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The inculcation of nationhood values in the Malaysian national secondary schools: A study of the Bahasa Malaysia and English language curriculum in enhancing national integration

M.N. Naidu, Suranthiran Naidu (2012) The inculcation of nationhood values in the Malaysian national secondary schools: A study of the Bahasa Malaysia and English language curriculum in enhancing national integration. In: Seminar on National Resilience (SNAR) III, 03-05 December 2012, Puteri Resort, Ayer Keroh, Melaka.

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This paper proposes primarily a position that national integration, and thence a sense of belonging to the nation among school adolescent students, can be foundationally and firmly built and established, for the stability of the Malaysian polity and future well-being of its citizens. The study undertaken by the research student attempts to look at language education, when accorded a centrality and focus in the nation's education curriculum, can facilitate, engender and nurture the construction of nationhood values in school students.Undergirding the objectives of this above study is the National Education Philosophy which propounds and emphasizes the development of the integrated and balanced Malaysian citizen, possessing positive, universal and high moral standards and values, and capable of contributing to the harmony of the nation (Education Act 1996).The principles promulgated by education psychologists Jean Piaget (1952) and Lev Vygotsky (1962), seen together with Barrett's (Clymer,1968) and Bloom's (Pohl, 2000) education taxonomies on the different levels of mental-intellectual performance, provide a composite framework for studying the textual language items.The document analysis conducted shows that the text materials are generally weighted towards greater information input, and only minimally directed towards higher level cognitive/affective skills development involving problem-solving and appreciation activities.The study on which this presentation is based, involves secondary school children of the ages of fourteen-the students in secondary two, and sixteen years-the students in secondary four. The two compulsory languages required by the national education system (Education Act 1961)'Bahasa Malaysia and the English Language, to be studied at all levels of education, including the private, non-government aided education institutions, are seen as the channels through which the above-mentioned values can be inculcated in our young Malaysian generation, in constructive and cohesive ways. The question of national identity as an evolving phenomenon, possibly taking shape through the varied social and politically engineered programmes, and the education system, will be viewed as an essential discourse factor in this study and presentation.The Malaysian adolescent student generation undergoing the above language education curriculum, it is held, can be well-imbued with language-based [the instruments being, i) the compulsory public school medium of instruction cum the national language- Bahasa Malaysia, and ii) the official second language of the nation- English Language] nationhood values.The document analysis conducted by the researcher thus far, shows that the Ministry of Education approved Bahasa Malaysia and English Language texts, do provide language items on national themes, values education topics, and a sprinkling of materials promoting evaluation-appreciation values.The pilot study, involving text-documentary analysis, looking at the extent and classroom pedagogical applications, of nationhood themes; the student responses with regards to the language text items and discussions in them on nationhood themes; and the language teacher' and senior language administrato's views [Guru KananMatapelajaran(GKM)], all go to indicate the position that the language texts (inclusive of the literature component sub-texts), although providing some Malaysian-based topics and themes (some teachers interviewed felt there is an overemphasis on the environment), do not 'sufficiently' provide materials which can be constructive and formative of a sense of 'Malaysian consciousness'. However, it was clearly observed by teachers and the language administrator that language texts can be, and need be, the basis for the teaching and learning of nationhood values; but more importantly, the teacher factor-that is, the teacher's role in optimizing and developing all language materials available, to empower his/her students to imbibe nationhood values that nurture and enable social cohesion, warrants serious attention.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: ISBN 978-967-0193-06-9 Anjuran: Institut Pemikiran Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Uncontrolled Keywords: nationhood values, nation-building, national identity, national integration/unity, social cohesion, sense of belonging, Malaysian consciousness, language education, language textual items, evaluation, appreciation, problem-solving.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions: Institut Pemikiran Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2013 00:27
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2013 00:27
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/6831

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