From Last-Minute Abstract to Unexpected Acceptance!

Initially, I submitted only one abstract to an international conference with a Scopus-indexed publication. However, a few hours before the abstract submission deadline, I submitted a second abstract, taking only 15 minutes to prepare. Given the conference’s distant location, I decided to present two papers with an additional fee.

The second abstract, developed in a more narrative style, stemmed from my initial observations of about 142 Orang Asli students’ tests, leading to early judgments and translation into an abstract.

To be honest, I have more confidence in the first abstract compared to the second one. I only took a quick look at the 142 answer sheets while preparing the second abstract. And yes, the number 142 has been explicitly mentioned in the abstract.

About a month later, I received the acceptance notification. Surprisingly, the latter abstract was accepted, while the first one was rejected.

I don’t want to modify the original abstract as I am afraid it would affect the decision on my full paper. Furthermore, the decision was made based on its current form. I realise that I hadn’t yet done anything with the 142 tests. Therefore, with one month left before the full paper submission deadline, I aim to complete the full manuscript, utilising the mid-semester break for extensive data analysis. Marking the Orang Asli students’ answer sheets is not about getting wrong or right answers. I have to identify the errors they made and the challenges they encountered while solving the mathematics problem.

Last week, on my way to KLIA to pick up my parents, I dropped by the Muzium Orang Asli in Ayer Keroh to gather additional information.

I don’t want to burden my Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for a few reasons: first, I want him to focus on analysing qualitative data for his thesis; second, I was the one who prepared the research proposal, and I want to be part of it; and third, I love doing these things.

Eager and enthusiastic, I’m committed to submitting the full manuscript by mid-December for the conference in Greece in early May. The acceptance decision is expected by the end of January 2024. I look forward to potentially posting, “See you soon, Athens!”

AI Dalam Penulisan: Penyalur Manfaat Atau Penyebab Mudarat?

Salam semua

Jemput hadir ke sesi kolokium ini. Terima kasih.

Teknologi Pendidikan Matematik: Memugar Minat atau Merencat Bakat?


Terima kasih Dewan Kosmik (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) atas penerbitan makalah ini. Tulisan ini saya kira amat istimewa hasil kepedulian saya terhadap perkembangan teknologi khususnya dalam pendidikan matematik sejak dasawarsa yang lalu.

Selamat membaca makalah berkenaan di pautan berikut:

Tahniah Cikgu Zuraini Marion!

Tahniah diucapkan buat pelajar sarjana saya, Puan Zuraini Binti Marion atas kejayaan beliau memperolehi Anugerah Pro-Canselor Sempena Majlis Konvokesyen UTM ke-67 yang berlangsung dari 18 hingga 23 November 2023. Beliau merupakan seorang guru matematik dan menyambung pengajian sarjana dalam bidang Pendidikan Matematik di bawah tajaan Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP).

Sepanjang pengajian, beliau menunjukkan komitmen yang sangat baik terhadap pengajian dan penyediaan disertasi kajian beliau. Dua buah rencana, hasil penulisan bersama saya dan beliau telah berjaya diterbitkan iaitu dalam surat khabar dan majalah Sains:

Sebuah artikel jurnal terindeks Scopus juga berjaya diterbitkan.

Tahniah diucapkan. Semoga ia memberi motivasi kepada pelajar-pelajar yang lain.

‘Gemencheh Boys’ Menggugah Bakat Murid Felda

Alhamdulillah. Terima kasih Dewan Masyarakat atas penerbitan makalah saya mengenai inspirasi Filem Gemencheh Boys terbitan Astro Shaw Sdn Bhd dari lensa saya sebagai anak Felda dan juga seorang pendidik.

Selamat membaca!

Pemenang Anugerah PERSAMA 2023

Alhamdulillah, sempena Anugerah Persatuan Sains Matematik Malaysia yang diadakan pada 26 September 2023 di Hotel Raia, Alor Setar, Kedah Darul Aman, saya telah menerima Hadiah Sanjungan bagi kategori Rencana Popular dengan rencana berjudul “Merangsang Kemahiran Matematik Bayi” terbitan Majalah Sains. Anda boleh membaca rencana tersebut melalui pautan berikut:

Selamat membaca dan semoga bermanfaat. Terima kasih.

