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ISSN: 2289-3024

Malaysian Online
Journal of Educational
Science
Volume 2, Issue 4
October 2014

2014
Editor-in-Chief
Professor Dr. Saedah Siraj
Editor
Dr. Zaharah Hussin
Dr. Onur BULAN
Associate Editors
Professor Dr. Omar Abdull Kareem
Associate Prof. Dr. Ibrahem Narongsakhet
Associate Prof. Dr. Mohd Yahya Mohamed Ariffin,
Associate Prof. Dr. Norani Mohd Salleh
Associate Prof. Dr. Wan Hasmah Wan Mamat

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Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science

Volume 2, Issue 4

Copyright 2013 - MALAYSIAN ONLINE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCE


All rights reserved. No part of MOJESs articles may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system,
without permission in writing from the publisher.
Contact Address:
Professor Dr. Saedah Siraj
MOJES, Editor in Chief

Published in Malaysia

University of Malaya, Malaysia

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Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science

Volume 2, Issue 4

Message from the editor-in-chief


Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Sciences (MOJES) strives to provide a national and international
academic forum to meet the professional interests of individuals in various educational disciplines. It is a professional
refereed journal in the interdisciplinary fields sponsored by the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. This journal
serves as a platform for presenting and discussing a wide range of topics in Educational Sciences. It is committed to
providing access to quality researches ranging from original research, theoretical articles and concept papers in
educational sciences.
In order to produce a high quality journal, extensive effort has been put into selecting valuable researches that
contributed to the journal. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the editorial board,
reviewers and researchers for their valuable contributions to make this journal a reality.

Professor Dr. Saedah Siraj


October 2014
Editor in chief

Message from the editor


Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Sciences (MOJES) seeks to serve as an academic platform to
researchers from the vast domains of Educational Sciences. The journal is published electronically four times a year.
This journal welcomes original and qualified researches on all aspects of Educational Sciences. Topics may
include, but not limited to: pedagogy and educational sciences, adult education, education and curriculum, educational
psychology, special education, sociology of education, Social Science Education, Art Education, Language Education,
educational management, teacher education, distance education, interdisciplinary approaches, and scientific events.
Being the editor of this journal, it is a great pleasure to see the success of the journal. On behalf of the editorial
team of Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science (MOJES), we would like to thank to all the authors and
editors for their contribution to the development of this journal.

Dr. Zaharah Hussin & Dr. Onur BULAN


October 2014
Editor

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Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science

Volume 2, Issue 4

Editor-in-Chief
Professor Dr. Saedah Siraj, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Editors
Dr. Zaharah Hussin, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Onur BULAN, Sakarya University, Turkey

Associate Editors
Professor Dr. Omar Abdull Kareem, Sultan Idris University of Education, Malaysia
Associate Prof. Dr. Ibrahem Narongsakhet, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Associate Prof. Dr. Mohd Yahya Mohamed Ariffin, Islamic Science University of Malaysia
Associate Prof. Dr. Norani Mohd Salleh, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Prof. Dr. Wan Hasmah Wan Mamat, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Advisory Board
Emeritus Professor Dr. Tian Po Oei, University of Queensland, Australia
Professor Dr. Fatimah Hashim, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Jinwoong Song, Seoul National University, Korea
Professor Dr. H. Mohammad Ali, M.Pd, M.A., Indonesian University of Education, Indonesia
Professor Dr. Moses Samuel, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Nik Azis Nik Pa, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Richard Kiely, the University College of St. Mark and St. John, United Kingdom
Professor Dr. Sufean Hussin, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Zawawi Bin Ismail, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Editorial Board
Emeritus Professor Dr. Rahim Md. Sail, University Putra of Malaysia, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Abdul Rashid Mohamed, University of Science, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Bakhtiar Shabani Varaki, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran.
Professor Dr. H. Iskandar Wiryokusumo M.Sc, PGRI ADI Buana University, Surabaya, Indonesia
Professor Dr. Ramlee B. Mustapha, Sultan Idris University of Education, Malaysia
Professor Dr. Tamby Subahan Bin Mohd. Meerah, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia
Associate Professor Datin Dr. Sharifah Norul Akmar Syed Zamri, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dato Dr. Ab Halim Bin Tamuri, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Abdul Jalil Bin Othman, University of Malaya, Malaysia

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Associate Professor Dr. Ajmain Bin Safar, University of Technology, Malaysia


Associate Professor Dr. Habib Bin Mat Som, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Hj. Izaham Shah Bin Ismail, Mara University of Technology, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Jas Laile Suzana Binti Jaafar, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Juliana Othman, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Loh Sau Cheong, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Mariani Binti Md Nor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Mohamad Bin Bilal Ali, University of Technology, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Norazah Mohd Nordin, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr.Rohaida Mohd Saat, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Associate Professor Dr. Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dato Dr. Hussein Hj Ahmad, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Datuk Dr. Abdul Rahman Idris, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Datin Dr. Rahimah Binti Hj Ahmad, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Abu Talib Bin Putih, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Abd Razak Bin Zakaria, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Adelina Binti Asmawi, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Ahmad Zabidi Abdul Razak, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Chew Fong Peng, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Diana Lea Baranovich, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Fatanah Binti Mohamed, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Ghazali Bin Darusalam, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Haslee Sharil Lim Bin Abdullah, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Husaina Banu Binti Kenayathulla, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Kazi Enamul Hoque, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Latifah Binti Ismail, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Lau Poh Li, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Leong Kwan Eu, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Madhyazhagan Ganesan, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Megat Ahmad Kamaluddin Megat Daud, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Melati Binti Sumari, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Mohammed Sani Bin Ibrahim, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Mohd Rashid Mohd Saad, University of Malaya, Malaysia
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Dr. Muhammad Azhar Bin Zailaini, University of Malaya, Malaysia


Dr. Muhammad Faizal Bin A. Ghani, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Nabeel Abdallah Adedalaziz, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Norlidah Binti Alias, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Pradip Kumar Mishra, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Rafidah Binti Aga Mohd Jaladin, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Rahmad Sukor Bin Ab Samad, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Renuka V. Sathasivam, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Rose Amnah Bt Abd Rauf, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Selva Ranee Subramaniam, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Sit Shabeshan Rengasamy, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Shahrir Bin Jamaluddin, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Suzieleez Syrene Abdul Rahim, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Syed Kamaruzaman Syed Ali, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Vishalache Balakrishnan, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Wail Muin (Al-Haj Said) Ismail, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Wong Seet Leng, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Zahari Bin Ishak, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Zahra Naimie, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Dr. Zanaton Ikhsan, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia
Cik Umi Kalsum Binti Mohd Salleh, University of Malaya, Malaysia
En. Mohd Faisal Bin Mohamed, University of Malaya, Malaysia
En. Norjoharuddeen Mohd Nor, University of Malaya, Malaysia
En. Rahimi Md Saad, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Alina A. Ranee, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Azni Yati Kamaruddin, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Fatiha Senom, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Fonny Dameaty Hutagalung, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Foziah Binti Mahmood, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Hamidah Binti Sulaiman, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Huzaina Binti Abdul Halim, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Ida Hartina Ahmed Tharbe, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Norini Abas, University of Malaya, Malaysia
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Pn. Roselina Johari Binti Md Khir, University of Malaya, Malaysia


Pn. Shanina Sharatol Ahmad Shah, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Pn. Zuwati Binti Hashim, University of Malaya, Malaysia

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Table of Contents
DOMAIN APPROACH: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH IN MORAL EDUCATION

Chander Vengadasalam, Wan Hasmah Wan Mamat, Fauziah Mail , Munimah Sudramanian
EFFECT OF SCHOOL SYSTEM AND GENDER ON MORAL VALUES AND FORGIVENESS IN PAKISTANI
SCHOOL CHILDREN

13

Anam Javed, Rukhsana Kausar, Nashi Khan


EXPLICIT FORM FOCUS INSTRUCTION: THE EFFECTS ON IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT KNOWLEDGE OF

25

ESL LEARNERS
Mandana Rohollahzadeh Ebadi, Mohd Rashid Mohd Saad , Nabil Abedalaziz
TEACHERS APPROACHES IN TEACHING LITERATURE: OBSERVATIONS OF ESL CLASSROOM

35

Siti Salina Mustakim, Ramlee Mustapha, Othman Lebar


THE EVALUATION OF STUDENTS WRITTEN REFLECTION ON THE LEARNING OF GENERAL
CHEMISTRY LAB EXPERIMENT

45

Ng Sook Han, Ho Ket Li, Lee Choy Sin, Keng Pei Sin

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Domain Approach: An Alternative


Approach in Moral Education
Chander Vengadasalam [1], Wan Hasmah Wan Mamat [2], Fauziah Mail
[3], Munimah Sudramanian [4]

Volume 2, Issue 4

[1] chander@siswa.um.edu.my
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya
[2] wanhasmah@um.edu.my
Assoc. Professor Dr.
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya
[3] fauziah8885@yahoo.com
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya
[4] munimah@siswa.um.edu.my
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses the use of the domain approach in moral education in an upper
secondary school in Malaysia. Moral Education needs a creative and an innovative
approach. Therefore, a few forms of approaches are used in the teaching-learning of Moral
Education. This research describes the use of domain approach which comprises the moral
domain and social convention domain. Both these domains are used through various
suitable activities based on the curriculum content. The Domain Theory is used to
determine the moral domain of thinking and the level of social convention domain of the
students.

Keywords:

Domain Theory, Moral Domain, Social Convention Domain,


Curriculum Content

INTRODUCTION
Vision 2020 became one of the main agendas of education in Malaysia, generally and expressively for
Moral education. As a national political plan undertaken by Malaysian Government, Vision 2020 attempts
Malaysia to have a strong society morally, spiritually and ethically. According to the plan Malaysians will live
together in a democratic society that is liberal and progressively tolerant, and be a developed country within
the year 2020. Among the nine major challenges stated the fourth one emphasizes on building the moral and
ethical values of the people of the country. It undertakes the challenge to generate a fully moral and ethical
society (Mahathir, 1991). In order to succeed in the challenge of generating, a fully moral and ethical
society, teaching Morality and Ethics needs to be experimented by applying various theoretical approaches.
Moral development process and formation of an individuals personality are related to education
approach for moral education which depends on learning theories. Through this approach, we could observe
the methods of learning theories that have been used in learning and teaching instruction. By mastering this
approach, a teacher may develop suitable techniques in teaching. While choosing a suitable technique, the
teacher needs to consider the moral maturity level of a student, value suitability, situation and also the moral
issues to be focused in a particular lesson (Wainryb, 2006).
The approaches used in the teaching method of moral education emphasize the dominant values;
caring and appreciation. These major values should be given serious attention so that the community shall
build up strong personality values. These values are appreciation of knowledge, occupation, friendship, love
and caring, aesthetic and etiquette, and also consolidation of moral values (Jarret, 1991). Fraenkel (1977)
stated some moral education approaches used in various moral education programs. Among them are value
inculcation, moral cognitive development (Kohlberg, 1972), value clarification (Raths, Harmin, & Simon,
1

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1966), value analysis (Coombs, 1977), rational development, considerate, social action (Higgins, 1991),
Farmington Trust project (Wilson, Williams, & Sugarman, 1967) and humanity curriculum project (McPhail,
1980). These approaches have been applied in preparing lessons and learning moral education in many
countries. Noddings(1995) approach based on skill and affection and Nuccis (2001) Domain Approach are
among some of the approaches in practice and relied upon most now days. The current research is
particularly interested in the Domain Approach of Nucci (2001).

Domain Approach
Domain approach in moral education facilitates students to understand the social world by
investigating critical social issues in the social convention domain and moral domain. As these domains are
different, students necessarily should develop both of the domains so that they could develop themselves as
constructive citizens with high moral values generally and individuals specifically. The Domain Approach
exactly focuses on developing reflexive behavior assessment in relationship with the moral and social
convention domains (Nucci, 2001).
Studies and theories have proved that Moral education displays a significant difference in terms of
moral development concept and social convention (Nucci, 2008). These past researches not only show the
conceptual difference between moral domain and social convention, it also underlines the interaction of
individual environment. From the pedagogical viewpoint it is also found that the interaction of individual
environment affects the moral interaction which is correlated with the domain aspect provided in the lesson.
These findings can be used for student development based on moral education (Kohlberg & Mayer, 1972).
The findings call attention to the level of students moral development, and suggest using the reflective
approach in education such as discussion (Berkowitz & Gibbs, 1983) usually in accordance with the Moral
education development approach to produce a domain appropriate lesson (Nucci, 1982).
Moral Domain and Social Convention Domain are also introduced in the Malaysian KBSR / KBSM
Moral education syllabus. For example, values related to honesty, justice and freedom of expression are
included in the Moral Domain. While values related to prudishness, maintaining the family tradition and
mutual cooperation among each other are categorized as values into the social convention domain. Hence,
this approach may be experimented for its suitability in our schools as it encourages academic usage of
contents of values in discussion. Furthermore, the students can be trained by this approach in order for them
to understand and cultivate responsibility in managing their life with righteousness in the social world that
they inherit, through achieving the KBSR / KBSM Moral education objectives (Chang, 2000).

