Teachers and Students

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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1. General background of the study
How individuals learn or understand new information and their preferred methods for learning have been subjected to a great deal of attention. It has also been the focus of a number of L2 studies in recent years since Reid’s influential work on the topic was published in 1987.

Research on learning styles, has provided teachers and also students with a different view of learning and how to apply it to classrooms and lives. Among the authors that have views regarding this topic are: Mathew Peacock (2001), Rao Zhenhui (2001), Joy Reid (1995), Rita and Kenneth Dunn (1993), Richard Felder (1995) among others. Educators and researchers have developed several instruments to assess students’ learning styles, but literature regarding this topic is full of unresolved issues, both theoretical and practical (Wilson, 1998, P.3). On the other hand, three instruments have been a great help in identifying these styles in students and also exploring them with the aim of improving the learning and teaching processes.

1.2. Statement of the problem According to the Ministry of Education Department, all the Form Six Students have to actively participate in the curriculum as well as co-curriculum activities. This is to ensure that they are well-prepared to enter universities in the future. This means that all the Form Six students will go through a relatively difficult time as they have to divide their time wisely in order to keep up with their studies and also involve themselves in co-curricular activities as well. As the Form Six syllabus is exclusively tough, all the students should have their own preferred learning styles or else they will face difficulties coping with their studies. The Form Six syllabus, especially for the Science stream, is tough and complicated. There are thousands of notes and points in which students have to memorize and retain in their memory. Most teachers would more likely talk and give their explanations in front of the class rather than write all the notes on the blackboard. They have to finish the entire syllabus before their students sit for their STPM examination. Therefore, the teachers’ teaching style is more inclined to help students who face problems in attempting to solve any particular question. Teachers are there to lend their hands mostly when students need their help in class. Teachers will not ‘spoon feed’ the Form Six students anymore. As a result, students should have the awareness of self-reliance to study independently. They should figure out their own learning styles so that they can incorporate those learning styles in the class. Early realization of their own unique learning styles in Form Six will enable these Six Formers to study effectively and under a less stressful environment and thus cope well with the syllabus.

The main purpose of this study is to find out the teaching and learning crossroads among Form 6 teachers and students from SMK Sungai Tapang.

1.3. Significance of the study
The result of the research is to help Form Six students to be more aware of their own learning styles and also to improve the teaching processes of the teachers which is match between students’ learning style and teachers’ teaching style.

1.4. Objectives of the research

According to the information above, the objective of this research study is to identify :

(a)What are the learning styles of Form Six students in SMK Sungai Tapang?

(b)What are the teachers’ teaching style?

(c)If there is a matching between students’ learning styles and the teachers’ teaching style.

1.5. Scope and limitation of the Study

In this study, 17 students from Upper Six Science classes are selected as respondents.

This study is carried out in SMK Sungai Tapang in 2012. The main purpose of this study is to

find out preferred learning...
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