Action Research PhD Holders
Catalogue of PhD Holders
The founders of our organisation are action researchers who have completed PhD degrees using an action research methodology. We provide a catalogue of action research PhD holders as a resource for postgraduates who wish to be inspired and to carry out research projects in this area. This catalogue is also intended to be a resource for academics to engage with members of the organisation. Since 2005, 20 Malaysians from reputable local and international universities have completed their PhD theses using an action research methodology. The field is rapidly growing and expanding!
The enhancement of the verbal interaction in Physics instruction through reflective teaching - A collaborative action research
This study was an extension of an earlier research relating to the needs of the non-option Physics teacher (GBO) in Malaysia. The study suggested that an experienced Physics teacher could provide hands on assistance needed by the non-option Physics teachers. Specifically, this study described the collaborative effort between an experienced Physics teacher and a non-option Physics teacher in implementing the reflective teaching through collaborative action research. The researcher as an experienced Physics teacher, acted as the research consultant and critical friend. This professional partnership was intended for enhancing the process of teaching and learning focusing on verbal interaction in the classroom. GBO was guided to reflect and to self assess the verbal interaction analysis by employing the LlSAM (Low Inference Self Assessment Measure) method. Verbal interaction observed included (i) questioning skills, (ii) teacher talk/student talk, (iii) motivating set and closure, (iv) wait time, (v) positive statements, and (vi) the used of student ideas. Data collected was triangulated using three techniques, audio recording, interviewing and observing and then analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency count) and qualitative data analysis. The results indicated that GBO was successfully, guided to identify and to overcome the strength and weakness of the verbal behavior through the integration of both the process of “reflection on action” and the process of “reflection in action” within the process of reflecting teaching. This research helped the researcher in enhancing the understanding of the implementation and the process of collaborative action research. This research also introduced and explained the propose concept of reflective supervision to be implemented in the teaching and learning monitoring system. Finally, two techniques of professional partnership in action research based on reflective teaching were proposed: PERBID technique (Reflective Teaching in Classroom) and PEPKAT technique (Professional Partnership in Action Research) as the basis to implement reflective teaching and reflective supervision in schools.
Constructing understanding around text: Investigating EFL reading as a social practice
This thesis describes a study that was carried out in response to the question, “how do I encourage active reading behaviour among a group of less successful L2 readers?” I focus on talk around text as an alternative to the traditional classroom reading practices.
I chose action research approach because it provided a context for achieving the following aims: to gain an understanding of the L2 readers’ difficulties in constructing understanding; to implement and evaluate talk around text; and to reflect on my own teaching practice with a view to creating opportunities for students’ engagement in meaningful reading activities.
Throughout the study, I monitored the intervention activities and made amendments for the subsequent cycles by examining the data available from observational field notes, audio recorded reading activities, student evaluation of the activities (by means of interviews, informal conversations, written comments, questionnaire) and the evaluation meetings with my critical friends.
Data analysis showed that the unsuccessful L2 readers were able to solve problems and engage in rich discussions about what they had read when they were provided with the opportunity to talk around text. Further, implementing change meant that I had to examine and overcome the contradictions that existed between my belief about learning and my classroom practice. In this thesis, I discuss my attempts to overcome the contradictions and I critically reflect on the opportunities and challenges associated with my attempt to change. Future research activities should consider issues beyond classroom practice that may inhibit teachers and students from exercising change. Implementing change on classroom practice alone will not be sufficient without considering ways to influence change in the wider educational community.
The implementation of target costing as a tool for change within an organisation: An action research of nestle rowntree division
This thesis outlines the process of the implementation of Target Costing within an organisation. It is empirically based, with the subject being researched at Nestlé Rowntree Division (NRD) for 32 months. The study utilises an action research approach in which the discussion of the subject scrutinises the detailed account of Target Costing implementation within a financial evaluation of pack proposals in the Pack Change Department of NRD.
The focus of this research is to understand and explain the process of an implementation of Target Costing (as a chosen method) as a vehicle of change in NRD. The study also aims to provide a processual view of the implementation programme being introduced, that is to demonstrate the connection between the historical and present characteristics that have an influence on the company’s current decision makings.
The implementation of the Target Costing proposal however was not immediately implemented. The process was delayed due to the ‘internal political influence’. Alternative views are also presented as to how and why the proposal was rejected and the ‘guessing game’ came to a conclusion that it was contingent and influenced by the culture of the organisation, and the way in which the company’s past historical success had on the current state of the employees’ mindsets. Following the above, the thesis reports on the progress of the implementation of Target Costing based on the process and interviews held with the users of the system. Despite the positive outcome of the implementation of the new Target Costing procedures, the users had different perspectives towards the new system.