Research Objectives
This research is aimed at studying the application of Domain Approach in the Moral education subject
in an upper secondary school in Malaysia which is locally known as Form Four. The following are the specific
research objectives:
1. To identify the thinking level of students in terms of moral domain.
2. To identify the thinking level of students in terms of social convention domain.
3. To understand acceptance of the students on domain approach.
4. To understand problems faced by students during implementation of the Domain Approach.

Research Questions
In order to attain the research objectives the following research questions are to be answered:
1. How is the thinking level of the students in terms of moral domain?
2. What is the thinking level of the students in terms of social convention domain?
3. How is the acceptance of the students on domain approach?
4. What are the problems faced by students while engaged in learning through Domain Approach?

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Conceptual Framework
Domain theory becomes a reference when discussing the education approach applied in Moral
education. Domain theory is one of the moral education theories often used by researchers (Laupa & Turiel,
1995; Nucci, 2001; Smetana, 2006; Turiel, 2006). Domain theory is used to identify the understanding or
thinking levels of the learners and also to forecast someones way of conceiving an incident or event
(Gabennesh, 1990b; Gravestone, 1987; Nucci, 2001; Turiel, 2006).
This theory became famous because, according to Turiel (2002, 2006) and Nucci (2001, 2006), various
programs, desk research in education have become issues of discussion in order to deepen understanding
on matters in moral education. This study, however, does not focus on Moral education in general but is
limited to the teaching approach of Moral education.
Turiel (1998) and Nucci (2001) in their studies describe Domain approach in moral education as being
segmented into two components namely moral domain and social convention domain. Modules in moral
education, according to Domain Theory provide the opportunity to expand learners moral domain and social
convention domain. Table of contents taught through domain theory will increase moral knowledge and
indirectly motivate social reasoning in a person.
Nucci (2001) modified and expanded the study by Turiel (1976); he strongly believed that the domain
approach can forecast the understanding, thinking and reasoning level of the students. Smetana (2006)
claimed that variations exist in understanding of moral domain and social convention produced through
domain theory, by considering someone's way in constructing holistic understanding about value, social
regulation, norms and integrating all these together through moral selection. This approach attempts at
encouraging people to develop a higher level in moral thinking and social regulation.
This domain theory contrasts with other theories. This theory is segmented into two domains namely
moral action domain and social action domain. According to Nucci (2001) students give different opinions
with one another. These different opinions and ideas of the students are in terms of moral action domain
and social action domain. The current research investigates moral thought development by using the domain
approach.

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Framework Of Concept Study

Domain
Approach

Planning

Action Plan

Data Collection

Reflection

Moral Thinking
Development

Moral Domain

Social Convention Domain

Diagram 1: Framework of Concept Study Based On Domain Theory


This is a qualitative action research. The Action Research concept was pioneered by Dewey in the
United States in the 1920s. After the Second World War, a social psychologist, Lewin (1946), started using
this action research approach as an effort in resolving local community problems. Two important features of
action research are: making decisions collectively and giving attention to enhancing work quality (Kemmis &
McTaggart, 1988).
The main purpose of this method is to bring theory into practical development. The
original idea to practice this method started at the time of Aristotle and continues to be effective till today.
It enables individuals or groups of individuals to play an active role in improving their environmental
circumstance (Clark, 1972). Action research has been carried out on individuals or group of individuals in
some organization that is facing a problem or handling an issue that needs to be resolved. In action research,
the researcher uses methods such as story- telling, elaboration, observation in data collecting and to
understand what and how some event occurs followed by taking action or planning a specific plan to resolve
the problems faced. Following Bradbury & Reason (2001), the current research is qualitative, participatory,
cyclic and reflective.
McNiff (2002) stated that
action research is an approach to improve the quality of education through changes by encouraging teachers
to be aware of their own practice by becoming critics on practices and set up for transformation. This requires

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involvement of the other teachers collectively. In the context of this study, Kemmis and McTaggarts (1988)
module was used to reflect on teaching and learning activities. Since this study involved teaching and learning
practices, action research has been sensitively attuned to the world of practice and the concerns of
practitioners and capable of building systematic understandings about practice through the critical reflection
of practitioners (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988).
As
the
program objective is to understand the students moral thought development through usage of domain
approach, so by itself the researcher implemented the lesson in the classroom in order to get reflective
feedback from various perspectives by using the Kemmis and McTaggart Module (1988). This pictures action
research to be a systematic inquiry that is collective, collaborative, self- reflective, critical and undertaken
by the participants of the inquiry (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988). In this study the researcher participated as
a teacher looking back into the practice and positions to development of teaching and learning theory in the
future.
Kemmis & McTaggarts Action Research Model (1988)

Step 1

Planning

Action Plan
Step 2

Step 3

Data Collection

Step 4

Reflection Data analysia

Step 5

Replanning

Step 6

Action Plan (such as step 2)

Step 7

Data Collection (such as step 3)

Step 8

Reflection Data analysis (such as step 4)

Diagram 2 : Kemmis & McTaggarts Action Research Model

FINDING
Students thinking level in terms of Moral Action domain
The findings of the study consist of elements such as by focusing on three themes. The first theme is
justice, second is altruism and the third one is autonomy. The current study systematically followed the steps
of Kemmis and McTaggarts (1988) model of action research. The steps were planning, action plan, data
collection, reflection, re-planning and discussion on moral domain action. The findings of the study are
thematically categorized into three: Justice, Altruism and Autonomy.
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Justice
Justice is an important standard in moral assessment and it is related to the principle that allows
procedures to distribute profit between individuals and society. Certainly the value of justice also ensures
individuals do not to show favoritism and nor greed of personal interest. On the other hand, it also means
fair, square, balanced and equal in all terms. This meaning could be explicable with more detail through study
findings as follows:
Study participants opined that the value of fairness and impartiality are important things in a morally
decisive situation. In the teaching and learning process on fair justice and balanced aspects, it becomes focal
in emphasis before focusing on other aspects and this is known as moral component treatment.
In detail study participants gave opinion on the importance of fair and balanced aspects in a particular
situation. An excerpt from one of the interviews of the participants follows:
Although Raju is a prefect, arriving late to school is still invariable as a delinquency and he should
stand in front of the assembly site as other students who do it. Discipline teacher should not forgive Raju. If
the teacher forgives, other students also should be forgiven. The rule is a rule and it should be stands sic, all
must be entertained fair and equally (Yalu).
The above mentioned interview transcript showed that study participant gives priority to fairness in
justice claimed that in all affairs or state, fair value should be given priority. If it is not maintained, justice
will not be practiced in all matters in the future. Another participant of the study gives opinion by saying as
follows:
If the school gives flexibility to the prefects who did disciplinary offence, this will affect other students.
It will encourage students doing wrong and breaking school rules with slovenly. Students also will not respect
the prefects in school because they are also breaking the school rules by doing disciplinary offence
(Mugilan).
This interview shows the participants demand the practice of justice to be executed for all in a proper
manner. The learners also expect fairness of treatment to be equally accorded to all, be it prefect or general
student. This study participant also feels and hopes that school captains should help teachers in maintaining
school disciplinary problems and not perform any anti-disciplinary activities. Regarding fulfilling the study
agreement, the study participant gives opinion in the interview transcript as follows:
As a father, he should hold in his words, he could not cheat the children. Pity to the children, they are
been cheated. If cant do, dont promise. Pity those because they certainly wait for the school holiday to go
for a picnic, furthermore they already told their friends in school (Mong).
According to this participant, maintaining agreement or keeping what is promised are principles that
should be adopted by every human being to avoid any disappointment or cheated feeling from anyone. This
point of view has been supported by a participant in the same group who stated:
People will respect us if we always fulfill promises that we make. But people will be angry and will
not respect us if we not fulfill our promises that we do frequently. A father should become an example to the
children, otherwise the same matter will happen to him in the future (Darshen).
This view of the study participant clearly explains that this study participant has powerful hold in words
or promise and always paid tribute and gives respect to elder generation, and he hopes the elder generation
should become an example to the young generation. This will help in bringing up a righteous community in
society. Result of the written documents exactly shows us that a few study participants think an individual
should not be biased in implementing a given task. This mindset is also supported by another participant in
the following interview:
Teacher Lim should be taking the same action to Ravi although Ravi is the teachers friends child and
stays in the same housing area. Chin will feel not fair in this situation because he was sent to the discipline
teacher even though both of them were doing the same offence (Kavina).

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Altruism
Based on the result of written documents, it was found that study participants are compassionate
seeing people in difficulty. God created humans to live peacefully in a conciliatory situation. But, because of
human greed disasters and catastrophes befall the human self. The matter was realized by this study
participant. However the study participant should give information on moral action and moral principle that
should be consolidated to proffer and submit facts or explanations.
Moral action taken by the study participant is in accordance with moral principle namely humane or
merciful. Moral actions without intentions based on welfare, humane, mercy, sympathy, and empathy are
not acceptable. At the same time a few study participants give the same views on altruism principle namely
humane feeling will lose sense in hatred and greed.

I am willing to suffer in hunger in order to help those in famine (Thurga).

In this modern world of materialistic gain, the words of this participant stood apart with humane
urge of feeling the difficulty and sufferings of the needy and poor people.
Result of observation made through this field record shows that many study participants made
judgments by involving others. Considerations such as this were carried out based on welfare of others.
Vested self-interests are not prioritized; instead, others needs are more important and given preference. In
order to consider someones case, the participants engage in a discussion to decide mutually in order to give
comfortable protection of the person involved in the crisis. The participants also become caring and
sympathetic in this practice of thinking about others welfare.
Autonomy
To observe the autonomy principle, the retrieval interview shows that study participants are sensitive
on righteousness issues. The autonomy principle explains the free consideration concept. Consideration and
behavior made by result of coercion from outside actually could not be categorized as moral. Here is an
example of transcript to express the learners sense of autonomy:
Corruption is the main enemy of a country so it should be controlled immediately. There are a few
government officers willing to be implicated in corruption when conducting design task given to them.

Teacher : Is there wrong if giving bribe to police officer to avoid getting summons?
Mei

: Yes, wrong.

Teacher : Why wrong, otherwise we will get summons?


Swetha : Teacher, police must to take care.
Teacher : Take care what?
Swetha : Take care of us so that we are not doing evil.
Teacher : If the police not take care, are you going to do evil?
Kavin
: Not like that teacher. Our law says that we cant give bribe. Just now only we read that
corruption is the main enemy of the country.
The group discussion indicates that the participants think and share ideas on appropriation.
Moreover, they also try to provide credible reasons with the help of the small dictation article. This matter
could be proved from one of the participants clarifications:

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Police must catch the people who give bribe. Corruption is the main enemy of the country. If all people
could give bribe to the police, for what purpose they getting their salary? Police should play a major role in
order to look after the country, not to get link or build a network with the bad people who make offence to
the country. Police must conduct their duty according to the instructions given by their main leaders. Our
country will be safe and peaceful with the assistance of police force that functioned as clean, efficient and
trustworthy (Joseph).
The observation shows that the students are able to apply logic in their reasoning. This moral
consideration is more essential in order uplift the learners thinking capacity. The issues and situations
mentioned in this research could easily guide the students in order to understand the matter immediately.
Even though consideration and behavior of an individual are based on the result of interaction with the
superior in power. For example, a police officer takes action on an individual due to bribe issue and due to
the instruction given by the superior officer. The action taken by force or order would not bring any positive
effects for a long term period. Individuals must have the assurance to realize that all the actions are carried
out voluntarily and independently. This matter could be identified through the collection of research findings
in the following transcription observation:

Jaya : Yallini should inform the complex manager about Mala who steal the clothes.This is because
Mala should not
steal the clothes.
Shan:Why he wants to trouble his friend, furthermore the manager threatened Yallini. It is considered
as a bad habit also because Yallini did not make any offence. If want to ask, he must ask in a proper manner.
Jaya : Ok let do not talk about the manager, tell whether Malas behavior is right or wrong.
Shan : Simply wrong but Yallinis feeling also should be taken into mind.
Jaya : But the problem is Mala, not Yallini. If the shop is ours how our action could be. We must think.
Shan : Ok in that case, I agree with you.

