Teaching Math to Children in Malaysia

Background of study

Malaysia is a multiracial country that has various cultures, cultural groups, and accent. This diversity becomes a unique feature of Malaysia in worldwide. Offering memorization technique for early childhood is not easy because children accept information explicitly and still cannot think abstract. Therefore, applicable approach and concrete approach can promote effortful learning for the children to understand. Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh mentioned that implementation of early childhood is an effort to cultivate the Malaysian children’s curriculum in a more structural and organize method as well as security, development, and application of a custom of an ethnic support society group that its delivery and transmission take place from generation to generation (The Sun Daily, 2019).

Over the last few decades, the government has given priority Mathematics. According to Chang, Morshidi, and Dzulkifli (2018) technology in education allow Malaysia the edge in evolve into an industrialized nation. Mathematics stress the significant in assure students achieve creative and thinking critical in their schooling knowledge.

Malaysia was positioned 18th overall and had placing of 10th in Mathematics the Trends in International Mathematics Study. A study by Salwani and Salleh (2001) have shown decline of children performance result of high level of mathematics anxiety. The data is compatible with the results of Effandi and Norazah (2008) where there is a significant negative relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematics performance of students (Ministry of Education, 2013). The student performance in mathematics will degrade if the students have math anxiety (Fulya, 2008; Marzita, 2002).

Before delivering an understanding of early childhood, teachers need to understand and equip with Malaysian culture.

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Yet, some teachers are still experiencing difficulties in improve knowledge about Malaysian culture, subsequently, they still apply traditional method based on textbooks which is less recorded and monotonous. In fact, Malaysian culture, teachers cannot only apply textbook method, but two-way communication are required. Effective communication between teachers and students in the classroom is very important to create a comfortable class so that students can follow the learning activities with a happy atmosphere.

Games can be applied to improve children’s understanding as it engages children’s interest. Learning while playing is a positive way to implant something new or good manner in early childhood because early childhood is a time when children love to play. According to Hapidin and Yehina (2016), implementation of traditional educative game models can effectively improve the character of early childhood, establish numerous feature holistically and integrated, and build some positive personality. The educative game can also establish a various children hidden traits. Modern educative games can also help children in their growth stage. Monopoly is one of the most favoured present-day games in the world. Until now, the Monopoly game is preferred and played by people. This activity is carried out by using money toys in order for the children to recognize money in early-stage and help them in improving economic intelligence.

From the above studies, it is clear that cognitive abilities in Malaysian has become an issue and can lead to any individual to face several issues in their futures especially their cognitive thinking abilities and problem-solving skills. Hence, it is important to take action on these issues by implement educative games to bring up changes among the students. Therefore, this particular implementation is aim on cognitive abilities in Mathematics performance among the early childhood in Malaysia.

Chapter 2 Rationale

Society love games for a various reason. Researchers found that educational games were beneficial for learning content and teamwork (Michaels & Chen, 2005), training decision-making skills (Becker & Watts, 1995), and for build up a healthful psychological setting in a classroom (Zapalska, Rudd, & Flanegin, 2003). Early childhood can easily ingest provided knowledge, especially the knowledge that is presented attractively over a game. Games able to make children promptly figure out the given materials as quartet card game can increase children’s understanding of art diversity of 92.33% of complete evaluation (Karsono et al., 2014). Karsono et al., (2014) research shown that children able to obtain many advantage from the quartet card game or board game.

Children world is a world of play. Through playing, children able to received many lessons that contain cognitive abilities aspect, social, sentimental, and motor growth skills both gross and fine motor skills. Playing can stimulate children to develop in general either the development of cognitive, emotion or social. According to Piaget (2001), children who are aged 2 to 8 years old are children at the preoperational stage which the main traits of development at the stage is the use of symbol or sign language and the development of emotional thought.

After assessing that the effectiveness of the interventions to increase mathematics performance and cognitive abilities among early childhood, by strengthening the interventions to early childhood may increase mathematics performance and cognitive abilities among early childhood. It is important to identify that the intervention recommend is available and suitable to be used in our country.

Furthermore, there is not much consideration given to this issue in Malaysia. There are only a few interventions about increase mathematics performance and cognitive abilities among early childhood been done in Malaysia. There will be a great difference in inappropriate interventions taking account of the social norms and cultural context. This intervention will fill the gap for the cross-cultural issue but also to understand better about the solution and intervention to counter react with this issue. This study will enable to provide more information for future intervention.