Based on the undertaken research, this study offers three areas that contribute towards the existing body of literature in the field of management accounting. The three areas are: 1) in the application of Target Costing in a confectionery industry that is traditionally being implemented in an automotive industry, 2) the use of action research in analysing the process of management accounting change in an organisation, and 3) to demonstrate an extension of an institutional framework as proposed by Burns and Scapens (2000) in analysing the process of management accounting change in a single organisation. Finally, this thesis offers limitations of the research and suggestions for future researchers who wish to pursue the subject matter accordingly.
Teaching moral education in secondary schools using real life dilemmas
The purpose of this study is to contribute to contemporary debates about alternative ways of teaching Moral Education (ME) in Malaysia by including the voice of students. ME in the Malaysian setting is both complex and compulsory. This study explores alternatives to the current somewhat dated approach. It seeks to discover what young adolescents describe as moral dilemmas, how they approach them and what they find useful in resolving these moral problems.
The research is founded on a modified version of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), extended to suit the multicultural, multiethnic Malaysian setting, and here called the Zone of Collaborative Development (ZCD). This study uses qualitative research methodology consisting of a modified framework of participatory action research (PAR) as the methodological framework. Data was gathered for textual analysis through a modified form of participant observation, focus group transcripts, interviews, and student journals.
The research trials a process of resolving real life moral dilemmas in the ME classroom. It critically analyses the types of real life moral dilemmas that a selected group of secondary students face. It also indicates the moral choices they make and the moral orientations they use. Participants in this study were 22 16-17 year old adolescents from three different types of secondary schools in a Form Four ME classroom in Malaysia. They were from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, but within a nonMuslim community of students. ME in Malaysia (MEM) is designed to cater for this group while Muslim students study Islamic Studies.
Findings show that students were concerned about moral issues and values not covered in the current ME curriculum. The moral dilemmas that they identified were relational and context dependent. Multiple factors contributed to the problems they described. These factors included national legislation, Malaysian culture, ethnicity, and religion as well as the effects of history, in particular the Japanese occupation. Students named autonomy, self and mutual respect, trust, freedom, and tolerance as main conflicting themes in their real life moral dilemmas. They found their peers helpful in providing support, advice, and direction. Students also appear to find the process trialled in the research interesting, interactive/collaborative, meaningful, and reflective.
The analysis also shows that the respondents’ moral choices were influenced by parents, culture, religion, utilitarianism, collaboration, and friendship, within a strong care based approach. However, moral pluralism was also evident in the findings in cases where participants made decisions based on care and justice interchangeably. The study suggests that including students’ voices in MEM in this way might better engage students’ interest, whilst at the same time contributing to inter cultural tolerance and understanding.
Action case for information systems research development in Malaysia
This PhD attempts to study and learn about issues that influence Information Systems research development in Malaysia. An Action Case was conducted to learn about how to improve research in the author’s institution in Malaysia. The action case included participatory activities to promote qualitative research in the author’s institution and collecting information from qualitative interviews and discussions. This thesis is presented as a story from a first-person perspective and narrative of the researcher. The first person perspective was chosen because the author wanted to present his work from his own perspective and for the reader to follow the research experience itself. The narrative also fits into many of the discussions in the thesis for action-based methods placing the researcher as the research tool and that the researcher is the ‘hero’ of the research story. This also ties into one of the main aspects of the thesis which is actuality. To improve IS research in Malaysia, those who conduct and administer research need to understand each other’s actuality. The thesis suggests due to Malaysia’s academic culture there are misunderstandings that cause IS research to be left behind in terms of research support. Despite the contextual difference of views among researchers and administrators, there are patterns of similarities that can be taken from government policies and university policies. The thesis proposes that by increasing understanding using these patterns and actuality, Malaysian IS research can be improved and developed further. The thesis proposes more Action Research in the future to improve this understanding. This thesis contributes by proposing theoretical aspects that discuss the issues related to IS research improvement. This thesis proposes the action case method as an approach for Malaysian-based IS research. And this thesis along with the author attempts to make a positive difference in improving IS research in the author’s institution specifically, and Malaysia in general.
Using a multiliteracies approach in a Malaysian polytechnic classroom: A participatory action research project
This participatory action research project investigated how students in a Malaysian polytechnic classroom context, who were used to examination-based learning, negotiated learning using a multiliteracies approach (The New London Group, 2000). The study explored 12 students’ experiences in learning English as a Second Language (ESL) and drew on qualitative methods including classroom observations, informal conversations, a research journal, professional discussions and classroom artefacts. With two polytechnic lecturers involved as part of the research team, the study also investigated the research team’s experiences in engaging in a collaborative research process in two cycles of planning, action, observation and reflection.