Through the transcript record, we found that Jaya state should while Shan state should not to
inform the complex manager about the theft. Although the positions taken by Jaya and Shan differ, praise
should be accorded to both study participants because they made decisions independently. But more
importantly here, pressure is given to Yallini in the situation where Yallini becomes an important factor in
this case. However, after a brief discussion conducted in the group and when the issue of righteousness was
taken into consideration, Shan agreed with Jaya. This discussion proves that group discussion in obtaining
perfect answer is truly needed (Muthu).
For Shanti moral action or moral treatment became the fundamental point in all human action.
Without moral action humans do not become perfect. Learning is not just for theory only in fact should be
adopted in life. Shanti also emphasized righteousness in written documents such as follows:
Zaki should not behave such like that, he should respect the ceremony that actually held for
celebrating his great success returned back to his own country after complete his tertiary education in
overseas. He should respect and return back the merit given by his family members that willing to support
him financially while he is [pursuing] his studies in overseas. Giving respect to the elder generation is a good
element that should be adopted by our society. (Shanti).
According to Shanti, righteousness is the main idea under the principle of altruism. A matter can be
taken into consideration under the righteousness policy. If carried out, such appearance so common, good
things will turn out and be acquired at the end of every action. Devi, another participant, stated: I should
accept promotion while working in the future just like an ordinary man even though Im a woman.
The stance taken by Shanti shows that righteousness in action should be maintained regardless of
gender. At the same time, all of us deserve to get privileges in case we have qualification and ability which
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could bring common good for all. Muni, the other participant, wrote as follows:
Prefect who is on duty always stomp the school toilet door because of not satisfied with behavior of
students who always defile the toilet. The behavior of the prefect who is on duty is correct, because the
prefect carry out his/her duty that is given to him/her and comply with the school rules (Muni).
Based on the written documents, Muni has understood the question suggested in the post-test, while
study participant could do moral considerations before giving facts or reasons. Aspect of moral consideration
has transpired by Muni and at the same time she started to employ moral reasoning in this situation. She
also justified the prefects action as being due to order or assignment given by the discipline teacher.
Therefore it also can be considered that treatment and the way an individual judges results from the pressure
exerted by superiors.

DISCUSSION
The findings revealed that the students were interested in learning moral education using the domain
approach which involves the moral domain and social convention domain (Nucci, 2001). Applying the Domain
approach in teaching morality in the classroom is not very easy. There may be some challenges to overcome
in the teaching and learning process.
To teachers, the toughest challenge was making clear the difference between the moral and social
convention domain. Some of the participants mixed up the domains when discussing the issues given to
them. However, finally most of the students managed to understand the difference and increased their moral
knowledge.
Domain approach in moral education gives teachers a way or option to associate moral content more
creatively. This approach can forecast the understanding, thinking and reasoning level of the students in
some situation (Nucci, 2001; Turiel, 1976).
Nucci (2001) affirmed that students thinking level in moral domain will be increased by using the
domain approach. In this study, Yalu opined that fair value and impartiality are important in moral situations.
This shows that the thinking level of this student improved from earlier.
Domain Approach empowers students to engage themselves in discussions on moral issues. They can
give ideas and opinion about justice, altruism and autonomy. As discussed earlier, Kavina thinks an individual
should not be biased in implementing the task given. Giving opinion using the domain approach can also be
used to solve real situation or problems faced in everyday life. At the same time students could think and
share ideas on appropriation and gave logical reasons which related to trust.

CONCLUSION
In the world of globalization, it is important to use various types of approaches in teaching moral
education. Domain approach in moral education gives opportunity for students to understand the social
world by investigating critical social issues in the social convention domain and moral domain.

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Effect of School System And Gender on


Moral Values and Forgiveness in Pakistani
School Children
Anam Javed [1], Rukhsana Kausar [2], Nashi Khan [3]

Volume 2, Issue 4

[1] anumjaved.2010@gmail.com
Institute of Applied Psychology
University of the Punjab, Lahore,
Pakistan
[2]
Institute of Applied Psychology
University of the Punjab, Lahore,
Pakistan
[3]
Institute of Applied Psychology
University of the Punjab, Lahore,
Pakistan

ABSTRACT
The present research was conducted to compare children studying in private and public
schools in Pakistan on forgiveness and moral values. It was hypothesized that the type of
school and gender of the child are likely to affect forgiveness and moral values in children.
A sample of 100 children with equal number of girls and boys was recruited from private
and public schools of Lahore, Pakistan. Tendency to Forgive scale (Brown, 2003), Attitude
towards Forgiveness (Berry et al., 2001) and the Moral Development Measure (Ziv, 1976)
were used for assessment. Analysis revealed that type of school and gender only showed
main effects on moral values and forgiveness. Children from private school and girls had
higher tendency to forgive, had better attitude towards forgiveness and high morality as
compared to public school children. Findings have important implications for public sector
school systems with regard to their role in moral development of children in Pakistan.

Keywords:

Forgiveness, Moral Values, Private and Public Schools, Gender,


Children.

INTRODUCTION
Decline of morality in society is one of the most important issues faced by the world today. Moral
values are the code of conduct and standards of life set by a particular society and by the international
community in general. Moral values help one make choices between good and evil and they monitor an
individuals choices and behaviors. An individuals morals may be regulated by the society and government,
ones religion, or self. The values driven by the society or government are relative and can change with the
change in government or society. Most individuals develop their moral code primarily at home, through the
influence of their families and parents who are the first socializing agents to inculcate these values in a child.
Standards of behavior and moral values may change over time; from generation to generation; across
cultures and locations (Smith, 2006).
Moral development involves childrens learning to differentiate between right and wrong; to use this
information to make right conclusion while facing complex choices; and having the freedom and strength to
act in line with the right choice (i.e., to do the right thing) regardless of whether it may be the suitable thing
to do. Morality and moral development are influenced by a number of features such as childrens
understanding of peers, family members and adults, as well as their growing emotional, physical and
cognitive needs and social skills (Kohlberg, 1969).
Kant proposed the value theory which provides postulates regarding understanding of the process and
extent to which an individual values things i.e. a person, an idea, an object (cited from Kemerling, 2001).
Kohlberg (1969) suggested six stages of moral development of children in order to explain how they develop
a sense good and bad, right and wrong and justice. The first stage is obedience and punishment in which

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certain rules and regulations are set, should be strictly followed to avoid punishment. Individualism and
exchange is the second stage in which a childs point of view becomes important and the child judges actions
on the basis of how certain set standards serve individual needs. In third stage, living up to social expectations
and roles is focused. In the fourth stage, the maintaining social order stage, while making judgments, society
as a whole is considered. In the social contract and individual rights stage, one begins to consider the diversity
of values, opinions, and beliefs which others hold. In the final stage of moral reasoning, universal ethical
principles and abstract reasoning predominate; people follow internalized principles of justice, despite
conflict with existing laws and rules.
According to Jean Piaget, a child passes through different stages of moral development. The pre-moral
judgment is the first stage in which children do not understand the concept of rules and have any idea of
internal or external morality. The second stage is called moral realism and children in this stage begin to
understand the concept of rules, but they are seen as external and unchallengeable. The third and final stage
is called moral relativity in which children recognize that rules are not fixed, and can be changed with mutual
consent. In this stage, children start to develop their own internal morality that may be discrepant to external
rules (Cited from Failure, 2002).
Pakistan is a Muslim country and Islam as a religion emphasizes on moral values in the Muslim society.
Islam holds moral values of utmost importance to endorse and control deeds of an individual, a society, and
mankind (Yahya H., 2005). It aims to incorporate human characteristics, deeds and activities that endeavor
to practice followers of the Almighty Allah (the Lord), and for whom Islam describes and clarifies the path of
goodness (Alqaseem, 2012). Allah (almighty) says It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the
East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book
and the Prophets, and spends his money out of love for Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy
and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity and for ransoming the captives; and observes prayer and
pays the Zakat (charity); and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one, and are patient in
poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in the time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is
those who are truly God-Fearing (Al-Baqara: 177, Al-Quran). In another verse, Allah says And seek, in that
which Allah has given thee, the Home of the Hereafter; and neglect not thy lot in this world; and do good to
others as Allah has done good to thee; And seek not to create mischief in the land. Verily, Allah loves not
those who create mischief (Al-Qasas: 77, Al-Quran). Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad also carry a
strong message of moral values as one occasion He said whenever a calamity befalls on a center of
population, take it for granted that immorality is rampant in that place (Mohammed, 1999).
Forgiveness is one of the main components of morality and for a healthier and happier society people
are in need of receiving forgiveness from God and each other and also forgiving others. Forgiving someone
is an ongoing process and it develops over time. The process of forgiveness begins to develop at a very
younger age i.e. when the child starts to make distinction between good and bad, at that time their mental
approach toward forgiveness and moral values is in the developing process. Experience of interpersonal
forgiveness is multi-dimensional, including one clearly moral dimension and several dimensions that involve
morality exercised in context (e.g., in relationships; Gassin, 1997). At an early age, parents are the first
socializing agents who teach their children moral values and the concept of forgiveness (MacLachlan, 2008).
Forgiveness has a number of advantages (i.e. reduced negative affect; improved psychological wellbeing and physical health), and it encourages trust and resolution in relationships (Burnette, Taylor,
Worthington & Forsyth, 2006; Worthington, 2005). Forgiveness is considered to replace negative feelings
with positive ones. It changes the will of the heart from bitterness and anger to compassion and affection,
bad thoughts to good thoughts. Forgiveness is reported to diminish negative feelings such as hatred, anger
desire for revenge and instead develops the feelings of affection, love and compassion (Burnette, Taylor,
Worthington & Forsyth, 2006; Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, & Hannon, 2002; Worthington, 2005).
From the psychological point of view, interpersonal forgiveness involves the cognitive, emotional and
behavioral components and how s/he feels about the offender, behaves and thinks about him/her.
Forgiveness is releasing the negative feelings concerning the pain inflicted by the offender, and avoiding the
negative feelings such as anger and hatred (DiBlasio, 1992; DiBlasio & Benda, 1991; Wilson, 1994).
Forgiveness diminishes feelings of anger and hatred and through forgiving others the cycle of violence can

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break as it could heal the hurt that has been caused to the injured or hurt person. Forgiving others and
seeking forgiveness is associated with happiness. Moreover, forgiving improves ones interpersonal
relationships by bringing good reputation, credibility and enhancing mutual regard (Lickerman, 2010).
From the religious perspective, forgiveness can only be understood within the context of forgiveness
by God and with reference to sin and evil. Theologically, forgiveness promotes spiritual healing of an
individual (Soares-Prabhu, 1986; Sobrino, 1986; Von Balthasar & Urs, 1984; Wahking, 1992; Walters, 1984;
Zackrison, 1992). In Christianity, the concept of forgiveness is as important as in Islam. As it is said in the
Bible, God promises to torture us if we fail to forgive others (Matthew 18:21-35), our sin of un-forgiveness
gives the Devil a foothold which he will use to cause emotional pain and/or physical distress (Ephesians 4:
26-27).
Forgiveness holds significance as one of the core human values in Islam. It is important to believe in
the forgiveness of Allah (almighty) and the prophet Muhammad teaches to forgive and forget and considers
it necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect mercy from Allah unless we also have
a warmth heart to forgive a wrongdoer. Islam teaches to forgive each other, even ones enemies. Allah says
in the Quran Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (Quran, 7:199).
In another verse Allah commands: They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to
forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful (Quran, 24:22). Allah has advised the faithful that
forgiveness is more proper: The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons
and puts things right, his reward is with Allah (Quran, 42:40)... But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive,
Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran, 64: 14). Forgiveness has been considered as a superior moral
trait as revealed in the Quran: But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to
follow. (Quran, 42:43) For that reason, believers are forgiving, compassionate and tolerant people who, as
revealed in the Quran, control their rage and pardon other people (Quran, 3:134).
Schools are considered as a major institution where childrens behaviors are shaped. Education plays
an essential role in national development and is a means of national advancement and a step forward for
progress. In Pakistan, the educational system has been mainly divided into two: public schools, the ones
managed and financed by the Government and private schools managed and financed by individuals or
groups. Within and between major two systems (public & private) there is huge diversity within and between
the system pertaining to the: curriculum; fee structure; management & administration; resources;
qualification and expertise of the teachers. The majority of public schools are in deplorable condition and in
the recent past, the business sector has enabled private education to flourish in Pakistan (Dar, 2012). Private
schools have better resources and better qualified teachers as compared to public schools (Javed, 2009).
The school has been known as a medium of direct instruction and a social institution which is
surrounded with norms, customs and ways of thinking and the teacher is a conveyer (Oladipo, 2009),
Teachers have very important roles to play in the moral development of the child. Teachers teach children
to respect the right of others; they also promote the acceptance of responsibility for ones actions. Teachers
are responsible for teaching the importance of honesty, dedication and right behavior. Children often idealize
their teachers, and try to follow their behaviors. The inclusion of moral lesson in the curriculum and ensuring
its full accomplishment/delivery is another way in which teachers contribute in moral development of the
child. Teachers are directly involved in teaching behaviors that are right and correct and teaching students
to avoid those which are wrong (Oladipo, 2009).
In Pakistan, most of the people from lower socio economic status get their children educated in
government / public school because these are affordable but those from middle and high class prefer to send
their children to private schools. Despite having gradual moral deterioration over time, and significance of
moral values and forgiveness for a healthy society, there is no research in Pakistan which has compared
children studying in public and private schools on moral values. The present study aimed at examining
whether children studying in two types of schools differ in forgiveness and moral values and whether two
sets of schools differ in inculcating moral values and sense of forgiveness among their students.
Singh (2011) studied moral judgment of school children belonging to different socio-economic status
and school backgrounds and found that students of lower socioeconomic status had better moral judgment
than those from higher socio economic status. Guttmann (1984) compared sixth-grade pupils from secular
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public schools and religious public schools on cognitive morality and actual moral behavior. The pupils from
religious public schools demonstrated a higher level of moral reasoning than those from secular public
schools. Blogger (2010) examined differences between private and public school children on morality and
concluded that in Government-run schools, classes were overcrowded and teachers could not give individual
attention to students and thereby could not teach morality to students.
Respect, forgiveness and goodwill are the most frequently practiced moral values in daily life of
children and researchers have demonstrated gender differences in moral values and forgiveness (Exline,
2005). Hoffman (2007) investigated gender differences in moral standards and found women being more
sympathetic toward others. Moral transgression was more likely to be associated with guilt in females and
fear in males. Lavoie (2007) demonstrated that subsequent to punishment on divergence, girls showed less
resistance to divergence as compared to boys. Similarly, Goss (2006) asserted that following transgression
females are more forgiving than males. Cheng and Yim (2007) argued that moral values increase with age as
in their study older adults were more forgiving than younger adults.
Ahmed, Shaukat, and Abiodullah (2009) examined the role of different school systems (public, private
& Madrassah) in Pakistan in the development of moral values and pro-social behavior in students (i.e.,
honesty, tolerance, violence, respect for others and patriotism). They found that children studying in the
Madrassah school system showed higher level of honesty, more respect for others and patriotism as
compared to students of private and public schools. However, children from the Madrassah school system
were more violent than children from private and public schools. Private school students showed high level
of tolerance as compared to those from public sector schools.
It was hypothesized that: type of school and gender are likely to have main effects on moral values and
forgiveness in children; type of school and gender are likely to have interactive effect on moral values and
forgiveness in children.