Tahniah Buat Tiga Cendekiawan UTM

Panel in the IPCSM 2023 Forum at UPSI

On the 26th of October 2023, I extend my gratitude to the Faculty of Science and Mathematics at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris for extending an invitation to participate as one of the panelists in the forum held in conjunction with the IPCSM 2023 conference. The forum, which ran from 11 am to nearly 1 pm, was titled “Innovation in Education: Nurturing or Disrupting?” The forum consisted of three rounds during which the panelists shared their perspectives in response to questions posed by the moderator.

Q: Drawing from your experience, what is your standpoint regarding the current state of educational development, especially in the context of innovation?

My respond:

  • The Prime Minister, YAB, highlighted the need for the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) to adopt fresh approaches to captivate students’ interest in Science and Mathematics subjects.
  • He emphasized that MOE’s recent research reveals a waning interest among students in both subjects, necessitating innovative methods to reignite their enthusiasm.
  • The Minister of Education, YB Fadhlina Sidek, underscored that innovations offer solutions to address challenges in education. She stressed the vital role of such initiatives in ensuring that education remains pertinent amidst rapid technological and scientific advancements.
  • Nevertheless, the realm of education is expansive, and generating innovations applicable to all Malaysian schools without clear directives from the ministry is a challenging task.
  • Given the widespread concerns about the content density of textbooks, particularly in mathematics, it is challenging for MOE to add additional components to the existing curriculum.
  • Consequently, innovation becomes the responsibility of teachers themselves in their efforts to help students improve their cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills, aligning with the national educational philosophy.
  • In terms of Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), many of my students engage in research focusing on HOTS with specific interventions or innovations, primarily within the field of mathematics.
  • Typically, during the first semester, I request proposals from them to ensure that their studies can, at the very least, be applied within their respective schools, adhering to the adage “Ilmu tanpa amal, ibarat pohon tidak berbuah” (knowledge without action is like a fruitless tree).
  • I advise them not to be overly ambitious, instead concentrating on innovations that can be effectively employed by their students to enhance their HOTS.
  • Furthermore, I encourage them to partake in innovation exhibitions and author articles about their innovations to disseminate their work.
  • It is paramount for teachers to possess the spirit and motivation to unlock the full potential of their students, in accordance with the “Falsafah Pendidikan Kebangsaan” (National Education Philosophy).
  • In my view, the true essence of innovation in teaching and learning lies in helping students acquire knowledge, as opposed to merely rushing through the syllabus with little gain for the students.

Q: What are the most significant challenges and impediments to fostering innovation in education today?

My respond:

  • The traditional Malaysian education system has long been rooted in rote learning and a teacher-centric approach. Transitioning to more innovative methods can prove challenging, as it faces resistance from educators and parents accustomed to the established system.
  • Malaysia heavily relies on standardized testing, which can act as an obstacle to innovation.
  • Many schools in Malaysia, especially in rural areas, lack essential resources for innovative education. This deficiency encompasses access to technology, adequately trained educators, and contemporary teaching materials.
  • The national curriculum may not always exhibit the necessary flexibility to accommodate innovative teaching techniques. Implementing changes to the curriculum can be a slow and arduous process.
  • Malaysian teachers often grapple with heavy workloads, which can curtail their ability to explore and implement innovative teaching methods.
  • Traditional grading systems may not effectively gauge the success of innovative approaches, potentially leading to resistance from parents and educational authorities who are accustomed to conventional metrics.
  • One of the primary challenges lies in the reluctance to change among educators, administrators, and other stakeholders. Many individuals are comfortable with traditional teaching methods and may hesitate to embrace novel approaches.
  • Teachers often lack the requisite training and professional development to proficiently implement innovative practices. They necessitate support and guidance to acquire new skills and adapt to innovative teaching methods.
  • Inadequate funding, technology, and resources can impede the development and execution of innovative practices. Numerous schools and districts may struggle to invest in the essential infrastructure and tools.
  • The emphasis on standardized testing and assessment can restrict the adoption of innovative practices. Educators may feel compelled to “teach to the test” instead of concentrating on comprehensive learning and skills development.
  • Some educators may perceive that innovative practices augment their workload, which can lead to resistance to change.
  • Addressing the diverse needs of students with varying learning styles, abilities, and backgrounds can be intricate when implementing innovative practices.
  • A shortage of clear evidence and research on the effectiveness of specific innovative practices can make it challenging for educators to justify their adoption.

Q: How can the government, educators, stakeholders, and students work together more effectively to nurture innovation in education?