This study was framed within Vygotsky’s (1978) socio-cultural theory that states that human learning and development is mediated by historical and cultural artefacts in the socialisation process. Guided by these principles, the study examined the ways that students’ socio-cultural perspectives and practices influenced their learning using the multiliteracies approach. In addition, the researcher investigated how the research team’s cultural perspectives and practices influenced the research processes and outcomes of the participatory action research. Data were analysed through a critical reflective analysis because of the emphasis on reflection in participatory action research. The study highlighted the consequences of implementing a Western-based teaching approach and research methodology in a Malaysian context.
During the first cycle of the study, the students faced challenges in negotiating learning for acquiring 21 stcentury knowledge and skills, such as using technologies, oral presentation, critical thinking, peer-collaboration and active participation in designing their own learning. After considering the students’ examination-based learning experiences, the research team designed a second multiliteracies module that focussed on fusing the students’ cultural learning with the components of a multiliteracies approach. During the second cycle, the students had enhanced learning experiences, where they demonstrated better negotiations with learning the 21 stcentury skills.
The study contributes to the area of using multiliteracies approach in a Malaysian context, showing how the students’ examination-based learning and cultural practices can be incorporated with a multiliteracies approach to enhance the students’ negotiation of learning 21 stcentury skills. It also maps out the journey of the research team members whose roles were initially influenced by their positions in the hierarchical structure that is ubiquitous in social, institutional and organisational contexts in Malaysia. As the research team became more engaged with the collaborative research process, they were empowered to challenge their roles and to become active co-researchers in analysing data and contributing to decision-making processes.
Pelaksanaan penaksiran autentik dalam konteks pendidikan awal kanak-kanak - Satu kajian tindakan
Pendekatan Penaksiran Autentik mengaplikasikan kaedah Pemerhatian Naturalistik untuk mengumpul dan menganalisis pelbagai data mengenai perkembangan kanak-kanak yang sesuai dengan konteks sosiobudaya bagi merancang proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran (P&P) mengikut keperluan individu. Tujuan kajian adalah memulakan pelaksanaan Penaksiran Autentik dengan mengadaptasi kaedah Penaksiran Berasaskan Kurikulum (PBK) dari budaya barat ke dalam praktis di sebuah tadika. Ia melibatkan 100 orang kanak-kanak etnik Melayu berumur di antara 36-72 bulan. Transformasi P&P dari orientasi akademik kepada integrasi domain perkembangan ini menggunakan prosedur kitaran Kajian Tindakan dan melibatkan usaha kolaboratif antara penyelidik, guru-guru, dan para profesional dalam bidang kanak-kanak. PBK yang digunakan sebagai petunjuk dalam proses pelaksanaan memperincikan 217 kriteria perkembangan kanak-kanak tipikal berumur 36-72 bulan dan dikelaskan mengikut domain iaitu motor halus, motor kasar, adaptif, kognitif, sosio-komunikasi, dan sosial. Pendekatan praksis menghasilkan tiga kitaran iaitu kitaran pertama (K1): pemilihan Kriteria Domain Perkembangan, kedua (K2): pengubahsuaian terhadap proses P&P, dan ketiga (K3): penyelarasan ke atas Kriteria Domain Perkembangan dengan ruang aktiviti dan aktiviti kanak-kanak. K1 melibatkan terjemahan langsung yang dilaksanakan oleh penyelidik dan penyunting; kajian rintis kesesuaian format skor oleh pemerhati novis; semakan ke atas Kriteria Domain Perkembangan, yang telah diterjemahkan, oleh enam orang Pakar Bidang kanak-kanak; dan pemerhatian aktiviti P&P di lapangan kajian oleh penyelidik. Analisis kesahan isi menunjukkan Kriteria Domain Perkembangan PBK sesuai diaplikasikan dalam konteks kajian. K2 pula melibatkan latihan kepada enam orang guru untuk mengubahsuai proses P&P yakni pengubahsuaian terhadap ruang aktiviti dan aktiviti kanak-kanak yang sesuai dengan Kriteria Domain Perkembangan PBK (dapatan K1). Analisis menunjukkan melalui latihan guru, ruang aktiviti dan aktiviti kanak-kanak telah bercambah dan berkembang seperti yang dirancang. Dalam K3, penyelidik, enam pemerhati profesional, dan tiga orang pemerhati separa profesional menyelaras Kriteria Domain Perkembangan PBK (dapatan K1) dengan ruang aktiviti dan aktiviti kanak-kanak (dapatan K2), melalui Pemerhatian Naturalistik. Analisis menunjukkan Kriteria Domain Perkembangan PBK dapat digabungjalinkan ke dalam aktiviti kanak-kanak dan ruang aktiviti yang telah dibangunkan. Data telah dianalisis secara visual dan teknik statistik deskriptif. Secara keseluruhannya, masih terdapat sebilangan kecil Kriteria Domain Perkembangan PBK yang tidak dapat diperhatikan secara naturalistik, maka prosedur K1, K2, dan K3 perlu penambahbaikan pada masa hadapan. Proses kajian menghasilkan garis panduan untuk para penyelidik dan guru dalam melaksanakan Penaksiran Autentik. Panduan ini terhad untuk permulaan pelaksanaan sahaja dan memerlukan kajian lanjutan pada masa hadapan bagi pelaksanaan Penaksiran Autentik secara menyeluruh dan konsisten.