METHOD
Sample
The sample consisted of 100 children with equal number from private and public sector schools and
with equal number of girls and boys. The sample was recruited from two private and two public sector schools
in Lahore, Pakistan. Data were gathered from single sex schools and two types of schools were selected from
the same locality. Children ranged in ages between 9-12 years with the mean age of 11 years (SD =1.15) and
they were studying in classes 4 7. The majority of the children were living in a nuclear family system (60%).
Table 1 Demographic Characteristics of the Sample (N=100)
Variables
Age in years
Fathers education
Mothers education
Total monthly income
( in PK RS)
Family system
Nuclear
Joint

Private Schools children M


(SD)
f (%)
10.56 (1.15)
15.18 (2.29)
14.54 (1.81)
61120
(1425.46)
31 (62%)
19 (38 %)

Public Schools children M


(SD)
f (%)
10.56 (1.15)
7.50 (5.80)
7.28 (5.32)
7862 (7028.83)
29 (58%)
21 (42%)

Assessment Measures
Assessment was carried out using the Demographic Information form, Tendency to Forgive (TTF),
Attitude towards Forgiveness (ATF), The Moral Development Measure.
Tendency to Forgive Scale. This scale was developed by Brown in 2003. The scale contains 4 items and
on each item the participants report how they usually respond when someone offends them. Each item is
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rated on a 7-point rating scale ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Two items (2 & 3) are
reverse scored and sum of score is calculated to compute total forgiveness score. For the present study, the
scale was translated into the Pakistani national language Urdu, after seeking permission from the author of
the scale. Cronbachs alpha of the scale for the present study was .72.
Attitude towards Forgiveness Scale. The Attitude towards Forgiveness scale was developed by Berry et
al. (2001). The scale contains 6 items measuring participants general attitudes toward forgiveness.
Participants indicate their level of agreement on a scale ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly
agree). Three items (6, 8, and 9) are reverse scored and scores on all items are added to get the total score.
Cronbachs alpha of the scale for the present study was .64.
The Moral Development Measure. The Moral Development Measure was developed by Ziv (1976). The
scale measures five aspects of morality including resistance to temptation stage of moral judgment,
confession after transgression, reaction of fear or guilt, and severity of punishment for transgression. There
are two separate scales for boys and girls. The scale was translated into Urdu after seeking permission from
the author. The scale showed high reliability as the Cronbachs alpha was .82 for the current study.
Procedure
An authority letter explaining nature and purpose of the study and also requesting permission for
data collection was provided to the respective heads of schools. School authorities assigned a teacher to
facilitate data collection. The sample subjects meeting inclusion criteria were approached in their classes.
Participants were assured of full confidentiality of all the information obtained from them. A written consent
was taken from them and they were also required to get a consent form signed by either of their parents.
After brief instructions, the participants were provided the demographic information form and other
assessment measures to complete. Students completed assessment in the presence of the researcher in
group form. It took about 45-50 minutes to complete assessment on a group.
Statistical Analysis and Results
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data. To examine the effect
of school system and gender on tendency to forgive and attitude toward forgiveness a series of two way
Analysis of Variance were performed.
Table 2 Effect of Type of School and Gender on Tendency to Forgive & Attitude towards Forgiveness
Sources
Tendency to forgive
School
Gender
School*Gender
Attitude towards forgiveness
School
Gender
School*Gender

SS

MS

112.36
376.36
67.24

112.36
376.36
67.24

5.80
19.42
3.47

0.02
0.00
0.07

207.36
201.64
4.84

207.36
201.64
4.84

5.72
5.56
0.13

0.02
0.02
0.72

df = 1, 99
It was hypothesized that type of school and gender are likely to have main effects on tendency to
forgive and attitude toward forgiveness in children; type of school and gender are likely to have interactive
effect on tendency to forgive and attitude toward forgiveness in children. Results demonstrated that school
system and gender had significant main effect on tendency to forgive and attitude toward forgiveness among
school children. However, no interactive effect of school and gender was found on tendency to forgive and
attitude toward forgiveness. Children studying in private school showed significantly higher tendency to
forgive and had better attitude towards forgiveness compared to the children studying in public schools (M
= 16.40, 14.28 respectively). Moreover, girls showed significantly higher tendency to forgive and had better
attitude towards forgiveness compared to boys (M = 17.28, 13.40 respectively).

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Tendency to forgive
18

17

Estimated Marginal Means

16

15

14

13

School

12

private

11

public

f emale

male

Gender

Figure 1. Effect of type of school and gender on Tendency to Forgive.

Though there is no significant interactive effect of gender and type of school on tendency to forgive
but girls from private schools showed more tendency to forgive as girls from public schools and boys from
both types of schools.

Attitude towards forgiveness


29
28

Estimated Marginal Means

27
26
25
24

School

23

priv ate

22

public

21
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 2. Effect of type of school and gender on Attitude Toward Forgiveness,


Girls from private schools showed better attitude toward forgiveness. No interactive effect of school
system and gender was found on attitude toward forgiveness.
To examine the effect of school system and gender on different dimensions of morality, namely
reaction of fear or guilt, confession after transgression, severity of punishment and immorality, another set
of two way Analysis of Variance was performed (see table 3).

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Table 3 Effect of School and Gender on Morality, Reaction of Fear or Guilt, Confession After Transgression,
Severity of Punishment and Immorality (N=100)
Sources
Morality
School
Gender
School*Gender
Reaction of fear or guilt
School
Gender
School*Gender
Confession after transgression
School
Gender
School*Gender
Severity of punishment
School
Gender
School*Gender
Immorality
School
Gender
School*gender

SS

MS

5550.25
470.89
670.81

5550.25
470.89
670.81

12.52
1.06
1.51

0.00
0.30
0.22

384.16
129.96
64.00

384.16
129.96
64.00

8.69
2.94
1.45

0.00
0.09
0.23

10.89
166.41
4.41

10.89
166.41
4.41

0.993
15.18
0.402

0.32
0.00
0.53

231.04
1.44
14.44

231.04
1.44
14.44

7.59
0.05
0.47

0.01
0.83
0.49

380.25
4.41
65.61

380.25
4.41
65.61

18.57
0.21
3.20

0.00
0.64
0.08

df =1, 98
It was hypothesized that: type of school and gender are likely to have main effects on moral values in
children; type of school and gender are likely to have interactive effect on moral values in children.
Results showed that the school system had significant main effect on morality, reaction of fear or guilt,
severity of punishment and immorality and gender had significant effect on confession after transgression.
School system and gender did not show interactive effect on any dimension of morality. Girls studying in
private school scored higher on morality, felt more fear or guilt, and showed tendency to confess after
wrongdoing as compared to girls and boys studying in public schools. Girls showed less immorality and were
more afraid of severity of punishment compared to boys. Private school children showed more fear of
severity of punishment and exhibited less immorality compared to public school children.

Morality
60

Estimated Marginal Means

50

40

School

30

priv ate
public

20
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 3. Effect of type of school and gender on Morality.

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Reaction of fear or guilt


16
15

Estimated Marginal Means

14
13
12
11

School

10

priv ate

public

8
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 4. Effect of type of school and Reaction of Fear and Guilt.

Confession after transgession


8

Estimated Marginal Means

School
4
priv ate
public

3
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 5. Effect of type of school and gender on Confession after Transgression.


Severity of punishment
12

Estimated Marginal Means

11

10

School
8
private
public

7
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 6. Effect of type of school and gender on Perceived Severity of Punishment.

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Immorality
12
11

Estimated Marginal Means

10
9
8
7

School

priv ate

public

4
f emale

male

Gender

Figure 7. Effect of type of sSchool and gender on Immorality.

To sum up, private school children showed more tendency to forgive and high attitude towards
forgiveness and scored higher on morality as compared to public school children. No gender differences were
found on different dimensions of morality i.e. reaction of fear or guilt, confession after transgression, severity
of punishment; however, girls showed more tendency to forgive and high attitude towards forgiveness as
compared to boys.

DISCUSSION
The present research was conducted to compare forgiveness and moral values in children of private
and public schools in Pakistan. Children studying in private schools were more forgiving and showed moral
values as compared to those from public schools. Consistent with our findings, Blogger (2010) also found that
children from private school were more moralistic than those from public schools and concluded that in
Government run school, classes were overcrowded and teachers could not give individual attention to
students and thereby could not teach morality to the students. Javed (2009) argued that differences in
private and public schools are mainly due to difference in resources and that private schools have better
resources and better qualified teachers who can impart quality education to students.
Gill and Jaswal (2007) in their study examined the impact of teaching a values program on children.
The children who received moral value lessons were better on moral values as compared to the control group
across all ages. In our study, the private schools included holding morning assemblies which are meant to
deliver moral lessons to their children and this could be an explanation for better moral values among private
school children. On the other hand, public schools do not hold morning assemblies and do not have formal
ways of inculcating moral values among students.
Another finding from our study was that there were no gender differences on moral values. Findings
are consistent with those of Lan, McMahon, Rieger, King, and Gowing (2005) who investigated gender
differences in moral reasoning, personal values and value types and found no statistically significant
differences in the level of moral reasoning in girls and boys. In our study, girls showed more inclination toward
forgiveness. Our findings are consistent with earlier research. Goss (2006) looked at gender differences in
forgiveness following transgression and found that female participants were more forgiving than male
participants. Exline (2005) also demonstrated gender differences in forgiveness and found girls being more
forgiving than male students. Though this was a small scale study, the findings from the present study have
important implications for public sector schools. Children from public schools showed poor moral values and
were less forgiving as compared to those from private schools. Government Education department and policy
makers need to review the curriculum, pedagogy and extracurricular activities in public schools to ensure
that in addition to imparting formal education, moral values and civic sense are inculcated in children and
that teachers are agents of character building. The younger children learn and acquire habits more quickly
and take their teachers as their role models. Schools can be very effective and instrumental in educating

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children in such a manner that they are forgiving and they grow up as morally sound and responsible citizens.
Character building and inculcating moral values in children would not only benefit them to grow as a morally
responsible individuals with a positive outlook but also to create a peaceful and forgiving society.