Chapter 3 Problem Statement

The study found that there is an inverse relationship between the level of mathematics anxiety and mathematics performance of students. High Mathematics anxiety able to unrestrained and would have negative result for students (Arem, 2003; Marzita, 2002). Effandi and Norazah (2008) and Elenchonthy (2007) studies have found that the majority of Malaysian students have a moderate level of mathematics anxiety. Marzita (2002) have found that many factors brought to the mathematics anxiety such as modules weakness, negative understanding in mathematics, stress and family anticipation, teacher’s temper and tutoring style, dreams and peer pressure.

The decrease in mathematics achievement has created anxiety in students and strengthen the perception that they are weak in math. This feedback will yet be a judgement that difficult to change. Majority of the student’s experience math anxiety since early childhood (McNeil, 1999). The fear is conveyed by school teachers by the tutoring ways. Traditional approaches such as lecturing, tutoring skills beyond the priority on the idea has been identified as factors that contribute to mathematics anxiety. According to Fulya (2008), Elenchoty (2007) and Marzita (2002), their study has shown that mathematics anxiety had become one of the factors contributing to the decline of the mathematical achievements of the students.

The ability to use cognitive abilities in learning is essential for meaningful learning to take place (Stendall 2009). Nevertheless, most of the students have drawback in using these cognitive abilities in learning adequately. Most of them were proclaimed to struggling in making accurate perceptions and analysis, memorizing and retrieve knowledge, giving concentrations and abilities to use logic thinking (Tarzimah et al., 2009; Ismail 2009). In the TIMSS report by Olson et al., (2008) had showed that most of the Malaysian had significantly low achievement in cognitive dimension which emphasized on thinking skills and analytic skills. The skills are divided into three domains which are knowledge, application, and reasoning. This statement showed that students did not acquire mathematics skills needed especially in problem-solving.

Many of them are still struggling and this finding should not be taken delicately. It is important to get a decisive understanding of this problem. One of the solution is to produce fruitful individual’s skills to acquire problem-solving and making the decision. If the crisis in mathematical skills not able addressed, more effective programs could be prepared to assist those study.

Chapter 4 Objective

General objectives. To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to increase mathematics performance and cognitive abilities among early childhood in Malaysia.

Early intervention of mathematics performance and cognitive abilities among the early childhood is very important as those who are in the educational institutions would be able to help students in the mastery and deal with the level of math. Marzita (2002), have found that the types of questions will also contribute to the presence of math performance in students. Level of cognitive abilities may lead to student’s mathematics performance can serve as a guide and considerations required by their teachers to produce teaching and learning process more creative and meaningful.

One of the games that can help children to increase their potential is an educative game. Educative game is an action that is very fun and can be a medium which is educational and useful to improve speaking ability, to think, and to socialize with the environment or develop personality, make a closer relationship between educationist and learner and assist children activities. Monopoly is one of the educational game that cultivate economic intelligence. Business transactions is a helpful way for the children in understanding how to use money because children can think when and how much nominal money should be received and purchased.

In addition to improving economic intelligence, monopoly able promote cooperation between collaborators or entertain with peers. According to David (1995), socialization is a process of learning that is experienced by someone to achieved technique expertise, beliefs, and norms, in order to participate as a member in a community. Children can receive advantage from socialization, such as get to know each other and understanding appropriate manner should be had, so that it can help in construct of children’s personality. Roberts (2007) mentioned that many educationists continue to seek teaching methods to effectively engage students in the learning progress.

Chapter 5 Implementation of the Innovation Project

Participants. This activity can be played individually or play in 2 to 5 in a group as a group of this size is big enough for everyone to be involved and encourages group cohesion. This activity is suitable for 3 years old and above children.

Location. This intervention can be carry in various location based on own pleasant. Yet, this activity is recommended carry out in a room that has movable chairs and have a table placed in the center.

Procedure. The following is the rules of the Numeraire game:

1. In the learning activities, learners are divided into four groups with 4-5 members each group.

2. Each group will get a one-off turn to play the game in a single round. Each member will get a turn in turn.

3. Every individual who gets a turn to play will throw the dice and will move according to the number shown in dice.

4. Individual respond to the image shown in the game column. When one member stops, he or she need to answer the mathematics question as shown in the image. Rewards will be given when the individual successful answer the question. Different image in the column has different money awards. The higher the mathematics difficulty, the higher the rewards will be given.

5. Individual who throw the dice and get into “Mystery” column have to take a card containing a question of Mathematics material or a challenge.

6. For the “Mystery Card”, it contains Hint Card, Help Card and Pass Card. Hint Card and Help Card can be use get help from their friends when they faced difficulty to answer the question. While Pass Card, the individual can use it pass the question.