Using forum theatre in teaching and learning of moral education in secondary school
This study utilised action research design, using the qualitative approach. The action research model which was extended by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) was used to identify the effectiveness of Forum Theatre techniques in developing moral reasoning, moral emotion and moral behaviour among form four students. Action research design is appropriate for this study because the Forum Theatre technique conducted in several phases has potential to achieve the teaching and learning objectives of moral education. The participants consisted of students from the science stream, studying Moral Education. Focus groups consisting of six students per group were selected from three different schools for the purpose of data collection. They were male and female students of Chinese and Indian ethnicity. The data collected using focus group interview techniques, observation, journal entries and video recordings. The thematic method introduced by Braun and Clarke (2006) was used for data analysis. Forum Theatre was used as a teaching technique for Moral Education in this study. The students were required to follow the four steps of Forum Theatre namely developing script, anti-model play, forum sessions and an intervention play. The participants used conflict or moral issues encountered in their daily life as story materials for their script. The script was presented in the form of an anti-model play. Moral conflicts arose in the anti-model play and were discussed in the forum session to find an amicable solution. Finally, the audience acted as a spect-actor to solve the problem, which has been displayed by getting involved in the intervention play. The results showed that the Forum Theatre technique is able to develop moral reasoning, moral emotion and moral behaviour among form four students. The process of moral reasoning among students involves three developmental reasoning elements which are reasonable thought, careful consideration in “decision making” and justification for the action taken. The findings also indicate that Forum Theatre techniques can trigger emotions such as shame and guilt, sadness, regret, courage, fear, pleasure, pride, anger and repentance. The Forum Theatre is also capable of creating empathy, sympathy, hatred and love toward others. Finally, among the moral behaviours identified are performing tasks responsibly, working together, being tolerant of each other, skilled in resolving conflicts rationally, being courageous, being independent, helping each other, being punctual, courteous and diligent. In realising the goals of our nation’s moral education programs, this study has its implication in teaching techniques and student learning development. Forum Theatre has the potential to transform the function of the teacher from a “classroom narrator” to a generator of meaningful reflective knowledge rooted in the reality of the student’s life.
Improving the understanding of small medium enterprises product costing content course through action research
Costing skills (CS) are crucial for achieving competitive advantage. However, Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) owner-managers still lack CS. Training programmes provided by the government seem not to have achieved the objective of strengthening SME owner-managers’ CS. Thus, the main objective of this study is to improve a CS course in training programmes of SME in Malaysia by involving SME owner-managers from the beginning of the course improvement process. This study was conducted with the cooperation of Cooperative and Entrepreneurship Improvement Institute, Universiti Utara Malaysia (CEDI, UUM). To achieve the research objective, this study employed practical action research that involved a cyclical process of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. Practical action research approach in this study involved various data collection methods such as semi-structured interview, survey questionnaire, participants’ observation and documenting. By diagnosing the problems, involving eight SME owner managers and four accounting training providers, this study found that Malaysian SMEs still lack CS, in line with findings in the extant literature. This problem is further hampered by the lack of training in CS provided by the government. Based on this finding, this study developed a CS course, where the focus is on product and service costing. The cycle includes the process of developing the course based on SME owner-managers’ input (planning), conducting training for the SME owner-managers (acting), collecting feedback from the training participants (observing) and reflecting on the feedback to improve the course (reflecting). The product and service costing course went through three practical action research cycles with different participants. The course was then improved from one cycle to the next cycle. At the acting stage, thirty-two participants involved in the first training, twenty participants involved in the second training and fifteen participants involved in the third training. The product and service costing course has been given to the CEDI, UUM to be included in their future entrepreneurship training programmes.
