Nurturing the Culture of Thinking

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Assalamualaikum.

Today, I removed all the marker pens, whiteboards and computer. We put aside all the tables and arranged our chairs in U shape. I sat together with them, to try a different setting. I wanted to communicate with my students at the same physical level. We might not realise that when an adult stands up in front a group of children, even teenagers like our students, we appeared to be perceived as very gigantic. This influences the way they listen and pick up our lessons.

The topic today was, “The Culture of Thinking”

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ITEP C103M: Encouraging Inquiry in Islamic Education

Khalifah Model School (Secondary)

Students must feel safe in the classroom environment to allow inquiry

Assalamualaikum WBT.

Teacher and friends.

Sheikh Ramzy’s lecture this week reminds me to what we discussed in C101K (or C101M) regarding indoctrination in faith based school and curriculum. After consulting and debating Neil Burtonwood’s and Michael Hand’s articles, we came to a solid conclusion that Islam is not an indoctrination, and therefore, all aspects of the Deen are friendly to reasoning and learning. They are even considered as the pillar. Even the peak of Islam which is the Shahadah La Ilaha Illallah, is also meant to be achieved through the process of knowledge.

“Be in the state of having the knowledge that there is no God but Allah” [Muhammad 47: 19]

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Metacognition: Learning How You Learn

It was my first class for this new semester. I am assisting Mr. Amin to teach Study Skills to our new students.

They were the eldest last year in primary school. They had their UPSR. This year they become the youngest in secondary school. No more UPSR. And on top of everything, our school is not an ordinary school. Switching from a teacher centered classroom to a more progressive student centered classroom, we need to assist our students on transforming themselves into active learners, who take charge of their own learning, more than simply staying as the passive knowledge receivers, not even to be known as learners in its true sense.

So, starting from this year, we introduce Study Skills as a specific subject intended to help these new students. I teach two classes on this subject, assisting Mr. Amin who also teaches History 1 and History 2 for Year 2 students.

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Personalised Learning Begins at Home

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“What do you think about your future? Frankly, I never seen someone at your age, can draw as beautiful and as detailed as what you do” I told my daughter.

Her academic is not yet, as good as her brother. But her talent, skills and hard work on drawing are great. And she is good at it. I want my daughter to know that I sincerely admire her ability and I don’t want her academic subjects overshadow her speciality.

“I want to become an artist. A painter!” she replied.

“That is good. I have an opinion. In our country, there are not many people who can sustain their life being artists selling paintings. They are great and world class artists but our society are still not in love with arts as we want. We need to educate them, so they will pay good money for high class masterpiece. You can use your skills in many ways. Even digital” I tried to broaden her perspective.

“I want to open a school camp teaching children painting!” she said.

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