21 May 2019-Tuesday. The Science Mathematics Education Research Group (RG-SME) from the School of Education, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (SOE, FSSH) had invited two PhD aluminium to share their expertise in the field of mathematics Education. Dr. Rohani Wahab and Dr. Jacinta Johnny who are currently serving in Sekolah Menengah Sains Kota Tinggi and Institut Pendidikan Guru, Kampus Temenggong Ibrahim completed their PhD studies in 2017 and 2018 respectively, both with minor corrections. Coincidentally, they were also supervised by the same lecturers, Professor Dr. Mohd Salleh Abu, Dr. Abdul Halim Abdullah, Dr. Mahani Mokhtar and Dr. Noor Azean Atan under the Sinergy Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia-Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Sinergy KPM-UTM) Program for teachers. Dr. Rohani was also the recipient of the best student award during the 2017/18 convocation.
Both alumni were proud to have the opportunity to share the knowledge they have gained over the course of their PhD studies to the attendees of the colloqium. Dr. Jacinta Johnny shared about teacher’s questioning technique to promote higher order thinking among students where she compared between problem types that fostered thinking skills and those that did not. She stressed that the ‘mathematics problems presented to students should not be complex, but the problems presented should incalculate complex thinking where students can discuss diverse approaches and use multiple concepts to solve the problem’. She added that,’ teachers need to develop skills and techniques in questioning students in the classroom since it resulted in continuous engagement with the problem solving process’.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rohani conducted a short workshop on Google SketchUp and how it can be used to teach secondary school geometry. According to her, there is a need for teachers to incorporate such technological tools in the class because it can demonstrate complicated ideas and concepts to students thus, this eases the burden of teachers in explaining the concepts on their own. She also said that ‘the new generation of students are highly motivated in using computers in learning. They do not need much time to explore the use of a software and are very fast learners. Therefore, teachers should be equally driven to integrate computers in teaching mathematics because it can shift the classroom towards activity-based learning.’
The colloqium has been branded a success by many lecturers and alumni who have heard of the program. They had voiced out their eagerness to also share their expertise if given a platform. Therefore, in the future, RG-SME will attempt to include UTM alumni in speaking sessions conducted in the future.
Authors: Dr. Norulhuda Ismail, Dr. Nor Hasniza Ibrahim, Dr. Nina Diana Nawi and Dr. Sharifah Osman