By Osman Hj. Kamaluddin
Not sure whether we (especially teachers) do realize or not what really happened in a classroom learning process. What I mean is that, usually, the teacher would start with teaching the students, providing relevant information on the subject that is being taught. After ‘transferring’ the knowledge to the students, the teacher would obviously want to know whether the ‘transferring’ has been achieved and this is usually done by the teacher asking that one million dollar question! ANY QUESTION?
When this question is put forward, the teacher would be scanning around for any reaction from the student. Within these few seconds, the students, after receiving that question from the teacher would be thinking how to react and usually, in their mind (which I have identified only 3 but maybe more.), these types of thought would be playing:
1. The Pretenders – These students really don’t understand and want to ask questions. BUT when they look around, they see that nobody raises up their hands. So, they would interpret that everyone understands except them. These would make them feel stupid in front of everyone and that is not a nice feeling. It could also be that they do not want to ask questions fearing ‘prosecution’ from the teacher. They may be thinking that the teacher would interpret that by them asking the questions, the teacher would be thinking that they were not paying attention as others were paying attention and that’s why the others didn’t ask any question! Sometimes, they also fear sarcasm from teachers with remarks like ‘simple thing like that also cannot understand? Or ‘have explained everything in details also cannot understand?’
So, with all these thoughts in their mind, these students would react like this, PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND!
2. The You First – This group would usually involve 2 closed friends or partners. Student A would ask student B whether he/she understand and student B answers No and likewise when student B ask the same question, student A would answer the same i.e. NO. So, after that, student A would instruct student B to ask the question and likewise, student B comes back, instructing student A to ask the question. So, you will hear the ‘YOU ASK LAH!’ being whispered many times!
3. The Thinker – These students may understand about 80 % only. So, they would be thinking whether to ask about the remaining 20 % BUT they take a very long time to make the decision because they are THINKERS!
At the end, after the teacher finished scanning around for reaction (that would be a few seconds only) and when nobody asks anything, the teacher would assume that everyone understands and would say ‘ OK, let’s go to the next subject !’
SO, WHO’S LEARNING?
Osman Hj Kamaludin is a marine surveyor who has for the past many years researched and observed on accelerated learning techniques.