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Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction (MJLI) Vol. 12, 2015

Constraints of Math Teachers’ in Conducting Action Research in the Philippines: Rights Analysis
Paolo Nino Valdez & Minie Rose Lapinid
Bro. Andrew Gonzalez College of Education
De La Salle University Manila
Corresponding author:
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This exploratory investigation examines the material and non-discursive constraints of Math teachers in conducting action research in the Philippines. It initially describes the contexts of participation of scholars situated in the periphery in knowledge production and teases out the apparent challenges faced in the successful conduct of research.
Methodology – Anchored on Lave and Wenger’s concept of community of practice and legitimate peripheral participation, the study employs rights analysis as a means to determine the constraints
of the respondents in doing action research. Additionally, it traces the mechanisms of power that reinforce and reproduce these challenges. Data was obtained from 13 mathematics teachers employed in different schools under the Manila Archdiocesan and Parochial Schools Association (Mapsa). These teachers have varying work experiences and are teaching different grade levels. The respondents were systematically sampled since they are part of an action research course under the master’s program in teaching math offered by the university.
Findings – Based on the findings, it is argued that due to the disempowering material, social and political conditions of these teachers, they may be considered as part of a hierarchy of peripheral participation since they possess limited opportunities for academic socialisation in the conduct of action research . Finally, this paper draws implications for the improvement of research training in periphery contexts.
Significance – With the increased interest in the socio-political dimension in the teaching and learning process, this work may be of interest to those engaged in conducting research training as well as other stakeholders in the academe to improve the conduct of action research in their respective educational institutions.
Keywords: Action research, community of practice, mathematics education, Philippine educational system, research training, rights analysis, teacher education.

Teacher and Students’ Perceptions of Reading a Graphic Novel using the Multiliteracies Approach in an ESL Classroom
Shahida Pishol & Sarjit Kaur
School of Humanities
Universiti Sains Malaysia
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This article reports on the practical application of Learning Elements advocated by the multiliteracies approach to classroom practice. Its ideas are grounded in the multiliteracies pedagogical principles of teaching and learning that address issues on literacy and learning in today’s globalised world. The main objective of this study was to analyse the perceptions of one ESL teacher and 24 students in reading a graphic novel using the multiliteracies approach in an ESL classroom.
Methodology – The study involved the collection of qualitative data which was derived from focus group interviews and a journal writing activity. These instruments aimed to get feedback from the ESL teacher and students about their perceptions of reading a graphic novel using the multiliteracies approach in the reading classroom. The materials used for the focus group interviews and the journal writing activity. The data from the focus group interviews were analysed by using thematic analysis. Meanwhile, the data from the teacher journal entries were subjected to a micro analysis approach using the content analysis method.
Findings – The findings showed that the students perceived the use of the graphic novel and the multiliteracies approach in their reading class positively because they felt that the lessons were engaging, enjoyable and interesting. This supported the views of the ESL teacher who advocated the inclusion of multimodal pedagogical practices in the learning context to promote positive outcomes.
Significance – This study would benefit ESL students in terms of enjoyment in reading. Firstly, reading a graphic novel can tap into students’ interest and can motivate them to read and write. Additionally, it would also motivate students to learn collaboratively with their peers. The fi ndings of the study offer ESL teachers and researchers valuable insights of reading a graphic novel using the multiliteracies approach in reading classrooms, as well as planning effective lessons and integrating technology, in an effort to motivate students to read in English.
Keywords: multiliteracies approach; multimodal pedagogical practices; information and communication technologies; reading a graphic novel.

Influence of Culture on Students’ Awareness of How and Why They Learn
Siew Chee Choy, Daljeet Singh Sedhu, Yow Lin Liew, Mun Yee Lee, Audrey Malenee & Norkhadirah Anuar
Centre for Educational Psychology and Instructional Strategies
Tunku Abdul Rahman University College
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – The reason many Asian students fi nd student-centred learning challenging may be due to cultural factors present in every human interaction between individuals. This study attempts to determine the infl uence of these cultural factors on students’ awareness of how and why they learn.
Method – A sample of 12 students enrolled in a two year diploma course in a Malaysian university was interviewed, using a semistructured interview protocol, on the students’ perceptions and experiences when learning. The results were analysed qualitatively using the interpretive approach.
Findings – The results show that students rely on their teachers for information, implying a high power distance as well as low individualism, and are not inclined to explore on their own. These students readily approach their friends rather than teachers for help with their assignments. They also hold their parents’ opinions in high regard.
Significance – The results of this study are important for teachers when implementing student-centred learning. It will be challenging for Malaysian students to respond well to this form of learning strategy as it requires a certain amount of independent learning as well as risk-taking behaviour which these students seem to lack.
Keywords: Cultural influences, student learning, perceptions and learning experience.