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Explicit Form Focus Instruction: The


Effects on Implicit and Explicit
Knowledge of ESL Learners
Mandana Rohollahzadeh Ebadi [1], Mohd Rashid Mohd Saad [2], Nabil
Abedalaziz [3]

Volume 2, Issue 4

[1] mandanaebadi@hotmail.com
Department of Language
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
[2] msaadmr@um.edu.my
Department of Language
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
[3] nabilaziz@um.edu.my
Department of Educational
Psychology and Counseling
Faculty of Education, University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

ABSTRACT
The study examines the effect of explicit form focus instruction and specifically
metalinguistic information feedback on the development of both implicit and explicit
knowledge of adult English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. Ninety-one subjects at the
lower intermediate level were carefully selected through placement test at one of the
selected education centre in Kuala Lumpur and randomly assigned into experimental and
control groups by the researcher. A quantitative study was conducted over approximately
four weeks in 16 sessions. Modal (can and have to), past tense with ed, Present perfect
(since and for), Comparatives, Unreal conditionals were chosen as the target structures.
Target structures were taught based on the lesson plan of the study. Pretest and posttest
were given before and after the intervention program. The tests consisted of two tests
designed to measure implicit knowledge (i.e., EOIT & TGJT) and two other tests (i.e., UGJT
& MKT) to measure explicit knowledge. Results of ANCOVA analysis show gains on both
types of knowledge on the posttest. The theoretical implication of the results suggests
explicit instruction adequately facilitates development of L2 implicit and explicit
knowledge. Pedagogically, these results suggest that explicit instruction on some English
language features may benefit L2 learners, especially in facilitating their implicit
knowledge.

Keywords:

second language acquisition, error correction, implicit feedback,


recast, implicit knowledge; explicit knowledge, language
awareness

INTRODUCTION
One of the concerns of applied linguists is centered on the most effective form of grammar instruction
in the communicative classroom (Sheen, 2002). The issue concerns the extent to which teachers need to
direct learners attention to understand grammar in communication classes. Long (1988, 1991) proposed that
grammar instruction may be of two types: focus on form and focus on formS. The former refers to
drawing students attention to linguistic elements as they arise incidentally in lessons whose overriding
focus is on meaning or communication (Long, 1991, p. 45). The latter is equated with the traditional
teaching of discrete points of grammar in separate lessons (Sheen, 2002, p. 303).
The role of focus on form instruction or in other words Form Focus Instruction (FFI) in second
language (L2) acquisition has been a controversial issue in the field of research on L2 teaching and learning
(Richards & Rogers, 1986). The limited success in L2 acquisition compared with the first language (L1) poses
a challenge for L2 pedagogy, with the general belief that L2 acquisition is fundamentally different from L1
acquisition particularly in terms of implicit language knowledge (Bley-Vroman, 1989; N. Ellis, 2006).
Therefore, explicit language knowledge in L2 acquisition is considered by some to have a facilitating role in

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developing L2 knowledge (N. Ellis, 2002; Ellis, 2002; Hinkel & Fotos, 2002; Seliger, 1979), while others are
critical of its function (Krashen, 1982, 1999, 2000; Truscott, 1996; Zobl, 1995). Researchers suggest that some
of the grammatical forms in L2 resist intervention (e.g., Dulay, Burt, & Krashen, 1982). Thus, there is
continued debate addressing the question of whether and how explicit instruction specially explicit corrective
feedback impacts L2 ability.
All the grammatical structures in L2 are not acquired with ease (Akakura, 2009). Some non-salient or
fragile features cannot be perceived merely by exposure to the language alone (N. Ellis, 2006). Thus, various
methods of intervention have been researched, directed at how effective instructed language learning may
be achieved. Norris and Ortega (2000) in a meta-analysis study investigated the efficacy of instruction on L2
learning and compared 49 such studies done between 1980 and 1998. A decade after their meta-analysis,
extensive studies dealing with second or foreign language acquisition through some sort of intervention
continue. But the main issue regarding the role of FFI (specifically explicit corrective feedback) in developing
L2 continues to be debated (DeKeyser, 2003; Ellis, 2002).
The debates over the efficiency of explicit FFI is in part owed to the difficulty of operationalizing
procedural L2 knowledge or implicit language knowledge. Until recently, few studies evaluated L2 acquisition
on communicative language ability, such as the capacity for fluent speech which is considered to be evidence
of implicit language knowledge (Ellis, 2008). Implicit language knowledge is intuitive, and enables
spontaneous use of the language characterized by fluency and control evident in our mother tongue or L1,
and is considered to be procedural knowledge. By contrast, explicit knowledge is considered as conscious
knowledge which may be verbally described (Ellis, 1994). Most of the studies in evaluating L2 acquisition
have been conducted by assessing explicit knowledge rather than freely constructed responses hypothesized
to tap into implicit procedural knowledge (N. Ellis, 2008; Norris & Ortega, 2000; Truscott, 1996, 1998). This
measurement problem has been added to the debate concerning the effectiveness of explicit instruction
(Hulstijn, 2005). Up to now, because of methodological difficulties in differentiating implicit and explicit
knowledge few studies have addressed this issue (Akakura, 2009).
Recent studies (Ellis, 2005; Ellis & Loewen, 2007; Ellis, Loewen, & Erlam, 2006; Han & Ellis, 1998)
recommend providing a relatively separate measure of either implicit or explicit knowledge of language
structures according to tests incorporating the distinguishing criteria of the two types of language knowledge
within their design. While constructing pure measurement of implicit and explicit knowledge is impossible
(Ellis, 2004, 2005), these empirical developments in assessing language knowledge have enabled closer
approximations in discriminating implicit and explicit knowledge. It may now be possible to investigate
whether or not explicit instruction or particularly explicit corrective feedback as part of the explicit FFI will
impact on implicit knowledge. Since improving the ability to communicate fluently and confidently is
considered to be the final aim of instruction within a cognitive approach to L2 acquisition, it is appropriate
for L2 pedagogy to focus on developing implicit language knowledge besides explicit language knowledge
(Ellis, 2008). Also related to the issue of explicit FFI effectiveness is the question of the effects of type of
corrective feedback on the type of language features targeted. So far, little research has been conducted to
directly investigate the effects of corrective feedback on implicit and explicit knowledge of L2 learners.
Therefore, this study is concerned with the problem of whether it is possible for explicit FFI
specifically explicit corrective feedback in the form of metalinguistic information to influence both implicit
and explicit knowledge. The specific question motivating the research is as follows:

Is there any significant effect of the explicit form focus instruction specifically explicit corrective
feedback in the form of metalinguistic information on grammar acquisition of ESL learners,

1. as measured by tests of implicit knowledge?


2. as measured by tests of explicit knowledge?

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METHOD
Research Site
The study was conducted at one of the selected education centre in Kuala Lumpur during February
till May 2013. The English Language Proficiency (ELP) Program in this centre has been established in response
to the adults academic English language requirements. Though the participants are matured learners who
previously possessed the knowledge and skills in their own fields, they still need to enhance their English
proficiency in communicative skills.
Participants
Ninety one ESL learners at the lower intermediate level whose scores on placement test or a previous
class achievement test were between plus or minus one standard deviation (+-1 SD) of the population mean
were randomly assigned into two groups (i.e., one experimental and one control group). This level is ideal for
the study for three reasons. First, target structures of the study have been chosen from a list of structures,
mostly problematic for lower intermediate level. Second, the lower intermediate learners are probably
familiar with and have explicit knowledge of these structures, since our aim is not to study whether corrective
feedback contributes the learning of an entirely new structure, but rather whether it assists learners to obtain
greater control over a structure they have previously somewhat mastered. Third, it is supposed that students
at this level are familiar with communicative tasks of the study and could manage exercises perfectly.
This study was conducted in an ethical and responsible manner by first explaining to the participants
in the research process so that they had a clear understanding of the topic of study and the research interest
before signing the consent form. In addition, the researcher obtained consent approval of the UMCCED
lecturer who kindly participated in this study to teach target structures and conduct the tasks of the study.
Treatment
Target Structures. The target structures of this study were chosen based on the judgments of a panel
of 6 experts of a university in Kuala Lumpur, in the field of Linguistics and second language acquisition from
a list of universally problematic structures to learners (Ellis et al., 2009) by means of a 5-point Likert Scale.
Consequently Modal (can and have to), past tense with ed, Present perfect (since and for), Comparatives,
Unreal conditionals were chosen as the target sentence structures.
Lesson Plan. Based on the aim of the study, the researcher followed steps presented in Teaching
English as a Second or Foreign Language (Celce-Murcia, 2001) to provide lesson plans for the study. The
English Unlimited Pre-intermediate course book (Tilbury et al., 2010) is currently used as the course book in
the centre for this level so it was deemed suitable as an authentic text and source book with an appropriate
level of task difficulty on which to base the intervention.
Tasks of the Study. Built on the theoretical framework and objectives of the study the tasks used in
the treatment phase of this study were what Ellis called focused tasks; in other words, they were designed
to encourage the use of particular linguistic forms and, to this end, learners were provided with certain
linguistic prompts (Ellis, 2004, p. 237). The target grammatical features of the study were taught in both
groups through focused tasks. The only difference between the experimental group and control group was
at the time of learners errors the experimental group received metalinguistic feedback and the control group
received no feedback. The feedback was provided to the whole class or individual students.
Research Instruments
Elicited Oral Imitation Test (EOIT) and Timed Grammaticality Judgment Test (TGJT) were
administered to measure implicit knowledge and Untimed Grammaticality Judgment Test (UGJT) and
Metalinguistic Knowledge Test (MKT) were administered to measure explicit knowledge (Adapted from
Bowles, 2011; Ellis et al., 2009). All tests include a training example. The imitation test was completed in an
individual session between the researcher and each participant. The participant listened to the sentences
one at a time on a voice recorder, completed an answer sheet indicating his or her response to the belief
statement, and then orally reproduced the sentence, which were audio recorded. The TGJT, the UGJT, and
the MKT were completed in a single session that lasted approximately 1.5 hours.
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Pilot Study
The four instruments were administered to samples of 34 students from lower intermediate level to
find out the psychometric properties of these instruments. Reliabilities of all four tests were estimated by
means of internal consistency of responses to every item in each of the tests. Cronbachs alpha coefficient
were calculated for the tests. The reliability values of the four tests of the study were above .80, hence
suggesting very good internal consistency (Pallant, 2010). Moreover, the Corrected Item-Total Correlation
values in the Item-Total Statistics table of analysis indicates that the degree to which each item correlates
with the total score are more than .3. So, according to Pallant (2010) it shows the correlation of each item
with the total score is appropriate.
Research Design
The research design was an experimental pretest-treatment-posttest design with experimental and
control group (Creswell, 2011). The dependent variables were implicit knowledge and explicit knowledge
represented by posttest scores of implicit tests (i.e., EOIT & TGJT) and posttest scores of explicit tests (i.e.,
UGJT & MKT) respectively. Whereas the independent variable was explicit corrective feedback in the form of
metalinguistic information. The covariate variables were pretest scores of implicit tests (i.e., EOIT & TGJT)
and pretest scores of explicit tests (i.e., UGJT & MKT).
Data Analysis
To explore the differences between students scores in the experimental and control groups in
implicit and explicit knowledge, the researcher at first conducted the preliminary assumption testing of
parametric tests to ensure the homogeneity of subjects and explore the between-group differences, if any.
Following the preliminary assumption testing (i.e., test of normality, linearity, homogeneity of regression
slopes and equality of variance) one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted.
To measure the implicit knowledge of target structures, a combined mean score of the EOIT and
TGJT, for total scores of the target structures were calculated. To measure explicit knowledge of target
structures, a combined mean score of the UGJT (i.e., using the scores of ungrammatical sentences) and the
MKT, for total scores of the target structures were calculated. The decision to use the score of ungrammatical
items rather than grammatical items in UGJT for measuring explicit knowledge was motivated by the previous
research (Bowles, 2011; Ellis, 2005, cited in Ellis, Loewen, & Erlam, 2006), which showed that these might
provide a stronger measure of explicit knowledge.

RESULTS, DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS


Results
An analysis of covariance was used to assess whether the experimental group scored significantly
higher than the control group in implicit knowledge after controlling for differences between students in
both groups in the pretest scores. As presented in Table 1 results indicate that after controlling for the effect
of the pretest, there is a significant difference between the experimental group and control group in implicit
knowledge, F (1, 88) = 260.89, p =.00, eta squared =.74). The partial eta squared value of 0.74 showed that
74% of the variance in the dependent variable (implicit knowledge) could be explained by the independent
variable. According to Cohen (1988, pp. 284-287) this is considered as a moderate to large effect size. The
other value this table is concerned with is the influence of our covariate. The relationship between the
covariate and the dependent variable is significant (p value < .05), while controlling for the independent
variable. In fact, the value explained 33 percent of the variance in the dependent variable (partial eta squared
of .33 multiplied by 100).

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Table 1 Analysis of Covariance for Implicit Knowledge as a Function of Group, Using Pretest Scores as a
Covariate
Source

Df

Mean Square

Sig.

eta2

Implicit Pretest

878.77

43.92

.00

.33

Group

5219.81

260.89

.00

.74

Error

88

20.00

Table 2 presents the means and standard deviations for the experimental group and control group
on implicit knowledge, before and after controlling for pretest effect. As is evident from this table, virtually
no difference between the experimental group and control group remains after differences in pretest scores
are controlled. This table also shows that students in the experimental group (M = 47.02, SD = 5.74) scored
significantly higher than students in the control group (M = 31.88, SD = 5.10).

