|Sazali, Y., Auzait, S., & Mohd Nasir, O. (2018). CLIPLAS : Towards Indigenous Pedagogy. Penang : Institute of Teacher Education Tuanku Bainun Campus|
INTRODUCTION TO CLIPLAS
Sazali Yusoff, Mohamad Nasir Othman & Auzait Shamsudin
What is CLIPLAS?
The “Classroom Improvement Programme Lecturer Attachment Scheme”, also known by the acronym CLIPLAS is a project initiated by Dr. Sazali Yusoff, the director of the Institute of Teacher Education Tuanku Bainun Campus. It was the result of discussions between the director and a group of lecturers at the end of 2016. The aim of this project was to assist schools in enhancing the effectiveness of teaching and learning in the classroom. The CLIPLAS project is unique in that lecturers from the institute would go to a school, identify the problem or issue of concern in the teaching-learning process, plan and implement lessons and finally, reflect on the implementation of teaching and learning.
In implementing this project, it is hoped that the lecturers would be able to enhance their professional and research skills and be role models for the teachers, headmasters/headmistresses who were invited to observe the lessons. In this way, the teachers would be able to observe the exemplified strengths of the teaching. Feedback on the lesson was also sought from the observers so that the quality of teaching and learning could be further enhanced.
Social learning theorists such as Bandura (1971) stresses that people learn through the process of modelling, which is a process of observing and imitating. According to Bandura’s theory of social learning, learning by observing is a basic human behaviour. By observing the process and the product of the change in other people’s behaviour, individuals learn, directly and indirectly, about the change of behaviour. Bandura refers to the person being observed as the model and the process of learning through observation as modelling.
Justification for CLIPLAS
The Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 identifies 11 key shifts to transform the national education system. The fourth shift is to transform the teaching profession into the profession of choice and one of the initiatives in this shift is to develop the institutes of teacher education (ITE) into world class teacher education universities by 2025. One of the strategies to achieve this initiative involves upskilling of ITE lecturers.
Studies across the globe have shown that the quality of teachers is the most significant school-based factor in determining the quality of pupil learning, surpassing the impact of the quality of the education system. Hence, teacher quality is the key determinant of pupil excellence (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2013). On a similar vein, the quality of ITE lecturers also determines the quality of the teachers that they train. Therefore, the continuous professional development of these lecturers can enhance their competency and teacher training skills so that, ultimately, the quality of teachers trained by them can be enhanced. Additionally, continuous enhancement of teacher quality will contribute to achieving the ITE’s vision of leading excellence in teacher education. To this end, one of the strategies to enhance the competence of teacher trainers is a lecturer attachment scheme in schools. In the context of the Institute of Teacher Education Tuanku Bainun Campus, this initiative is undertaken as a project named CLIPLAS.
Studies have also indicated the need for lecturers at institutions of higher learning to return to schools to experience and validate the professional knowledge that they themselves teach to enhance their professional skills and credibility among school teachers (Corbitt, 1993; Hansgen, 1983; Hodson-Ross & McWhorter, 1995; Stahl, 1987). According to Stahl (1987), returning to schools allows the lecturers to directly observe the ￼￼demographics and ability of the pupils, school daily activities, attitudes during the teaching-learning process and the school environment as a whole. In this way, these lecturers are provided with the opportunity to gain a practical view of teaching and learning rooted in the context of schools and this would contribute towards the development of more effective pedagogical theories and approaches in teacher education.
Lecturer attachment projects in schools is not new. Such projects have been implemented under various names such as “A Clinical Professorship” (Hansgen,1983), “Synergy Project” (Hudson- Ross & McWhorter, 1995), “Professor-In Residence Programme” (Simpson, 1997) and “Lecturer Attachment Scheme” (Mok & Chow, 1999). The state of California in the U.S.A. passed a bill on education that requires all professors who teach courses on pedagogy to return to primary or secondary schools once in every three years (Warsaw, 1986). After the year 2000, this lecturer attachment trend evolved into “school- university partnership” programmes which have been documented by writers such as Bezzina (2015), Halasz (2016), Heaky (2014), Heimann (2015) and Reynolds, Ferguson-Patrick and McCormach (2013).