Using Diacritics in the Arabic Script of Malay to Scaffold Arab Postgraduate Students in Reading Malay Words
Khazriyati Salehuddin & Heather Winskel
School of Language Studies & Linguistics
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
School of Health and Human Sciences
Coffs Harbour Campus, Southern Cross University, Australia
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This study aims to investigate the use of diacritics in the Arabic script of Malay to facilitate Arab postgraduate students of UKM to read the Malay words accurately. It is hypothesised that the Arabic script could facilitate the reading of Malay words among the Arab students because of their earlier exposure to the Arabic script in comparison to the Romanised script.
Method – Twelve Arabic fi rst language speakers participated in a reading experiment that used DMDX, a Win 32-based display system for psychological experiments, to investigate whether or not Arabic vowel diacritics can facilitate Arabic fi rst language speakers to read Malay words accurately. A total of 100 Malay bi-syllabic words were used as stimuli in three different forms: 1) Arabic script without diacritics; 2) Arabic script with diacritics; and 3) Romanised script. The participants’ responses and reaction times were recorded to analyse accuracy and speed.
Findings – Arabic first language speakers were more accurate when reading words in Arabic script of Malay with diacritics and when reading Romanised script than when reading Arabic words without diacritics. Arabic speakers read Malay words faster in Arabic script without diacritics and in Romanised scripts than when reading words in Arabic script with diacritics.
Significance – This study shows that the use of a more familiar script to a certain extent does facilitate language learners to produce the target language more accurately compared to using a less familiar script. Hence, educators should explore any possible means to scaffold learners in their learning process.
Keywords: Arabic script, cognitive complexity, DMDX, Malay, psycholinguistics, reading.

Mastery of Scientific Argumentation on the Concept of Neutralization in Chemistry: A Malaysian Perspective
Lee Ling Heng, Johari Surif, Cher Hau Seng & Nor Hasniza Ibrahim
Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Student Support Services, University of Sydney
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – Argumentative practices are central to science education, and have recently been emphasised to promote students’ reasoning skills and to develop student’s understanding of scientific concepts. This study examines the mastery of scientific argumentation, based on the concept of neutralisation, among secondary level science students, when engaged in individual and group argumentations.
Methodology – 356 form four science students were first randomly assigned to an argumentative condition, after their lesson on acids and bases, presented using the developed instructional materials. Each individual or group was then asked to answer an Open-ended Scientific Argumentation Test (OSAT). Discussions during group argumentations were observed and recorded. All the answers provided in the OSAT were then analysed based on their accuracy, the triplet relationship in chemistry and for the presence of argumentation elements. Observations from the group argumentations were transcribed and assessed.
Findings – The results show that in both argumentative conditions, most of the arguments constructed tend to consist of the elements of claim and evidence. The results also show that students who work in groups outperform students who work individually. As individuals, most of the arguments presented tend to be simple with reasoning at a macro-level. As groups, the arguments presented are more complex, where justifications are provided at the sub-micro and symbolic levels, and with fewer misconceptions. That is because group argumentation participants have the opportunity to shareideas, detect and correct each other’s mistakes, seek explanations and explain ideas.
Significance – The study implies that group argumentation enhances students’ argumentation and reasoning skills and improves their mastery of scientific concepts. In addition, this study also investigates students’ performance from the Malaysian perspective.
Keywords: Misconceptions, neutralisation, scientific argumentation, triplet relationship.