Table 2 Adjusted and Unadjusted Groups Means and Variability for Implicit Knowledge, Using Pretest
Scores as a Covariate.
Unadjusted

Adjusted

Group

SD

SE

Experimental

47

47.02

5.74

47.03

.65

Control

44

31.88

5.10

31.87

.67

Furthermore, an analysis of covariance was used to assess whether the experimental group scored
significantly higher than the control group in explicit knowledge after controlling for differences between
students in both groups in the pretest scores. As presented in Table 3 results indicate that after controlling
for the effect of the pretest, there is a significant difference between the experimental group and control
group in explicit knowledge, (F (1, 88) = 313.00, p =.00, eta square =.78). The partial Eta squared value of 0.78
showed that 78% of the variance in the dependent variable (explicit knowledge) could be explained by the
independent variable. According to Cohen (1988, pp. 284-287) this is considered as a moderate to large effect
size. The other value this table is concerned with is the influence of our covariate. The relationship between
the covariate and the dependent variable is significant (p value < .05), while controlling for the independent
variable. In fact, the value explained 26 percent of the variance in the dependent variable (partial eta squared
of .26 multiplied by 100).
Table 3 Analysis of Covariance for Explicit Knowledge as a Function of Group, Using Pretest Scores as a
Covariate
Source

Df

Mean Square

Pretest

219.05

Group

2116.49

Error

88

Sig.

eta2

32.39

.00

.26

313.00

.00

.78

6.76

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Table 4 presents the means and standard deviations for the experimental group and control group
on explicit knowledge, before and after controlling for pretest effect. As is evident from this table, virtually
no difference between the experimental group and control group remains after differences in pretest scores
are controlled. This table also shows that students in the experimental group (M = 37.34, SD = 2.97) scored
significantly higher than students in the control group (M = 27.68, SD = 3.07).
Table 4 Adjusted and Unadjusted Groups Means and Variability for Explicit knowledge,Using Pretest Scores
as a Covariate
Unadjusted

Adjusted

Group

SD

SE

Experimental

47

37.34

2.97

37.33

.37

Control

44

27.68

3.07

27.68

.39

DISCUSSION
Based on a number of exclusive methodological specifications, this study compared the effects of FFI,
specifically explicit corrective feedback in the form of metalinguistic information, on grammar acquisition of
ESL learners. The second unique feature of this study is its natural context; the study was conducted in the
classroom with students performing communicative tasks. A third unique specification of the study is using
the array of instruments, developed by Rod Ellis (2005), to separately measure implicit and explicit
knowledge.
An assessment of the pretest scores prior to the start of the program indicated that at first all the
participants had only limited implicit and explicit knowledge of the structures. But the results showed a
significant advantage for the experimental group after instruction. As clearly indicated in the tables given,
explicit corrective feedback in the form of metalinguistic information as one of the explicit FFI techniques in
teaching is effective in acquisition of both implicit and explicit knowledge of ESL learners. In other words, the
corrective feedback can potentially extract inaccurate structures from the learners statements and therefore
approximate the learners production to the native like accurate language productions. One conceivable
reason for better achievement of the experimental group may have been the vital part of attention in
learning. According to Schmidt (2001, cited in Varnosfadrani & Basturkmen, 2009) attention controls access
to conscious knowledge, allowing the new features to be learned (p. 11).
The descriptive statistics in Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the results of ANCOVA show that the corrective
feedback in the form of metalinguistic information has a significant effect on both implicit and explicit
knowledge of ESL learners. Indeed, overall, it seems that the treatments explicitly enhanced learners
awareness of the grammatical target structure, thus encouraging them by using their explicit knowledge to
monitor their output.
Evidence of this study strongly supports the theoretical position that corrective feedback by providing
negative evidence plays a facilitative and perhaps even vital role in second language acquisition. This study
by measuring implicit and explicit knowledge separately, also provides good evidence to support Schmidts
(2001) noticing hypothesis and suggests negative feedback assists learners to become aware of the gap
between interlanguage forms and target forms, and noticing the gap has been hypothesized to help
interlanguage development (Schmidt 2001, cited in Naeini, 2008, p.120).
According to the Schmidts noticing hypothesis theory (2001) for something to be learned, it has to
be noticed first (p. 13). But noticing by itself does not result in acquisition (Schmidt 2001, p. 13). Schmidt

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posited that Learners have to consciously pay attention to or notice input in order for input to become
intake for L2 learning (p. 13). This is because such corrective feedback encourages learners to notice the
gaps between target norms and their own interlanguage (IL), thus facilitating grammatical restructuring
(Schmidt, 2001, p. 13). Schmidt noted that errors of Second Language students are part of the learning
process, and that drawing attention to them is a key part of their language development.
These results also support the weak interface position toward implicit and explicit knowledge (Ellis,
2006) according to which corrective feedback, by providing a kind of attention and consciousness in learners,
not only facilitates explicit learning and explicit memory, but also implicit learning and implicit memory.

IMPLICATIONS
Empirical implication
The substantial empirical implication that can be drawn from this research is: explicit form-focused
instruction specifically explicit corrective feedback benefits ESL learners in terms of both implicit and explicit
knowledge of grammatical structures, that is Modal (can and have to), past tense with ed, Present perfect
(since and for), Comparatives, Unreal conditionals structures. The result of this study provides empirical
support for some beliefs regarding the benefits of explicit instruction in acquisition of ESL learners (Dekeyser,
2003; Sharwood Smith, 2008).
Pedagogical implication
The findings of this study could be an appropriate guideline for language teachers, educators or
language program designers who are in a position to decide whether and how explicit FFI and explicit
corrective feedback is to be presented in an instructional context. Extending empirical supports of weak
interface position of cognitive psychology, we can propose that second language students could benefit more
from pedagogical techniques which promote their explicit knowledge such as interactional feedback in which
a set of conversational devices such as clarification requests, comprehension checks, confirmation checks,
and repetitions are used to draw the learners attention to ungrammatical forms in their output and make
them modify their output (Dalili, 2011).
Methodological implication
The results of this study also support recent studies (Bowles, 2011; Ellis, 2005; Ellis & Loewen, 2007;
Ellis et al., 2006; Han & Ellis, 1998) which have proposed better understanding of the effect of corrective
feedback could be achieved through measuring implicit and explicit knowledge separately. However, The
main limitation of the research to date lies in the method of testing (Ellis et al., 2009, p. 315). So this study
by providing a relatively separate measurement of implicit and explicit knowledge of language structures
according to tests incorporating the distinguishing criteria of the two types of language knowledge (Bowles,
2011; Ellis et al., 2009) tried to solve methodological limitation of previous studies in corrective feedback.

LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH


As in all classroom studies, there are inevitable limitations. First, the conclusion of the study is
provisional based on the available tests for measuring implicit and explicit knowledge. Second, the
participants of the study were adult learners over 20 years old, so the results could not be generalized to the
adolescent students. Third, this study was conducted during a one month intensive course program with
pretest-posttest design. A delayed posttest or a longitudinal study could provide a deeper insight into the
long-term effectiveness of the explicit FFI and metalinguistic corrective feedback. Fourth, the research has
only tested six structures out of the seventeen structures which are known as universally problematic for ESL
learners mostly in intermediate levels (Ellis et al., 2009).
This study was narrowed down in terms of its participants, structure in focus, techniques of corrective
feedback, and so forth. Therefore, there will be new research aspects in the future in this area of study. Based
on its aim, this study tested the ESL students on the structures they had already begun to acquire which was

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useful to examine which type of corrective feedback works better for partially acquired structures. Yet, this
narrows down the scope of the research as it does not account for new structures. In other words, we cannot
say whether corrective feedback is effective in promoting new knowledge or not. It is therefore proposed
that for future research, examining the effect of corrective feedback on novel structures could provide useful
information for teachers on which type of feedback and when and where to use them effectively.

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Richards, J., & Rogers, T. (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
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Teachers Approaches in Teaching


Literature: Observations of ESL
Classroom
Siti Salina Mustakim [1], Ramlee Mustapha [2], Othman Lebar [3]

ABSTRACT
This study aimed to identify the approaches employed by teachers in teaching
Contemporary Childrens Literature Program to upper primary school. Using classroom
observations and interview as research instruments, this paper evaluates the approaches
of five ESL teachers teaching Year 5 students and examines the various challenges faced by
them in the teaching of literature. Preliminary findings on the approaches revealed that
the incorporation of literary elements in the classroom was minimal. Teachers were lacked
creativity and fully utilized the modules provided by the Curriculum Development Centre.
The Pre, While and Post-Reading was not employed effectively due to the lack of textbook
provided by the school. Nevertheless, the program provides great potential for enhancing
students language learning in the classroom. This study contributes to the field of
curriculum and pedagogy for authentic learning from the evaluation of teachers
approaches in the classroom learning.

Keywords:

Volume 2, Issue 4

[1] salinamustakim@gmail.com
Faculty of Education and Human
Development
Sultan Idris Education University
Tanjong Malim, 35900, Perak
Malaysia
[2] drramlee@yahoo.com
Faculty of Education and Human
Development
Sultan Idris Education University
Tanjong Malim, 35900, Perak
Malaysia
[3] othman@upsi.edu.com
Faculty of Education and Human
Development
Sultan Idris Education University
Tanjong Malim, 35900, Perak
Malaysia

Approaches, Challenges, Contemporary Childrens Literature


Program, Literature in Education, Literature Component

INTRODUCTION
The literature component in English is aimed at enhancing students language proficiency, and it is also
geared for the purpose of generating the aesthetic part of the language that is personal response from
students. The English language Curriculum Specifications stated that the aim of literature is not only meant
to address the interpersonal, informational aesthetic value of learning but also the learning of the English
language in general. Similarly, this objective is in line to the curriculum of the Malaysia Ministry of Education
(2009) that spells out the objectives of the introduction of literature component into the English language
syllabus are to enable students to improve their proficiency through reading, respond to text, draw lessons
and insights from slices of life, understand and appreciate other culture, relate to events, characters and own
life as well as expose students to models of good writing.
Literature in Education is aimed at developing the potential of students in a holistic, balanced and
integrated manner encompassing the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical aspects in order to create
a balanced and harmonious human being with high social standards. It is therefore, the primary aim of
incorporating literature into the English Language syllabus is to improve students language ability. As stated
in the English Language Curriculum Specification, the CCL Program is aimed to help students improve their
English through reading simple fiction, to provide a continuum for the literature component introduced in
school and to create an enjoyable learning environment. In relation to this, literature is not only meant to
address the interpersonal and informational aesthetic value of the learning, but also beyond that where the
students learn about people, culture, ethics, behaviors and other social norms. Hence, the implementation
of childrens literature would help children to expand their imagination and to acquire literacy in their

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learning.
There is a need to discover if the literature component in English is taught in line with its aims and
objectives. Thus, a focus on the approaches employed by teachers in the teaching of literature component
in English would be of great value and interest. This study focuses on teachers approaches and challenges
in the teaching of CCL Program in primary schools. The study will focus on the approaches employed and
challenges encountered in the teaching of literature to upper primary students.

