SME 3023:TRENDS AND ISSUES IN EDUCATION FOR MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT: Skillful Problem Solving NAME & MATRIC NO: NUR ADILAH BINTI YAHAYA D20081032234 DATE OF SUBMISSION: 15.12.2011 LECTURER’S NAME: PROF DR MARZITA PUTEH
1. What is the problem? Malaysia is among 59 countries that participated in the study of internationalmathematics and science achievement for students aged 14 years old that was conductedby the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study at Fourth and eighthgrades, International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, ChestnutHill, Massachusetts, The USA. Prior to 2007, Malaysia has also participated in the samestudy for the year 1999 and 2003. This study was conducted once every four years.TIMSS’ 2007 research findings shows that average achievement scores for Malaysianstudents in 2007 for Mathematics and Science have deteriorated significantly comparedwith the Malaysian student scores performance in 1999 and 2003 studies. Among the 59countries taking part in the study, there are national sample of students achieving anaverage score increased slightly or decreased slightly. But the decline in averageachievement scores of students in Malaysia 34 points for Mathematics and 40 points forScience is a significant and largest once among the 59 countries. This shows thatMalaysian students are less competitive in the TIMMS compared to all participatingcountries and not globally prepared.
2. Why is there a problem? Students’ achievement in Mathematics and Science may be influenced from one ofthese factors such as family background, language used in teaching, learning andstudents’ attitude towards Mathematics and many other. But for this assignment, I willdiscuss the three main factors which is family background, language used in teaching andlearning and students’ attitude towards Mathematics. Family background has a considerable influence on achievement in science and mathematics education. Research indicates that certain types of parent involvement, such as parental discussions with the children about school-related topics, such as the importance of getting an education benefit students because these students show higher rates of homework completion and academic achievement in the middle and high school years. Apart from that, parent involvement can be conceptualized as social capital. McNeal (1999) study found that social capital which is parent involvement is associated with increased student achievement. The evidence also indicates that there is a relationship between parental aspirations and mathematics achievement and parental expectations are important factors in shaping educational expectations. These findings speak to the importance of family socioeconomic status about types of interactions at home that support student learning. Research also shows that parent’s education was a strong predictor of mathematics achievement, especially mother’s education and resource availability is strongly related to parent’s ability to help their children with school work. Secondly, the language of instruction do influenced the achievement of Malaysian students. Education in native languages is critical for children to achieve the level of mental maturity, which is, to understand and build concepts in mathematics and science constructively. This explanation is relevant in the context of the findings of TIMSS, which shows the mathematics and science achievement of students who use their mother tongue for teaching and learning mathematics and science were higher on average compared to students who are studying in a foreign language. This is because the native language helps students to understand science
and math concepts taught in school. All countries in the TIMSS study which its students use their mother tongue in learning mathematics and science in schools such as Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, England, U.S., Romania, and so on, achieved higher scores on math and science. Attitude is important in what we do so that we are committed in succeeding in things we ventures. As for Malaysian student, majority of them have negatives attitude towards Mathematics according to a study conducted in 2002. The findings showed that a lack of student interest on mathematics subjects was caused by the attitude of those who think mathematics is a difficult subject. This negative perception caused them to give up the opportunity to receive such subjects as an easy to understand. When students have negative perception of a subject, they will find themselves not enjoying Mathematics class and Mathematics lesson and are more likely to skip math class. Thus, this will cause their interest in mathematics progressively reduced. Apart from that, student will also be less competitive if they are lack of self confidence. According to Ryan & Pintrich (1997) in their study found that students who imagined themselves as a competent person in terms of cognitive development is easier to ask for guidance from students who feel less competent. Students who feel less competent will tend to refrain from requesting guidance. This is because students who have high confidence in mathematics do not present themselves as someone who needs guidance from the less confident.
3. What are possible solutions to the problem?There are a few possible solutions that can be taken by the student to overcome thisproblem. Firstly, maintaining successful image. As we know, the mind can only focus on one thing at a time. So we must maintain a successful image in our minds so that we can motivate ourselves to achieve success. Secondly, student should approach positive thinking friends. In general, students’ mind is easily filled with negative elements. It is because, students have to work consciously to put a positive element in the mind. If students do not have the effort to implement positive thinking in their mind, automatically the negative element will fill their mind. Next possible solutions are contrary from previous solution, student should stay away from negative thinking friends. Refraining doesn’t mean the student should left his or her negative thinking friends, but it means that the students should spent less time with them and stay away from time wasting activities. Apart from that, negative minded friends will also likely to influence you in giving up. Next, what a student should do to overcome this problem is by manage their stress effectively. A study had found that that peer pressure, parental pressure, the importance of school and fear of failure is four significant factors for that contribute to academic pressure. Although stress is something that is inevitable when learning, students should be wise to control the pressure so that they can stand on par with students from other nations.
4. What would happen if you solved the problem in each of these ways? Solution Maintaining successful image Consequences Positive Negative Student will feel Some students confident about might only dream themselves. of implementing more executing their dream. Student will be more focus in doing tasks given. Student will be a role model among their friends. Value Accomplishment Ambition Commitment Encouragement Motivation How can we make the solution better? By motivating student and guiding them step by step so that they don’t go off course.
Solution Approach positive thinking friends Consequences Positive Negative Student will be None influenced to do beneficial activities. Students will have friends that will motivate them to achieve greater in lives. Implement the importance of sharing knowledge. Value Optimism Perseverance Sharing Guidance How can we make the solution better? By teaching our student the importance of sharing one’s knowledge and give them endless support.
Solution Stay away from negative thinking friends Consequences Positive Negative Student will not Their old friend be easily might felt left influenced to do behind and this useless activities. will affect their friend emotionally. Students will eliminate person that always bring them down. Value Support Self-reliance Logic Independence Exuberance How can we make the solution better? By forming study groups that consist of both attitudes in groups and encourage them to discussed the task given.
Solution Manage stress well Consequences Positive Negative Student will feel None. more relax hence improving their learning process. Students will be able to perform their task well. Value Diligence Efficiency Endurance Focus Zeal How can we make the solution better? By being concerned to the student development and encourage them to be succesfull.