Project based learning in early science education for preschool
The aim of this study is to explore teachers’ practices in the implementation of project based learning in Early Science at the preschool level, hence producing teacher guide to use project-based learning for preschoolers. The study adopted Katz and Chard model of project-based learning for pre-schoolers. The theme “Vegetables I Eat” was chosen as the project. Based on Katz and Chard model the project was carried out in three phases. In Phase l: Getting started- teacher and children discussed the topic chosen and record their ideas on topic web. In Phase 2: Doing fieldwork- the children with the teacher’s help began their project activities of their own choices. These include growing vegetables using cotton, making measurements charts, drawing charts and forecast charts, and creating ways to grow vegetables. During this second phase, the children would add factual information on the topic web based on project activities. In Phase 3:Concluding the project- creating a mini science garden, story-telling at the mini theatre and display of topic web. The study employed a qualitative approach and adapted Kemmis & McTaggart model of collaborative action research method. Findings from collaboration between the teacher and researcher showed effective practices in learning and teaching of Early Science. Teacher was able to infuse Science Process Skills, which include inquiry, observations, making predictions, compare and contrast, doing 1neasurements, communicating, making hypotheses, inferences and exploration. Project-based learning is an approach that has proven to be fun and motivating children to study Science. Findings of the study also show managing and implementing of project-based learning effectively is through child centred learning approach, active learning and meaningful learning. The use of concrete materials is also effective in project-based learning for Early Science. Children creativity can be enhanced through involvement in planting, drawing growth chart, making measurements chart, making web-topic, and creating a mini science garden. This study also evaluated the usability of the teacher guide in project-based learning involving experts and kindergarten teachers. Based on Cohen Kappa Index, the results show that the teacher guideline is acceptable. It is hoped that the findings of this study help support and guide teachers in implementing project-based learning in Early Science and in the development of interest and motivation among children aged 4+ and 5+ towards learning Science.
Improving the quality of primary ESL teachers' shared reading practice: A collaborative action research
Shared reading is an excellent vehicle to enhance reading literacy in both first and second language learning context but was not effectively utilised by teachers in primary ESL classrooms. This collaborative action research aimed to support two teachers’ implementation of shared reading through four continuous and recursive spirals. A Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR) was used to examine teachers’ existing shared reading practice during the first cycle. The modified version of SABR called the Systematic Assessment of Second Language Book Reading (SABRL2) was used to guide teachers to conduct second language shared reading during the other three cycles. The tool consists of seven constructs which are: 1) materials selection, 2) classroom physical arrangement, 3) language development, 4) abstract thinking, 5) elaboration, 6) selective use of the first language, and 7) session climate. Data was collected through interviews, team reflections, classroom observations, and reflective journals. Patterns were identified through a process of data familiarisation, data coding, and theme development using the computer-aided qualitative data analysis software Atlas.ti. Findings for the first cycle showed that teachers have an inaccurate understanding of the principles of shared reading and their instructional behaviour did not promote higher order reading skills among pupils. Teachers also rarely created a warm and supportive setting for shared reading and tended to dominate the discussion during text related conversation. The first language (Bahasa Malaysia) was used excessively throughout the shared reading sessions. However, teachers’ understanding and nature of instructional behaviour developed significantly due to guidance received using the SABRL2. This study suggested that SABRL2 can be used to help teachers increase the quality of reading literacy lessons in ESL classrooms and a collaborative action research can bring about changes in the classroom by giving teachers greater breadth and depth in understanding their own pedagogical practice.
Use of self-advocacy in peer mediation for conflict resolution by young adults with learning disabilities: A participatory action research
The self-advocacy movement has provided avenues for young adults with learning disabilities to speak up their needs, but not to manage conflicts among themselves. This study seeks to understand the practicality of peer mediation for conflict resolution using self-advocacy skills by young adults with learning disabilities in Malaysia. Training manuals were designed and adapted to develop and train peer mediators to manage conflicts based on the model of self-advocacy, peer mediation and conflict resolution. The experiences of peer mediators were explored throughout the learning process highlighting the connection between self-advocacy and conflict resolution by young adults with learning disabilities. Participatory action research was adopted as a natural methodological choice consisted of three cycles of action and learning based on the research questions to achieve the objectives of the study. Voices of young adults with learning disabilities were upheld within the support system to realise their potential through the emancipation of self to social empowerment through peer mediation. The peer mediation development cycle began with envisioning the need for change, designing the services, and initiating a process to bring that change about in the first cycle. The second cycle marked the practical usage of peer mediation to enable the design of services into a continuous improvement of services provided to, and by young adults with learning disabilities in its practical context. The third cycle dealt with sharing of knowledge and experience whilst making a case for the use of self-advocacy in peer mediation services, and planning to ensure the service continues to engage with the community and to renew itself. Three common themes emerged from the thematic analysis from the experiences of peer mediation, namely the understanding on the role of peer mediators, the ability of peer mediators to resolve conflicts and the roles of self-advocacy in peer mediation. The process of self-emancipation became proactive in the third cycle where the peer mediators were involved in the process of participatory action research as research partners. This has unearthed the fourth research question and added value to the role of self-advocacy underpinning the value of collaboration as a paradigm shift in the learning disability research and study in Malaysia. Specifically, this study hopes to provide insight into the complexity in representing young adults with learning disabilities besides giving them a space for self-advocacy and collective advocacy with quality of support from the support system. From the unknown to the confidence of knowing and doing, this study hopes to make connections between practice and theory where people can enjoy peace, justice, equality in the midst to understand complexities of life in learning and supporting each other. It is hoped that a wider audience will come to understand the empowering discourses and simplistic representation of young adults with learning disabilities which will truly make an impact towards peacemaking and the meaning of life.
