Lecturer Pitches Incorporation of Inventive Thinking in Malay Courses

Lecturer Pitches Incorporation of Inventive Thinking in Malay Courses

Date
Saturday, 25 August 2012

Media Type
The Brunei Times (Print & Online)

A Bruneian PhD candidate at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, is planning to bring the process of inventive thinking into Malay classrooms in Brunei schools.

Aliamat Omar Ali, a lecturer at the Language and Literacy Education Academic group, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE), is currently embarking on a project to encourage students to become fluent in solving "non-material" problems through writing classes.

He mentioned plans to conduct the project in classrooms for Malay writing in a few Bruneian schools, which he could not specifically reveal.

He said that the approach is "like killing a few birds with a stone".

"On one hand, Bahasa Melayu is a subject that is compulsory for all students. On the other hand, the language itself is widely used (in this context, by students specifically) and is the national language of Negara Brunei Darussalam," he told The Brunei Times in a recent email interview.

"By teaching Inventive Thinking in the Malay Language classrooms, not only does it add value to the subject and the language, but also to make use of it being a compulsory subject to enable teaching inventive thinking in a mass scale under the existing curriculum," he said.

He said that the Malay language curriculum, under SPN21, also provides a suitable environment for inventive thinking to take place.

In the future, he said that the project would then be extended to society particularly youths.

According to Aliamat, few definitions exist for the term "Inventive Thinking".

"However, in general, for me, it is a knowledge-based skill equipped with a set of habits of the mind/life skills which empowers a person to see and act upon challenges in a positive way," he said.

He said that students with inventive thinking would look for an independent and original solution to a problem.

"In other words, it is the thinking and attitude of lighting the candles and not cursing the darkness," he said.

The students, he said, would learn to be skillful in defining, solving and formulating solutions to a problem.

He said that simply giving students a problem to solve hoping that they would be problem-solvers, is not enough.

The best way to teach the skill is by making the problem-solving processes visible or explicit and contextualised to the situation, he noted.

He also said that students should not be expected to provide a standard solution for a problem.

"As students' ideas often contradict, resolving the conflicts... in my opinion, will promote a true type of independent learning, a sense of leadership, ownership and responsibility to the students."

When this happens, he explained that teachers become facilitators or an expert whom the students refer to.

"To some extent, this will contribute to the culture of lifelong learning." he said.

When asked about the challenges, Aliamat responded by saying that students need to overcome complacency, which hampers the growth of inventive thinking.

"As inventive thinking is knowledge-based, students need to be well-informed about things (issues, conflicts, events) around them and the world," he said, adding that they would also need to generate ideas in respect to the nation's values and moral guidelines.

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Source: The Brunei Times (Print & Online)