Exploring the Interactions on an Online Narrative Writing Platform
¹Nagaletchimee Annamalai, ²Tan Kok Eng, ³Amelia Abdullah & Sorojini Sivagurunathan
¹School of Distance Education
²,³School of Educational Studies
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Darul Ridwan
¹Corresponding author:
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This paper reports a study that investigated the interactions of six students learning to write narrative essays on an online narrative writing platform (ONWP). Participants were six students and a teacher from an urban Chinese Secondary School in the northern region of Malaysia.
Methodology –The qualitative data used in this study were online interaction archives and narrative essays collected from an ONWP used by the teacher to teach narrative writing. The student-teacher interactions were coded based on the categories related to cognitive, teaching and social presences as suggested by the Community of Inquiry Model (Garrison, Archer & Anderson, 2000).
Findings – Findings indicated that the cognitive, teaching and social presences suggested by the CoI model were present in the interactions while students were engaged in the ONWP. However, certain descriptors of the CoI were not found in the study. The major contribution of this study is the single, dual and triple phases which emerged from this study. The essays’ scores revealed that the students improved in their narrative writing ability after engaging in the ONWP.
Significance – The fi ndings have placed the model in a new environment involving the application of CoI model in a Chinese Secondary School. Being online to fulfil wide-ranging tasks does not only involve critical thinking but also creative writing. Teachers involved in online teaching and learning activities need to encourage students to be involved in critical thinking. Students should also realise that there is more to learn in writing than just making corrections based on the comments.
Keywords: Online collaboration, CoI model, cognitive presence, social presence, teaching presence, social interactions, school writing

Basic and Advanced Skills They Don’t Have: The Case of Postgraduate and Literature Review Writing
Kuang Ching Hei & Maya Khemlani David
Faculty of Languages & Linguistic
University of Malaya
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – This paper aims to identify the difficulties postgraduate students face in writing the literature review for their thesis and dissertation.
Methodology – Seventy postgraduate students from 9 faculties in one public university in the Klang Valley consented to participating in this study. They were 49 Masters candidates and 21 doctoral (PhD) candidates attending a workshop on academic writing. Among them, 31 were Malaysians and 39 were foreigners with majority being Arabs and Africans. After an icebreaking session, participants were asked what their writing diffi culties are when doing their literature review. They were told to write their responses in English in a paper. A linguistic analysis was then applied to the written phrases and expressions which denote their diffi culties. These were then categorised under common themes and manually counted in terms of the frequency.
Findings – A total of 37 categories of diffi culties were detected. They encompassed basic and advanced skills in reading and writing including ‘not knowing what to read’, ‘how to read’, ‘how to start writing’, ‘organising’, ‘doing a critical analysis’, ‘summarising’ and ‘synthesising’.
Significance – The fi ndings imply that most of the participants do not possess the necessary skills of reading and writing which are required in most postgraduate programmes. Thus, it is imperative that institutions of higher learning develop stricter criteria for student selection. Alternatively, a programme providing support in reading and writing may enable these postgraduate students to raise their level before being admitted. This kind of support can help to mitigate the burden imposed on supervisors as well as develop better quality postgraduate students.
Keywords: Academic writing, challenges, postgraduate students, training

Inquiry Practices in Malaysian Secondary Classroom and Model of Inquiry Teaching based on Verbal Interaction
Winnie Sim Siew Li & Mohammad Yusof Arshad
Faculty of Education
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
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Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Purpose – Inquiry teaching has been suggested as one of the important approaches in teaching chemistry. This study investigates the inquiry practices among chemistry teachers.
Method – A combination of quantitative and qualitative study was applied in this study to provide detailed information about inquiry teaching practices. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and field notes were used. 23 chemistry teachers participated in this study. 92 chemistry lessons were audio and video recorded, which subsequently were transcribed in verbatim. By applying descriptive statistics, the frequencies and percentages of each category in the observation instrument were determined.
Findings – Most of the questions made by the teachers and students were closed-ended questions. Teachers in this study practised wait-time after asking questions. Meanwhile, it was found that most of the students’ questions were followed by answer given by the teacher and the sequence after students’ answers was followed by explanation from the teacher. Students were merely following teacher’s explanation or procedures in text book before carrying out experiment. The mean of students’ ability to provide further explanation was very low.
Significance – A model of inquiry teaching based on verbal interaction was proposed as a guide for chemistry teachers to implement inquiry teaching in order to be in line with the Malaysian National Science Education Standards.
Keywords: Inquiry teaching, wait-time, verbal interaction, macroscopic, submicroscopic, symbolic, multiple levels of representation.