Review of Literature
The Role of CCL in Primary Schools
The Malaysia Ministry of Education (2006) defines childrens literature as the material created for
and widely read, viewed and heard by children that have an imaginative element. Cheng (2008) defines
childrens literature is meant for children, be it read, viewed or heard. She added that children want to derive
fun from reading a book and there is a need for childrens book to teach good moral values.
The CCL Program was implemented in the year 2006 as an intensive reading program by the
Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) of Malaysia, with the main objective to improve English language
teaching through the introduction of story books or childrens literature. The program will provide students
basic foundation of early learning literature and increase an understanding, thoughtful, and appreciative of
other societies, cultures, values and traditions in order to assist them in the emotional and spiritual growth.
The main aim of the program are (1) to help pupils improve their English through reading simple fiction, (2)
to provide a continuum for the literature component introduced in Secondary school, and (3) to create and
enjoyable learning environment. And, the learning objectives outlined by the CDC for literature component
are to (1) instill and inculcate the reading habit among pupils, (2) enrich pupils vocabulary and language
content, (3) enhance pupils thinking skills, (4) promote cultural understanding in the Malaysian context, (5)
improve English language proficiency of pupils, and (6) provide lively, enjoyable and high-interest readings.
The program is taught for students in Year 4 (aged ten), Year 5 (age eleven), and Year 6 (age twelve)
in a single period a week. Each student will read at least two books in a school year, and they are introduced
to two different genres: short stories and poems.
Literature is meant to be enjoyed, as literature can be employed as a tool to promote literacy and
proficiency in the language. It assists students to deal with problem of social, cultural, racial or problem that
deals with life in the real world. The CDC of Malaysia Ministry of Education (2006) provides three benefits of
having childrens literature in primary schools learning in the implementation of CCL Program. They are (1)
the personal and emotional gains which offer enjoyment, enrich children understanding of themselves and
the world around them, develops imagination, helps children make sense of their own experience and evokes
ones feelings on issues related to life, (2) the learning gained allows children to learn new ideas and new
knowledge, adds to their understanding of concepts, allows children to understand cultural traditions and
values and issues in life, allows children to develop respect for self and others, and encourages them to
become aware of their audience, and (3) the language gain which help children develop an awareness of how
language works in communication, develop an understanding of the meaning of words, allows them to
experience new ways of using language that bridges the gap between written and spoken language and
allows them to experience the form of narratives.
The Role of Teachers in the Teaching of CCL Program
The CDC advocates teachers to read the story thoroughly with students and highlights the storyline,
characters, message, or moral of the story. Teachers are required to perform activities suggested in the
modules provided by the CDC, and encouraged to develop worksheet for students, as well as plan activities
that students can be placed in their portfolio. Teachers are to evaluate the portfolio which students have
completed within a period of time. Other than that, teachers are encouraged to create an enjoyable learning
environment by developing activities suited to students.
The CDC recommends that teacher reads the poem thoroughly and introduces the subject of the
poem. This is to arouse students enjoyment in listening to the poem by reading then aloud in class and
getting students to follow along as the teacher rereads the poem. As the poem becomes more familiar,
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teachers are recommended to discuss new vocabulary in order to help students to understand the poem,
and to use the text to teach aspects of language in the learning.
On the side of the students, the CDC suggested that students read the book or poem and talk about
it with friends, to get involved in classroom activities and complete all exercises given by their teacher.
Students are required to write down all the new words they have gained and learnt in a vocabulary book.
Further, they are advised to keep portfolio that has the components of (1) Table of Contents, (2) Pupils Work,
(3) Dates, (4) Drafts and Final Pieces, and (5) Reflections. Students are encouraged to carry out self
assessment to reflect on their own learning.
The Curriculum Development Board has provided resources for the CCL Program implementation in
order to ensure the program is employed effectively in classroom instruction. Materials provided for the
teaching of CCL includes power point slides and a guide, which allow teacher to go through the plot, setting,
characters, lesson learnt and the feelings evoked by the story. The Pre, While, and Post-Reading activities
are suggested in the modules provided by the CDC, which include WH-questions, gap filling, sequencing and
rearranging of pictures to form a story. At the same time, the incorporation of higher order skills is also
employed such as writing a diary for a character. The framework of CCL Program from the CDC is illustrated
in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1: The framework of Contemporary Children's Literature for Primary School 2006 adapted from
Curriculum Development Centre of Malaysia.
Teachers Approaches in the Teaching of Literature in Schools
Carter, R. and Long (1991) stated that there are three models in the teaching of literature: (1) The
Cultural Model which view literature as a teacher-centered and source of facts where teacher delegates
knowledge and information to students, (2) The Language Model which allows teacher to employ strategies
used in language teaching to deconstruct literary texts in order to serve specific linguistic goals, and (3) The
Personal Growth Model where the focus is on a particular use of language in a text and in a specific cultural
context. These models have been incorporated in various approaches in the teaching of literature. There
are six approaches in the teaching of literature. They are the (1) Language-Based Approach, (2) Paraphrastic
Approach, (3) Information-Based Approach, (4) Personal-Response Approach, (5) Moral-Philosophical
Approach, and (6) Stylistic Approach. Each of these approaches is related to the teaching of CCL Program in
classroom instruction.
Literature in Education in the Malaysian schools syllabus consists of the teaching of prose which
involves novels and short stories, teaching of poetry and also the teaching of drama. Malaysia Ministry of
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Education (2003) has specified that the syllabus in the literature component is made up of aims, objectives
and learning outcomes of the course. The syllabus is aimed to develop in students the ability to read,
understand, and respond to literary texts. These can be done by exploring the issues portrayed in the literary
text where students will understand the human values and concerns. The MOE has outlined objectives of
literature in education are to develop in students (1) an awareness of the value and pleasure of reading good
literary works, (2) an appreciation and deeper understanding of important human concerns and human
relationships, (3) an ability to appreciate values which would enhance an understanding of themselves and
their relationship with others, (4) an initial ability to communicate their response to texts supported with
reasons, and (5) an acquaintance with an appreciation of the main forms of literary expression and of literary
devices used.
The learning outcomes of literature teaching are the expected skills, experience, attitudes or
language that students need to gain. The outcomes are the fundamental elements that students need to
attain in the objectives of literature learning. In the CCL Program, students are introduced to short stories,
which is known as one of the components in prose, functions as a continuous piece of writing which consist
of both fiction and non-fiction. Authors of short stories utilize language to raise issues related to human
interest. Students are required to learn good values in them by comparing and contrasting different short
stories. In order to achieve the learning outcomes of literature teaching and learning, the Malaysia Ministry
of Education (2003) has specified the learning outcomes of the introduction to short stories as to (1)
understand the content of the text, (2) recognize and understand the issues presented in the text, (3)
understand the themes and messages in the text, (4) understand the plot in the text, (5) describe the
characters and interpret their interactions and relationship with another, (6) understand and interpret the
contribution of setting to the story, (7) understand the authors point of view, (8) identify common literary
devices authors employ to achieve their effects, (9) communicate and inform personal response to the text,
and (10) produce a piece of work in response to the text studied. Therefore, it is important to determine the
approaches employed by teachers in the teaching of CCL Program in order to ensure the incorporation of
models of teaching literature is taken place in classroom instruction, as well as to find out types of approaches
utilized by teachers in the teaching of literature. Hence, the integration of Literature in Education and short
stories learning outcomes will be assessed as to what extent the implementation of CCL Program has
achieved the objectives of each learning outcomes.

Statement of Problem
CCL Program is implemented resulting from the implementation of the teaching and learning of
Mathematics and Science in English language. At the same time, it is also an attempt to curb the declining
levels of achievement in standard assessment of English proficiency in recent years in primary schools
(Basree, 2009). Outlined with six learning objectives for the literature components, Cheng (2008) states that
the study of literature aids in language acquisition by developing the childrens awareness on how language
works in communication and experiencing the form of narratives. The MOE has given good support in the
implementation of childrens literature into the school systems. Without the belief and support of the MOE
in the importance of literature as a component in the syllabus, the death of literature is a sure thing (Cheng,
2008). Literature component was incorporated into the ESL syllabus with the main aim of enhancing
students language proficiency. After ten years in the syllabus, teachers should be able to teach literature
effectively. However, the incorporation of literature component is still argued and debated amongst
teachers, students, researchers, parents as well as the policy makers (Radzuwan Abdul Rashid & Vethamani,
2010). In addition, Basree (2009) in her study states that the child-centered approaches and activities
required by CCL were largely ignored as teachers continued in their usual teacher-centered patterns. There
were limited opportunities for pupils to initiate talk due to the failure, on the part of teachers, to build upon
pupil contributions. Teachers did not differentiate between more and less proficient students. The more
proficient children complained about being bored by inappropriate activities.
It is therefore, in the present study, based on the statistics and previous studies provided, the
researcher would like to investigate as to what extent students reading abilities and language proficiency
has been carried out in the implementation of CCL Program by looking into the context, input, process and
product of the program in primary schools.

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Theoretical Framework
In this study, the theories of cognitivism and constructivism as well as the social cognitive theory
which provides the underlying principles of the study, underpinning the whole theoretical framework are
integrated. The theory of cognitivism by Piaget plays a great role in understanding the learning process.
Piaget sees the child as continually interacting with the world around them solving problems that are
presented by the environment, and learning occurs through taking action to solve the problems (Phillips,
1969). These relationships exist between the cognitivism and the language learning process in classroom
learning.
Another theory outlines is the constructivism theory, which challenges the traditional goals of
education and proposes restricted, innovative teaching approaches in which students will construct
knowledge themselves rather than simply receiving it from knowledgeable teachers (Roblyer, M.D., Edwards,
J. & Havriluk, 1997). It is significant to understand the theory of constructivism and how it is related to
learning process due to its belief that people actively construct new knowledge as they interact with new
environment. The theory of Vygotskys Learning Theory (1986) is underlying in the present study. For the
purpose of curriculum to be developmentally appropriated, a teacher must plan activities that include not
only what children are capable of doing their own but what they can learn with the help of others. In this
situation, teachers can use information about both levels of Vygotskys zone of proximal development in
organizing classroom activities via cooperative learning activities and scaffolding via a well-planned
instruction.
The Schema Theory of Rumelhart (1980) stated that all knowledge is packed into units, which is called
schemata. It represents knowledge about concepts of objects and the relationships they have with other
objects, situations, events, sequence of events, actions and sequences of actions. In other words, this theory
states that all knowledge is organized into units, and within these units of knowledge, or schemata,
information in stored in the learning process. It is therefore, these theories are relevant in understanding
students development in language learning particularly, in learning literature as discusses in this study.

METHODOLOGY
Research Design
This research utilized qualitative methodology. A descriptive research methodology was employed
and it used a mode of classroom observation as the primary instrument, and semi-structured interview as
secondary instruments. The sample population used in this study consisted of five randomly selected schools
located in Kuala Selangor in the state of Selangor in Malaysia. In each school, one ESL teacher teaching Year
5 under the CCL Program was randomly selected, after securing permission from the school principals and
the state education department. Hence, the sample population consisted of five ESL trained teachers
teaching Year 5 ESL classroom.
Each ESL classroom was observed three times. In this study, the five teachers are referred to as
Teacher A, Teacher B, Teacher C, Teacher D, and Teacher E. The first observation for each class was not taken
into consideration to avoid what researchers call the researchers paradox. Only data from the second and
third observations were used for this study. All the classroom observations were audio recorded and field
notes were taken to provide additional information on the classroom context. At the end, a total of 10
classroom observations were used for the purposes of data analysis. The semi-structured interviews
conducted with classroom teachers looked into aspects of challenges encountered in the teaching of CCL
Program. The research objectives of this study are:
1. to evaluate approaches employed by teachers in the teaching of Contemporary Childrens Literature
Program?
2. to examine challenges encountered by teachers in implementing the Contemporary Childrens
Literature Program?

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Research Instruments
An observation checklist adapted and adopted from Hwang & Embi (2007) of Approaches to Teaching
the Literature Component was used. The checklist consisted of observation on the approaches and activities
employed by teacher in the teaching of literature component. The checklists were then summarized,
compared and interpreted. A semi-structured interview is designed in order to determine the challenges
faced by teachers in implementing CCL Program in the school. The interview questions were categorized and
coded into few constructs. They are (1) demographic profile of teachers, (2) approaches and activities
employed by teachers, and (3) factors challenges teachers in implementing the program. The interviews
were audio taped, transcribed and interpreted.
Data Analysis and Procedures
This study focuses on teachers approaches and challenges in implementing CCL Program. From the
classroom observation and interviews, it required qualitative data analysis. Classroom observation checklist
were summarized and compared in order to illustrate appropriate conclusions and interpretations. The
interview transcripts were grouped, coded and quoted in order to find the basis of argument.

FINDINGS
Demographic Profile of Teachers
Participants were teachers who taught English for Standard Five. Only five teachers were selected
to participate in the study. Of the five respondents, four of the respondents were Malay and the other one
was Chinese in terms of races, and they were all females. Three of the teachers were below the age of 30
while another two were below the age of fifty-five. Two of the teachers were having more than thirty years
of teaching experience, while another three were having less than twenty nine years of teaching experience.
Two of the teachers were having more than thirty years of teaching English, while another three were having
below than twenty years of teaching English experience.
Approaches Employed by Teachers
The analysis of the data from classroom observation reveals the current teaching approaches in
upper primary schools in the district of Kuala Selangor. In this study, the Information-Based Approach and
the Paraphrastic Approach were among the most favored approaches in the teaching of literature. The
Information-Based Approach was the most favored by teachers in this study as it ensures students acquire
enough knowledge and information on the literary text studied and expanded their understanding on the
subject matter. Teachers explain the content of the text to class, as well as provide students with background
of information related to the teaching of CCL Program. The Paraphrastic Approach was also the most favored
among the other approaches in the teaching of literature component. In order to ensure students
understand and provide good feedback from the teaching process in the classroom, teachers were re-telling
the text to students to help them understand the literature component, and use simple terms to explain
what the story is about to students. These two approaches were found among most favored in the teaching
of CCL in upper primary schools of the five selected schools.
The Moral Philosophical Approach was the second most favored approach employed in the teaching
of literature component in classroom. This goes in line with the National Philosophy of Education to integrate
more humanistic values among the students, as included in the KBSM (Integrated Curriculum for Secondary
School).
The findings do not reflect a study conducted by Radzuwan Abdul Rashid & Vethamani (2010), which
stated that the Information-Based approach and Moral Philosophical Approach were among the most
favored in the literature lesson. This is due to different sample of study which focused on less proficient
students where it was observed in the study that teachers taught the students totally in their mother tongue.
Thus, Paraphrastic Approach was less employed in the literature classroom. Hwang & Embi (2007) in their
study stated that the Paraphrastic Approach was the most favored approach in the teaching of literature.
This study has similar findings with the present study where the Paraphastic Approach is also among the most

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favored approach by teachers. Perhaps, these similar findings were mainly due to the same sample of study
that is, the teaching of literature component in the classroom. However, in the present study the
Information-Based Approach is also the most favored by teachers in the teaching of literature to upper
primary schools in the teaching of CCL Program. Of the five respondents from the two observations, the
number of approaches employed by teacher in the teaching of CCL Program is shown in Table1:
Table 1: Approaches Employed by Teachers
Approaches
Information-Based Approach
1.
Elicit information from students about the text.
2.
Explain the content of the text to the class.