My respond:

  • Nurturing innovation in education in the Malaysian context requires a collaborative effort from various stakeholders, including the government, educators, other stakeholders, and students.
  • Government especially Ministry of Education has to create an innovation-friendly policy environment that encourages experimentation and creativity in education. As announced by the Prime Minister in the Budget 2024 recently, MOE and MOSTI should work together to develop policies that promote flexibility, autonomy, and a focus on 21st-century skills especially in STEM.
  • However, the basic concepts of STEM must be mastered by all educator as well as students regardless the location of the schools.
  • The government also should allocate sufficient funding for research, development, and implementation of innovative educational practices. Establish innovation grants and incentives for schools and educators to experiment with new ideas. At the moment, all academician in higher education have to compete among each other which will make the probability for academician in educational field is low. It is quite difficult for Ministry of Education to provide special fund to lecturers in education field and teachers at schools due to financial constraints.
  • Collaboration with private sector organisations, NGOs, and academic institutions to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in educational innovation also important. I believe the benefits of DTD or Double Tax Deduction give advantages to both researchers and industry in order to come up with innovation.
  • For educators, invest in continuous professional development programs to train teachers in innovative teaching methods and technology integration.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration among educators, encouraging the sharing of best practices and successful innovative approaches.
  • Encourage educators to experiment with new teaching methods, technology, and pedagogical approaches. Recognise and reward innovative teaching practices.
  • Conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative strategies, ensuring data-driven decision-making.
  • Engage parents and local communities in the education process. Encourage their involvement in schools and support innovative programs.
  • Encourage students to participate in the design and evaluation of innovative educational initiatives. Their input is valuable in shaping the education system to meet their needs.
  • Teach students to think creatively, solve problems, and embrace change. Involve them in the project-based learning. Encourage them to be active participants in their learning process.

Thank you again, UPSI, for having me. Until we meet again.

Completing Data Collection in 10 SK Asli in Johor

I would like to express my appreciation to Abdul Hakim, my graduate research assistant (GRA) who is also my PhD student, for making these two days a success in our study. He arranged everything with KPM, JPN, JAKOA, and the school headmasters before we visited these two schools; SK Asli Peta and SK Asli Punan.

Hakim is the son of the former UTM lecturer of Akademi Tamadun Islam, almarhum Prof Abd Jalil, who used to be a college principal at Kolej 10 and KTF before moving to Universiti Malaysia Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah (UMPSA).

I would also like to thank all the headmasters, teachers, and students who offered us their unconditional support. What I love the most about Orang Asli children is their attitude and politeness.

During these two days, we started our journey from the hotel as early as 6.30 am, stopping for breakfast along the way. From the main road in Jalan Kluang-Mersing, it took us two and a half hours to reach SK Peta and two hours to reach SK Punan. Most of the teachers stay at the quarters, but there are also teachers who commute daily, which surprised me.

This afternoon at SK Punan, there is a former undergraduate student from the School of Education UTM who was recently posted to the school through a ‘one-off’ intake by KPM. He was surprised by his posting, as his majoring was mechanical engineering, and he was originally supposed to teach at a Vocational College. However, he still looks happy and committed to his career.

All in all, Hakim has covered all 10 SK Asli schools in Johor, and he visited two of them with me. He conducted interviews with 13 mathematics teachers at SK Asli, and I asked him about the information he obtained. I felt relieved when Hakim told me that the information provided by the interviewees was sufficient and saturated enough.

Please let me know if anyone knows of a transcription service with an affordable rate. We also collected data from the students through mathematics tests. Don’t underestimate them, as a few of them answered all the questions correctly.

Data Collection in Orang Asli Primary Schools in Kluang

I am currently in Kluang with my Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), Hakim. We will be visiting two Orang Asli primary schools on Sunday and Monday to collect data for my research grant.

There are 10 Orang Asli schools in Johor, and Hakim has already covered 8 of them. We have 2 schools left, so I’ve decided to join him in collecting data through tests and interviews with students and mathematics teachers. I hope that this small contribution can benefit them in some way, insya-Allah.

For the initial reading, you may refer to our early writings through the following links.

A Systematic Review of What Malaysia Can Learn to Improve Orang Asli Students’ Mathematics Learning from Other Countries

Does Language Matter in the Mathematics Classroom for Orang Asli Students in Malaysia?…/mjssh/article/view/2061

Indigenous Pedagogy Approach in Teaching Mathematics among Orang Asli Primary School Students…/mjssh/article/view/2494