Pemodelan Hubungan antara Kesejahteraan Hidup, Keserakanan, dan Kesejahteraan di Tempat Kerja dengan Efikasi Guru secara Kolektif
Yusni Zaini Yusof, Rosna Awang Hashim & Tengku Faekah Tengku Ariffin
Pusat Pengajian Pendidikan dan Bahasa Moden
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Corresponding author:
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Tujuan – Berdasarkan model kognitif sosial, kajian ini mengkaji kesan langsung dan tidak langsung terhadap efikasi guru secara kolektif. Secara khusus, kajian ini menilai peranan kesejahteraan hidup, keserakanan, kesejahteraan di tempat kerja dalam menerangkan efikasi guru secara kolektif.
Metodologi – Seramai 836 sampel guru dipilih secara rawak dari dua belas buah MRSM Zon Timur di Malaysia. Data kajian ini diperolehi melalui soal selidik yang mengandungi 85 item. Data ini telah dianalisis dengan menggunakan statistik deskriptif dan Analisis Persamaan Berstruktur.
Dapatan – Dapatan kajian ini menunjukkan kesejahteraan hidup, keserakanan dan kesejahteraan di tempat kerja adalah secara signifikan mempengaruhi efikasi guru secara kolektif. Berdasarkan kepada penilaian keseluruhan model, didapati bahawa kesepadanan model adalah munasabah. Dapatan analisis persamaan berstruktur menunjukkan bahawa kesejahteraan di tempat kerja adalah pengantara separa hubungan kesejahteraan hidup guru, keserakanan guru dan efikasi guru secara kolektif. Berbanding kesejahteraan hidup, keserakanan guru memperlihatkan kesan yang lebih kuat terhadap efikasi guru secara kolektif.
Signifikan – Kajian ini memperkenalkan model yang menunjukkan kepentingan kesejahteraan hidup, keserakanan dan kesejahteraan di tempat kerja sebagai penyumbang yang signifi kan kepada efikasi guru secara kolektif. Ia juga mengenal pasti kepentingan keserakanan guru dalam membangunkan efikasi guru secara kolektif.
Kata kunci – Kesejahteraan hidup, keserakanan, kesejahteraan ditempat kerja, efikasi guru secara kolektif.

Kesan Pengantaraan Pengalaman Psikologi bagi Hubungan Pelbagai Kemahiran dalam Tugas Pengajaran dengan Motivasi Kerja
Mat Zaini Abdullah & Rafisah Osman
Pusat Pengajian Pendidikan dan Bahasa Moden
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Corresponding author:
Abstrak Ɩ Full Text
Tujuan – Kajian ini bertujuan meneliti hubungan langsung faktor pelbagai kemahiran dengan motivasi kerja guru. Selain itu, kajian ini juga meneliti kesan pengantaraan pengalaman-pengalaman psikologi sebagai pemboleh ubah pengantara.
Metodologi – Kajian ini menggunakan reka bentuk korelasi yang melibatkan pengujian permodelan persamaan berstruktur dengan pendekatan kuantitatif, manakala kaedah tinjauan keratan rentas digunakan untuk pungutan data kajian. Responden kajian ini berjumlah 458 orang terdiri daripada kalangan guru sekolah menengah kebangsaan harian biasa di negeri Kedah. Teknik pensampelan rawak berkelompok telah digunakan untuk memilih responden kajian. Data kajian telah dianalisis dengan menggunakan Pemodelan Persamaan Berstruktur dan analisis lanjutan IBM SPSS melibatkan kaedah bootstrapping bagi kesan pengantaraan.
Dapatan – Hasil kajian menunjukkan pelbagai kemahiran tidak mempunyai hubungan langsung yang signifi kan dengan motivasi kerja guru. Namun begitu, faktor pelbagai kemahiran didapati mempunyai hubungan langsung yang signifi kan dengan pengalaman kerja yang bermakna, pengalaman bertanggungjawab terhadap hasil kerja dan pengetahuan sebenar hasil kerja. Analisis selang keyakinan 95% bias diperbetulkan bagi pengalaman kerja yang bermakna, pengalaman bertanggungjawab terhadap hasil kerja dan pengetahuan sebenar hasil kerja tidak mengandungi nilai sifar menunjukkan ketiga-tiga pengalaman psikologi memberi kesan pengantaraan yang signifikan.
Signifikan – Kajian ini memberi manfaat kepada penguruspengurus di sekolah dan kepimpinan pendidikan dalam merancang reka bentuk kerja guru dengan memberi tumpuan kepada pembinaan motivasi kerja melalui proses merangsang pengalaman-pengalaman psikologi guru. Dalam hal ini, pengalaman-pengalaman psikologi merupakan keberhasilan modal psikologi positif melalui penglibatan guru dalam melaksanakan tugas pengajaran. Kajian ini memberi manfaat secara langsung kepada guru dalam memahami kepentingan menggunakan pelbagai kemahiran dalam melaksanakan tugas pengajaran di sekolah.
Kata Kunci: Pelbagai kemahiran; pengalaman-pengalaman psikologi dan motivasi kerja guru.