Improving pedagogical practices of teaching inquiry in primary science in Malaysia: a classroom action research study
As Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – the classic tale of a girl who disappears down a rabbit hole to a fantastic place full of bizarre adventures – that is how I situated myself in this unique piece of writing. As a novice teacher, I am getting ‘curiouser and curiouser’ about my own pedagogical practices. Therefore, I have decided to put myself forward in the dual role of a ‘teacher-researcher’ to study how I can improve my own pedagogical practices in implementing the teaching of inquiry in a high-performing primary school in Malaysia. Based on the classical classroom action research model, this deeply personal and contextualised study, drawing on my values and beliefs, investigates my praxis through four sub-thematic concerns of i) perception and pedagogical knowledge, ii) planning component, iii) questioning techniques and iv) inquiry assessment. Progress was made as I engaged through a self-reflective cyclical process of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. As a ‘philosopher in the classroom’, I was able to theorise my own practice by developing an appropriate pedagogical framework for teaching inquiry integrated with the Malaysian primary science curriculum and syllabus. I also empirically presented how the teaching of ‘inquiry’ should be conducted in my practice and demonstrated the impact of this approach towards the pupils’ engagement from the perspective of a teacher-researcher. As Alice said ‘it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then’, this journey made me realise the potential for me being a ‘researcher’ in my own classroom. It provided me with a systematic way of examining my current practice and a structure to enable me to plot my professional development path for the future. This journey has been truly ‘living on the edge’!
The usage of flipped classroom in moral development dimensions among moral education pre-service teachers
This study aimed to explore the potential of Flipped Classroom in developing moral dimensions of Moral Education pre-service teachers in teachers training institutes. This study employs an action research design using the qualitative approach. The action research explored by Zuber-Skerritt was used to explore the potential of Flipped Classroom technique in developing moral thinking, moral emotion and moral behaviour among the Moral Education pre-service teachers. The participants consist of 18 preservice teachers from teachers training institutes for the purpose of data collection. The data collected using focus group interview techniques, observation, journal writing, video recordings and the thematic method by Braun & Clarke was used for data analysis. The preservice teachers were required to follow steps of Flipped Classroom namely pre-teaching activity, face-to-face session and post-teaching activity in three cycle of action research. The results in Cycle 1 showed the process of moral thinking involves three developmental thinking elements which are rational thought, careful consideration in decision making and justification for action taken. The findings in Cycle 2 also indicate that Flipped Classroom technique can stimulate emotions such as sadness, pleasure, guilt, pride, sympathy, empathy, hatred, shame and love toward others. Besides, the findings in Cycle 3 showed the moral behaviour identified are responsibility in performing task, being courage, being independent, helping each other, being punctual, courteous and hard working. The overall results in Cycle 1, 2 and 3 concluded that the Flipped Classroom technique is able to develop moral thinking, moral emotion and moral behaviour among pre-service teachers. This study has its implication in Moral Education pedagogy and contributed to instructional culture and practice of teaching and facilitating in curriculum structure in IPG.