7. Individual who throw the dice and get into “LHDN” column have to pay for the tax mentioned in the column.

8. If the individual cannot respond to the Mathematics questions, no rewards will be given.

9. Every individual gets money toy worth RM10.00 which should be shared equally distribute to each members.

10. Individual that can responds to images on columns and cards containing challenges and questions will get rewards.

11. The winner is the individual that can manage to get the highest score and earn the highest amount of money when other members run out their money altogether.

12. One member of each group is asked to conclude what the result of observation of the learning activity using monopoly game is.

Before playing the game, teachers can do a pre-test in Mathematics questions. After that, teachers can provide guidance to children how to play the Numeraire game. The children able to straightforward put action on how to play the game. When the game is over, teachers can assess or evaluate children by giving question according to the Mathematics questions in the Numeraire. The Numeraire game can be used as a media for teachers in learning and teaching activities in the schools. Productive content and favorable innovation can construct an educative monopoly game that children love to play.

This Numeraire game can be an alternative media used by teachers in learning and teaching activity. The cultural monopoly game is expected to attract children to get to know Mathematics more interestingly. Furthermore, benefit in term of economic aspect can be gain from this game because the game does not require a high cost in making and performing it so that all schools can apply the game as a media in learning and teaching activity. In addition to an affordable cost, this Numeraire game is not a one-time use media but can be used continuously. If there is a change in curriculum or children are bored with the existing material on Numeraire game, the contents on the game can be altered with contents from other areas that have never been known before by children, so that their interest or motive to learn remains high.

Chapter 6 Reflection (Reflection After the Implementation of Innovation)

It is a fruitful journey during the progress of this assignment. I feel that this journey is more to a lifelong lesson compared to just plainly completing an assignment. This journey started as I need to prepare all the information needed for the children development. This is an enjoying process as I can know more content and information about children developments. The activities that conducted provided some insights for me. Some students can follow the instructions and they can visualize the problem during the activity. Unfortunately, a small group of the students are not able. Based on the observation, I acknowledge that it is important to educate children more precisely. Children are sensitive and they have a lot of things to learn in the future.

As an educator, we play a huge responsibility to input the right knowledge and moral values to the children for them to grow with a true sense of self. Moreover, it is important to take care of children’s emotions and feelings. I gave encouragement and commitment to the children who did not able to complete their work because I would not want the children to feel left out in the activities. I agree that we need to improve the ways to communicate with the children. It is important to communicate with the children in the right way so that the children will understand the information that I want to bring up easily.

The students respond positively to toward the activity and they have an opportunity to use their time doing their Mathematics exercise using the Numeraire game. These students also find that the game gives them exposure not only the Numeraire game and its vocabulary but also the strategy for effectively playing the game.

After the activities, I realize that the Numeraire board should be set up before children enter the classroom. Group rules, properties, and wealth should be prepared in advance and placed in five particular envelopes. The board should reside in the center of the classroom. Tables or desks for the groups should be placed around the exterior, enable equal access to the game board by all groups.

Chapter 7 Conclusion

Early childhood cannot acquire knowledge by abstract things but rather actual or real things. Through the media of number based Numeraire game, children can increase their interest in Mathematics as well as Mathematics performance. With this Numeraire game, children improve their cognitive abilities. Numeraire has many advantage such as improving economic intelligence when using money toys as a tool of business dealing, teamwork, and socialize ability with their peers.

This simulation not only helps students to increase mathematics performance and cognitive abilities but also provides a memorable experience. Children more easily work with what they can relate it to a concrete example. Equally important is the fact that long after the class is over, this activity and the points it is designed to demonstrate are the things that students remember. The children still remember the concepts highlighted in the game throughout the remaining weeks.

The game is often cut short because of a lack of progress. Sometimes, one of the poorer children will refuse to continue playing. The outcome produced by this simulation is similar to those found in games such as STARPOWER (Dukes, 1990). Future intervention should consider on the impact of games and other interactive instructional tools on children engagement, motivation, and use of higher-order thinking skills would expand knowledge in this field and serve educationalist with additional tested choice (Febey & Coyne, 2007).

Besides that, adding other language or subject by using the same concept can be done in the future. For example, in this intervention is only include Mathematics and have not addressed other subject such as Bahasa Melayu, English or Science. This game can be used in development of knowledge and coaching as it can be alter with the way of the educators at all levels (Chen & Michaels, 2005) as it may be as more educationalist expand and carry out serious games in their courses, games will become better integrated into higher education in general and into hospitality education as well.

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Teaching Math to Children in Malaysia. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/abc-best-essay/

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