Friday, November 20, 2009


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 !’


Osman Hj Kamaludin is a marine surveyor who has for the past many years researched and observed on accelerated learning techniques.


jon pour do care said...

Salam Bro. Jay,

Maybe the teacher would say ' Ok, since you all don't have any question, I have some questions !!! So, you reckon what will be in the students mind ? I believe there would be words like, Die ! Die ! Mati ! Mati ! Say Ler ! Por Chik ! Dusyum !!!!

Anonymous said...

Good point. I totally agree that the "quality" of learning is not judged by the number of As produced.

But to be honest, given our current social scenario, when to question is to invite ridicule or insult, no matter how well researched the argument is , can you blame students for deciding to just to adopt the "follow the leader" mentality.

Mac said...

sheesh!! so true!!! i used to be in the so-called "thinker" group...when i finally pull myself to ask a question, it will be too late. heheh...but actually, i dont learn in classroom..i have trouble concentrating in classes...i can only pay attention for the first 10 minutes, after which i just start to "berangan"..hehhe...i think self-study is much more effective, provided that you are not afraid to knock on the teacher's door for clarification. But thinking about the past (my time lar), i think there are lots of cases where teachers dont teach...they just lecture... :) said...

Who's learning? None. Including the teacher.

Anonymous said...

Jon:betoi2...kalau boleh nak menyorok bawah meja!haha :D

WengerJKhairy :That's the way..ahaa...ahaa(POLISITIKUS)we like it :P

Mac : We hear you...but I don't mind the Maths n Physics lecture,for the teacher were superrrrcute back then! to think bout it,no wonderlah cukup2 makan for both!Padan muka hang,berangan lagi Sarah!!! : am with you :)

p/s :Vote for Niasarah!

Anonymous said...

Silibus Terbaru...

"Teacher held for oral sex on Year Two girl"


SillyKorn said...

As always, this the dilemma of "our" student to be exact. The pretenders and the you first are the most that we had right now. The pretenders will surely know nothing or just a bit. They are shy to ask because they're afraid of 2 things:

1. Sarcasm from the teachers
2. They just don't want
themselves to look stupid.

But,there again,they are not the only one to be blame. If teacher themselves created such would you expect the students to be participative?

In this particular case, i feel, in my personal opinion is that the parents & the teachers must create the question-friendly environment. Why would we condemn if we can help to make things better?

There are no such things as stupid question. Students won't ask stupid question if they really want to learn.


Jahamy said...

Jon, Wenger, Mac, niasara,editor, silly korn,

All of you have raised pertinent points on the issue that it got me thinking - is there something fundamentally wrong with our learning culture. In fact does our society have a learning culture or have we deliberately taught a culture of blind obedience to "authority" ?

If it is indeed so that we have a cultivated a culture of blind obedience, probably this explains our behaviour in politics, religion and even in other areas of our lives.

peace! said...

Mr Jahamy,

The Malays used to have this philosophy that says - a guru shall not teach everything he knows to his apperantice in order for him to maintain the status quo. As such, of course we can only expect the quality of gurus to downgrade along the generation line. So, now you know why P Ramlee made better films then what we have today... said...

Very good article.

Will highlight and link back to your blog for readers to follow part II.

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Cikgu2 la yang learning..hehe...y it takes few second shj to observe students yang nak tanya soalan??....kalau observe lama2,habis la extra money cikgu2 tu coz kalau students paham, sapa yang nak pi tusyen kat cikgu2 tu??....