The use of short film making technique in the teaching and learning of moral education in secondary school
The aim of this study is to discover the process of moral psychology by using short film making techniques as a stimulation in teaching and learning Moral Education. This qualitative research was conducted using the action research design method. The Zuber-Skerrit action research model was utilised to study the effectiveness of short film making in unleashing the moral psychology process-moral sensitivity, moral judgement and moral motivation in form four Moral Education students. Students were involved in short film making technique namely creating storyboards, acting, watching and analysing film. From 120 participants, a total of 18 participants were used to collect data. Data was collected through interviews, observation, journal writing and video recording. The data was then analysed using the NVivo -12 software. Four themes emerged based on Braun and Clarke data analysis findings were moral sensitivity that students have learned are developing empathy for others, interpreting others’ feelings, obeying to moral principles and moral rules; and understanding of causes and consequences. In addition, short film-making techniques also help students in making moral judgement according to three specific schemes, including personal interests, maintaining norms and adherence to the principles of universal moral. In the meantime, among the moral motivations that have been identified by this study are the participants responsibility towards the decisions and actions taken, commitment to moral principles, prioritizing moral values compared to others, rejecting elements that provide personal gain and act based on moral and ethical elements. Conclusions from the study show that short film making techniques can be used as one of the methods of teaching Moral Education to uncover elements of moral psychology. The implication of this study provides important inputs in the teaching and learning process of Moral Education where such teaching methods can be used by Moral Education teachers to ensure more meaningful teaching.
Implementation of the project approach in enhancing the cognitive and social domain of preschool’s children
The teaching and learning process in early childhood is an exploratory. Through the exploration children are able to nurture their interest in learning naturally without force.Interest in learning is derived from the high curiosity of children. Thus, the teaching and learning process that does not allow children to explore the world of their environment is not suitable to be practiced in the curriculum of Early Childhood Education. Hence, this collaborative action research aims to improve the teaching and learning process from using a workbook to the Project Approach that using the concept of Emergent Curriculum in a private preschool. In this collaborative action research, researcher together with the owner and the teachers of the preschool are collaborated. There are two cycle of action research been conducted. First cycle involves the process of early observation of the actual teaching and learning process of the preschool, and planning for teacher’s training to improve their teaching and learning processes through the implementation of the Project Approach via the concept of Emergent Curriculum. Second cycle is the process of improving the first cycle as a whole. Both cycles adopt reflective practice in exploring dan improving practices that have been implemented in the preschool. The implementation of project work is based on children’s diposition and initiative of the topic and teacher’s initiative in guiding children to create their own teaching and learning process. The findings show that the implementation of the Project Approach via the concept of Emergent Curriculum as a teaching and learning process is harmoniously implemented through positive collaboration between researcher, the owner and the teachers of the preschool. In addition, the teachers also noted that the training provided helped to enhance their understanding in carrying out a meaningful teaching and learning processes, which appropriately design within the learning of children’s development. Furthermore, the teachers also able to enhance and diversify their teaching and learning skills with the implementation of the Emergent Project Approach. The findings also show that children’s intellectual and social disposition are further enhanced through open and flexible teaching and learning process as well as the use of sensory and natural learning materials without the use of workbooks. This is to enhance the development of children’s learning holistically. This study also has a significant impact on the Ministry of Education Malaysia’s efforts to transform the Early Childhood Education curriculum into improving teachers’ skills, education and competencies. The major impact is to develop and enhance the potential of a comprehensive and integrated pre-school’s teacher to produce a young learner’s in balancing their intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical development.
The constructive alignment of materials design in blended language programs
Contemporary approaches to blended language teaching now include flipped classrooms, redesigned teaching environments and an ever-growing emphasis on student-centred pedagogies. Increasingly, too, language learning itself has come to be better understood as an emerging, social and multilayered activity. Despite the centrality of materials in language learning, however, little work to date has focused on the alignment of materials design in blended approaches to language learning outcomes. Although often presented as a straightforward process, linear processes in material design come into question when set amidst the emerging complexities of language learning in blended environments. The aim of this thesis, therefore, is to investigate how language teachers navigate the complexities of constructive alignment and contemporary materials design practices across blended language programs. Framed by these three key concepts, I conducted a study at university in Australia using a longitudinal participatory action research. Additionally, I used ethnographic and autoethnographic techniques to interrogate aspects of alignment, materials design, and language programs. Following two cycles of qualitative data gathering and analysis, the findings of the study point to a need to embrace a fluid, iterative, and upwardly spiral model of materials design. On the basis of these findings, I propose a re-conceptualisation of materials design that seeks to illuminate the complex process inherent in teacher-led material design. A key outcome of the study points to a more realistic blended materials design framework that consists of three dimensions: socio-ecological, flexibility, and multimodality.