In Malaysia, Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB), the national institute of educational management and leadership, Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia, implemented a lecturer attachment programme in schools for the IAB lecturers. The aim of this programme was to ensure that the lecturers experience the real scenario of administration and leadership in schools through “job-shadowing” of the school heads or principals (Institut Aminuddin Baki, 2005a, 2005b). The main aim of this programme was not to create a new pedagogical or academic model but rather to provide the lecturers with exposure and experience in school management and leadership.
Since early 2011, the MOE has started a programme known as the School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC) as an ￼￼initiative of the National Key Results Area (NKRA) under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) 1.0. The teachers chosen for this SISC programme were among the “Excellent Teachers” of the MOE. They attended courses aimed at training them to be “master coaches”. After their training, these SISC officers were tasked with monitoring and guiding teachers in low-performing schools in Band 6 and Band 7. Their duties included monitoring these schools at least three times to identify the problems faced by the schools, plan and implement intervention or remedial programmes with the cooperation of the school administrators and teachers.
Following the SISC programme was the SISC+. The SISC+ positions came under Shift 6 of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025 which aims to empower the state and district education departments. Teachers appointed to be SISC+ are based, on a full time basis, in district education offices, but are not involved in the administration of the offices. Similar to the SISC, the SISC+ core responsibility is to provide guidance to teachers in the aspects of pedagogy, school-based assessment and the primary school standards-based curriculum and to be the mediator between the MOE and the schools.
The CLIPLAS programme is different from the lecturer attachment programmes described earlier because the aims are different. The main aim of this programme is to develop a body of indigenous knowledge through the research methods of the lecturers in the school attachment scheme. Hence, the implementation of this CLIPLAS programme involves the lecturers implementing the CLIPLAS model for the purpose of research and development of indigenous knowledge.
The CLIPLAS project was implemented using the CLIPLAS model as shown in Figure 1.
In this first stage of the model, lecturers visited the target schools to gather background information on the school, class and learners who would be involved in the CLIPLAS project. These lecturer-researchers held discussions with teachers and school heads to identify educational issues of concern and determine an issue to focus on.
Then the lecturers selected an appropriate approach, strategy, method and technique to resolve the identified issue. They justified their choice of research focus and intervention plan. Next, they planned lessons that they themselves would implement in the classes.
The lecturers implemented the lesson plans while the subject teacher and, at times, the head teacher observed the lessons.
Data was collected using various methods such as observation, interviews and surveys and analysed by the lecturers. Findings were obtained from the results of data analysis.
The lecturers reflected on the lessons they taught; evaluating the strengths, weaknesses and the gap between theory and practice in the classroom. It is hoped that through a continuous process of reflection, indigenous knowledge would be developed and shared with peers and the educational fraternity in general.
Documenting The CLIPLAS Experience
The lecturer-researchers in this programme are from the Science, Mathematics, English, Religious Education and Arabic language departments. Ten papers were written up at the end of the reflection phase of the CLIPLAS programme and compiled into this book. These papers are not the result of theory alone but also the lecturers’ actual classroom experience in facilitating the learning of pupils of various abilities, personalities and backgrounds.
The experience gained in the classrooms enables these lecturer- researchers to bridge the gap between theory taught in the IPG and the reality of practice in the schools. Their experiences have been documented in the subsequent chapters of this book to share the knowledge they have gained and to serve as a reference for fellow teacher educators and and the teaching fraternity in general.
This book comprises ten chapters. Each is a detailed description of how a theory, approach, technique or method was applied in the classroom. It hopes to provide an array of practical ideas which classroom practitioners can adopt or adapt into their own contexts. It should be noted that the CLIPLAS programme does not claim to be without shortcomings; it is an attempt to link theory to practice and from practice back to theory in a process ￼￼that will generate greater insights into teaching and learning and, with time, develop a body of indigenous knowledge rooted in the Malaysian educational context.
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