paul, if you call me sir during the next 15 minutes the interview is over".
I then explained the hard parts of the job - constant travel away from home and family, pressure to put a broken machine back into production while being 12 hours away from help by phone, tears in the hotel room when all alone etc.

I think it was applicant 49 who first said "OK Paul" and got to sit and talk. The majority said "Yes Sir" and i told them to leave.
Then comes at least 6 months training in the US with various suppliers followed by 1 year in a customers plant with a new machine working 3pm - 3am.
The above produced 4 people i would gladly put on my desert island list, and most important of all customers were happy.

The US procedure used now goes strictly by qualifications.
The 1st engineer employed lasted a few weeks, the 2nd lasted a few months, the current one has been kicked out of every Asian customer's plant for being useless.

besitai2007
14-03-2010, 06:46 AM
Hiliary, ever wonder why a lot of our local graduates are unemployed? Maybe it's an unfair comment but language seems to be one of the issues. How about other inadequacies that make employers shun them?

Hiliary
14-03-2010, 02:58 PM
Hiliary, ever wonder why a lot of our local graduates are unemployed? Maybe it's an unfair comment but language seems to be one of the issues. How about other inadequacies that make employers shun them?

I think language should be the major / only reason.
I don't care about the name of the school but know many do.
I also believe anyone can be trained if they really want to learn.

By country, our current Asian engineers come from:
China - 1 Hong Kong - 1.
Malaysia - 1. (I'll ask what school he went to next time i see him :D )
Philippines - 5.

Based on the above, it should be clear that (English) language is a major factor?

But many times i see Malaysian employers who are against people that can think for themselves, have an open mind, speak their mind :(

bslee
14-03-2010, 03:17 PM
But many times i see Malaysian employers who are against people that can think for themselves, have an open mind, speak their mind :(

Those kind of employers need donkeys, not people!
But amazingly they are known to be successful in their venture. I can name numerous ones..but not here.
General workers at factories are actually one.. whats there to think?.. just follow the routine.

tupai
14-03-2010, 04:06 PM
Those kind of employers need donkeys, not people!
But amazingly they are known to be successful in their venture. I can name numerous ones..but not here.
General workers at factories are actually one.. whats there to think?.. just follow the routine.

hahhaahha...there are lotsa dictator employers who went on to make Billion$, at the back of those 'donkeys'. The company mules can be classified into stallion, mare, work horse, filly, stud, then right down the food chain, donkey and jackass for the daily grind. Depending on individual's contribution, every1 has a role to play. Banyak Benarlah!

2nites ago, I shared a bottle of single malt, with a corporate legal eagle. he bitched and bitched and bitched about his oil&gas co boss (personal worth Godzillion$) and how dictatorial the boss is, to the point of being a merciless, vulgar tyrant to boot. (Incompetent lady staff kena Fshelling will usu breakdown and cry...then get fried!)
BUT git tis! >>>>>those who can work,
the boss pay so well that the 400+employees willingly suck it up, gloatingly collect the fat pay check every month, and gleefully 3-6mths bonus/yr...and the BEST part >>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>even this learned, smart legal adviser (who used to owned his own practice b4 and therefore xBoss) also accept the fact of life: that not every mule can be boss. :p

And the sooner 1accept the fact, the better 1gets on with life...else, 1can always go out and be own boss lah. :D

Yang Bergembira Coolie away latotupai :cool:

Rhiga
15-03-2010, 10:01 AM
Yes it happens everywhere, but I would say its more with Asian students.

Veejay,

Can you elaborate with facts that plagarism happens more to Asian students ?

Rhiga
15-03-2010, 10:41 AM
There are strengths and weakness in Asian education and western education.

Many of the forumers have elaborated in length the strengths of western tertiary education and the weakness of Asian education especially the tertiary level.

I agree Malaysian education system is wrong, and it is wrong from primary until tertiary.

This is a sad fact many Malaysian have to swallow….if you can afford a different path for your children, then give them the education that you think is good elsewhere..

The primary education or elementary education in PRC, Taiwan and Japan is good. It is tough, heavy-loaded but it lays the good foundation, instill discipline and good value.

The SRJKC in Malaysia is close to these elementary education which emphasize more on foundation-building. The unfortunately part is students have to learn three languages which I think are too many.

The fact that every year the top achievers in Singapore O level and A level are Malaysian (formerly SRJKC students) and from the PRC is the evidence of the benefits of the Asian education.

Blue Jasmine
15-03-2010, 02:40 PM
The SRJKC in Malaysia is close to these elementary education which emphasize more on foundation-building. The unfortunately part is students have to learn three languages which I think are too many.

The fact that every year the top achievers in Singapore O level and A level are Malaysian (formerly SRJKC students) and from the PRC is the evidence of the benefits of the Asian education.

three languages can be confusing for them. but we dont have much choices cause everybody wants their languages to be well heard. We opt out either one surely got debate later. Just look at the science and maths case...

Rhiga
15-03-2010, 02:49 PM
three languages can be confusing for them. but we dont have much choices cause everybody wants their languages to be well heard. We opt out either one surely got debate later. Just look at the science and maths case...

If your plan for the kids is overseas eventually, then just concentrate on two languages which are more relevant as global language.