Pendekatan domain dalam pengajaran dan pembelajaran pendidikan moral di sekolah menengah
Philosophical inquiry approach in the civic and citizenship education in a Malaysian secondary school
This qualitative action research entailed the description of how the researcher used the philosophical inquiry approach to improve the teaching of Civic and Citizenship Education class. Using the data collected in the classroom observation (audio and video recording), document analysis (teacher’s reflective journal and students’ written work) and a group interview, the students’ learning experiences were analyzed to find out the extent of the development of their community of inquiry, their reasoning skills, and their views and perceptions towards the CCE lessons. Content analysis was used for classroom observation transcriptions, teacher reflective journal and students’ written work, while thematic analysis was used to analyze the group interview. By conducting three cycles of Lewin’s type of action research on twenty-five students for two semesters, the researcher managed to capture the gradual development of the community of inquiry, especially for the elements of participation, shared cognition, the quest for meaning, deliberation, impartiality and challenging as a procedure. In terms of reasoning skills, at the early stage, students were mainly providing examples and supporting opinions with convincing reasons. They gradually improved in offering counter-examples, making balanced evaluative judgments, making relevant distinctions and connections, and seeking to clarify ill-defined concepts. Seeking to uncover underlying assumptions, drawing suitable inferences and offering appropriate analogies were presented mainly in their written tasks. Students acknowledged positive changes and improvement in their CCE lessons as compared to previous and other classes, mainly because of the feeling of social solidarity, the exchanged of ideas and the condusive learning environment which enhanced their speaking, listening and thinking skills, together with some personal traits and values that encouraged positive interaction within oneself and with others. The main implication of the study is that philosophical inquiry is suitable to be used as an effective approach in teaching CCE as it encourages good participation, sharpens students’ reasoning skills and promotes democratic classroom learning environment which can be extended to form a democratic society and good citizenship. The study ends with recommendations for improving the teaching of CCE and conducting further research in the area of philosophical inquiry and CCE.
Moral education charity work integrating learning management system (LMS) and social media network (SMN)
Research was conducted in the form of action research using a qualitative approach. The Kemmis and Mc Taggart (1988) model was used to conduct studies on the integration of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Social Media Network (SMN) in implementing Moral Education Charity Work. This study aims to form an action plan for Moral Education Charity Work by integrating LMS and SMN to develop the moral dimension, and implement the action plan. In addition, this study was conducted to make reflections based on observations on the development of moral dimensions as a recommendation for the next cycle. Six Form Four Moral Education students from three classes were selected as the sample in this study, comprising Chinese and Indians, male and female. Data were collected using document analysis techniques, interviews, observations and reflection journals. Data were then analyzed and elaborated in the form of first, second, third and fourth action research loops. Based on the systematic research process, namely action plan planning, action implementation, observation and reflection on the development of moral dimension, the findings showed that the integration of LMS and SMN in Moral Education Charity Work can develop the moral dimension of student through moral thinking, moral feelings and moral action. Apart from supporting the aspirations and goals of the national Moral Education program, this study also provides ideas on the teaching process of the new millennium as well as assessment methods that make information technology as a teaching medium, in line with the 7th Core Transformation of National Education in the Malaysian Education Development Plan (PPPM 2013-2025). The findings of this study have an impact on the implementation method of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) Moral Education Charity Work which in turn affects students, citizens, and the Moral Education curriculum in Malaysia. As a result of this study, the researcher suggested several elements to improve the assessment of SPM Moral Education Charity Work.
Best practise in implementation of thematic teaching in preschool: A collaborative action research
This study aims to explore the best practices in the implementation of thematic teaching. This study answers the research question based on the phases in the action research cycle i) how is the thematic teaching practices in the kindergarten?; ii) what are the plans for the implementation of thematic teaching changes and improvements? and iii) how the implementation of thematic teaching changes and improvements in the aspects of knowledge of thematic teaching practice, thematic teaching planning, thematic teaching practice and thematic environment construction; and iv) what are the form of experience sharing of implementing changes and improving the thematic teaching?. Two teachers who were teaching 5 years old children were involved in this study. Data were collected using observation method as the main method and was supported by document analysis method and interview. Data were analyzed thematically. The findings of the study indicate that a teacher needs to have knowledge of educational context, content, pedagogy, content pedagogy and information technology to implement thematic teaching. In the aspect of planning, teachers need to prepare annual lesson plans, weekly lesson plans and daily lesson plans. Furthermore, in the implementation aspect, thematic teaching was found to be most effectively implemented in an integrated practice, flexible, involving fun and meaningful activities, using various materials, support by parents and kindergarden and usingvarious kindergarden spaces. Meanwhile, the thematic environment involves the construction of thematic galleries and thematic tables. As a conclusion, the best practices in the implementation of thematic teaching include knowledge, planning, implementation and construction of thematic environment. The suggested element of the best practise of thematic teaching implementation from the patterns of the study findings can be used as a reference and guide to implement thematic teaching in KPM’s preschool and private kindergarten throughout Malaysia.