Frequency

3.

Ask questions to check students knowledge based on what they have read.

4.

Provide students with background information.

4
8

Personal-Response Approach
5.
Encourage students to relate the themes to personal experiences
6.
Elicit students' response to a text

4
6

7.

10

Encourage students to express feelings towards the issues of the text

Language-Based Approach
8.
Guide students to express their opinions towards a text
9.
Set language activities in literature lesson
Encourage students to actively participate in the process of understanding
10.
the meaning of text
Students work with their classmates in the process of understanding the
11.
text
12.
Generate language practice using the text

2
2
6
4
2

Paraphrastic Approach
13.
Re-tell the text to students to help them understand
14.
Use simple terms to explain what the story is about to students
15.
Discuss what the author says in the text
16.
Get students to tell the storyline of the text

10
10
2
4

Moral-Philosophical Approach
17.
Incorporate moral values in lessons
18.
Ask students the values they learn from the text
19.
Get students to search moral values from a text
20.
Raise students' awareness of values derived from the text

10
6
4
4

Stylistics Approach
Guide students to interpret a text by looking at the language used by the
21.
author
Get students to mark any linguistic features from the text that are
22.
significant to their reading
My literature lesson looks at the language of the text, thus, encourages
23.
language awareness
24.

Encourage students to discuss beyond the surface meaning of the text

0
0
0
4

Teachers did not conduct any interesting and creative activities in the lessons. The findings from
classroom observation reveals that the students expect their teachers to conduct interesting activities in the
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lesson, other than focusing more on modules provided by the CDC in the teaching of CCL Program. Students
were expected to be the passive listeners during the teaching so that they could make full use of
understanding the literary text before activities is taken place. Finding shows that teachers employed
Paraphrastic Activities of translation of text using first language (L1) in the classroom. Other than that,
activities such as comprehension question exercises, brainstorming session, small group discussion, language
activities, re-tell story to students, students re-tell story to the class, tell moral values to students, and identify
adjectives that describe a character were the medium activities employed in classroom. Teachers were
focusing more on students understanding of the literary text than developing creative and interesting
activities in the lesson. The number of activities used by teachers in the teaching of CCL Program from the
two observations is shown in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Activities Employed by Teachers
Activities
Information-Based Activities
1.
Comprehension questions exercises
2.
Lecture sessions
3.
Read notes from workbooks/handouts with students

Frequency
8
2
2

Personal-Response Activities
4.
Explain a text to students
5.
Journal writing
6.
Brainstorming sessions
7.
Small group discussions
8.
Writing about feelings/reactions towards an issue

6
2
8
6
2

Language-Based Activities
9.
Group work
10.
Language activities (cloze, jigsaw puzzle, prediction exercises)
11.
Debate
12.
Performance activities (drama, role play, poetry recital)

6
8
4
4

Paraphrastic Activities
13.
Translation of text using L1
14.
Re-tell story to students
15.
Students read paraphrased notes in the workbook/handouts
16.
Students re-tell story to the class

10
8
4
8

Moral-Philosophical Activities
17.
Reflective sessions
18.
Discussions on moral dilemmas
19.
Tell moral values to students
20.
Conduct self-evaluation activities

2
2
6
2

Stylistics Activities
21.
Identify linguistics features (eg. vocabulary, tenses) in a text
22.
Discuss different meanings of a text
23.
Extract examples from a text that describe a setting
24.
Identify adjectives that describe a character

0
2
4
8

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Challenges Encountered by Teachers


Interview sessions with the five teachers revealed that all of them were aware of the aims and
objectives of the CCL Program and were able to express the benefits that literature could bring into their ESL
classroom. Teachers agreed that CCL could help improve their students language proficiency as well as
students reading abilities.
The respondents stated that the Pre, While, and Post-Reading activities were suitable and
appropriate to enhance students language proficiency. All of them were aware of the importance of these
activities in classroom instruction. However, Teachers A, B, and D felt that some books were insufficient for
all the students. Hence, teachers were making photocopies of the book in order to ensure the activities run
as planned by the CDC modules. According to Teacher B, photocopied books are not in color and perfect
like the real one. It is not attractive too. So, students feel less interested to read the book. Teacher C and
Teacher D agreed with statement made by Teacher B.
Another finding stated by Teacher E, the language use to some books was, to some extent difficult
for weaker students. It is therefore, the incorporation of translation using L1 is employed to ensure those
weaker students understand the literary text used by the teacher in the teaching process. According to
Teacher E, students limited proficiency was among the main issues that bring the incorporation of using L1
is higher in the classroom.
Teacher A and B stated that the insufficient supplementary materials and trainings were considered
an issues of challenges encountered by them in the teaching of CCL Program. Teachers in their schools made
full use of the Language Laboratory provided by the school management, but due to certain budget
constraints, the supplementary materials were not provided well in the teaching of CCL Program. Teachers
were required to fulfill the objective of the program implementation that is, language proficiency by
employing approaches in the teaching of literature. Thus, teachers need to be creative in order to have
interesting classroom activities. Teacher A added that, it is the teachers own initiative to come up with
creative and interesting materials, be it activities with students to develop something, or activities using
physical movement. So that student wont get bored in the learning process.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION


The findings of this study indicated that teachers employed variety of approaches and activities in
order to ensure students understanding of literary text. Classroom observations indicated that the
Information-Based Approach and Paraphrastic Approach were among the most favored by teachers in the
teaching of CCL Program. The incorporation of using translation of L1is considered as an option for teachers
to help weaker students to understand the text, and thus, to guide them to analyze the literature element of
the text. This can be seen as to support students who have limited proficiency in the language to learn
literature. Nevertheless, teachers could not integrate the activities of Pre, While and Post-Reading due to
their inability of using the language. Learning process could only be done in the classroom with teachers.
Further analysis revealed that teachers communication was mainly on Q & A comprehension
activities. Teachers were seen to use list of questions provided in the text to ensure student understands the
learning. Students were instructed to utilize all materials provided by teachers and to finish the task in time.
Less exploration of thinking abilities is enhanced during the learning.
Since the childrens literature in primary schools was launched in 2008, quite a few teachers started
to do it in their schools (Sarala A/P Subramanyam, 2012). This is due to some reasons of different perception
in the teaching of childrens literature. Literature should be taught in a way out of examination oriented.
Thus, students will have an opportunity to express out their thinking abilities creatively and critically.
According to Salina Mustakim & Othman Lebar (2012), often thinking is not given a prominent place in
teaching and learning process even though one of the objectives outline by the CC is to enhance students
thinking skills. This is due to its main focus of implementation of intensive reading program.
This study has indicated that the authentic learning from the evaluation of teachers approaches and
challenges in the classroom learning of CCL Program. It can be seen that the program provides great potential
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for enhancing students language learning in the classroom activities via the approaches employed by
teachers in the classroom instruction.

REFERENCES
Basree, S. (2009). The Implementation of Contemporary Childrens Literature Program (CCL) in Malaysian
Primary Schools: Feedback from Stakeholders, 16(8).
Carter, R. and Long, M. (1991). Teaching literature. Harlow: Longman.
Cheng, K. (2008). Issues in the Teaching and Learning of Childrens Literature in Malaysia. k@ ta, (2002), 112
125. Retrieved from http://puslit2.petra.ac.id/ejournal/index.php/ing/article/viewArticle/16693
Hwang, D., & Embi, M. A. (2007). Approaches Employed by Secondary School Teachers to Teaching the
Literature.
Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan, Vol. 22, 123. Retrieved from
myais.fsktm.um.edu.my//?/Approaches_Employed_By_Secondary_School_Teachers_To_Teaching_
Th
e_LiteratureComponent_In_English.pdf
Malaysia Ministry of Education. (2003). KBSM English Language Curriculum Specifications. Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Ministry of Education. (2006). Kursus Pelaksanaan Program Bacaan Kesusasteraan Kanak-Kanak
Bahasa Inggeris Tahun 6. Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Ministry of Education. (2009). Curriculum specifications for the literature component in the English
language curriculum for secondary schools. Kuala Lumpur.
Phillips, J. L. (1969). The origins of intellect: Piagets theory. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.
Radzuwan Abdul Rashid, & Vethamani, M. E. (2010). Approaches Employed by Teachers in Teaching
Literature to Less Proficient Students in Form 1 and Form 2, 3(4), 8799.
Roblyer, M.D., Edwards, J. & Havriluk, M. (1997). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Upper
Sadle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
Rumelhart, D. E. (1980). Schemata: The building blocks of cognition. In R.J. Spiro, B.C. Bruce, and W.F.
Brewer (Eds.), Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension: Perspectives from Cognitive Psychology,
Linguistics, Artifical Intelligence, and Education (pp. 3358). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Salina Mustakim & Othman Lebar. (2012). Contemporary Childrens Literature to Enhance Thinking Skills:
Issues and Challenges. International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research. Pulau Pinang:
Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Sarala A/P Subramanyam. (2012). on English Language Teaching. The Malaysia International Conference on
English Language Teaching MICELT 2012 (pp. 110114). UPM, Serdang. Malaysia: Department of
Language & Humanities Education.

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The Evaluation of Students Written


Reflection on the Learning of General
Chemistry Lab Experiment

[1] sookhan_ng@imu.edu.my
Department of Pharmaceutical
Chemistry
School of Pharmacy, International
Medical University
57000, IMU Bukit Jalil, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia

Ng Sook Han [1], Ho Ket Li [2], Lee Choy Sin [3], Keng Pei Sin [4]

[2]
Department of Life Sciences
School of Pharmacy, International
Medical University
57000, IMU Bukit Jalil, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia

ABSTRACT
Reflective writing is often used to increase understanding and analytical ability. The lack of
empirical evidence on the effect of reflective writing interventions on the learning of
general chemistry lab experiment supports the examination of this concept. The central
goal of this exploratory study was to evaluate the students written reflections about
experimental work. This study used an instrument, pre- and post-intervention design. Data
were collected in the form of individual reflective writing reports by students enrolled in
the first semester of a general chemistry course. Our findings indicated that the treatment
group had a statistically significant increase (p = .000) on the posttest test after a week of
reflective writing was administered when compared to the control group. Students
reflective writings were evaluated in the aspects of knowledge, critical thinking and
applications. In the case of knowledge, our findings were particularly interesting as higher
level of students knowledge understanding was associated with the experimentation. The
results of this study make it imperative for School of Pharmacy (SoP) and Health Sciences
(SoHS) at this institution to consider including reflective writing in lab experiments.

Keywords:

[3]
Department of Pharmaceutical
Chemistry
School of Pharmacy, International
Medical University
57000, IMU Bukit Jalil, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia
[3]
Department of Pharmaceutical
Chemistry
School of Pharmacy, International
Medical University
57000, IMU Bukit Jalil, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia

Reflective writing, general chemistry, pre- and post-intervention,


lab experiment, first semester

INTRODUCTION
Chemistry is the science of matter concerned with the composition of substances, structure, properties
and interactions between them. Chemistry is often regarded as a difficult course, an observation that
sometimes repels learners from continuing with studies in chemistry. Chemistry is one of the most important
branches of science; it enables learners to understand what happens around them. Because chemistry topics
are generally related to or based on the structure of matter, chemistry proves a difficult subject for many
students (Taber, 2002). General chemistry is a study of science that provides understanding of the properties
of all materials and the changes they undergo; this understanding has many practical applications including
drug discovery and development. Laboratory work is a core component of chemistry courses across the
world. Unfortunately, research in science education indicates that conventional laboratory activities often
fail to engage students in discussion and analysis of central concepts and ideas, and does not effectively
promote development of inquiry skills (Hofstein & Lunetta, 1982, 2004; Singer, Hilton, & Schweingruber,
2006).
Laboratory experimental work traditionally involves students working in small groups (Singer et al.,
2006). Analysis of interactions during traditional laboratory work suggests that lab talk is very goal-oriented.
On-task conversations and actions are largely focused on managing and completing lab work and tend to be
characterized by brief, fragmented utterances (Carlsen, 1991; Tapper, 1999). Student talk during
experimental activities is mostly centered on procedural issues related to carrying out specific experimental
tasks or how to manage lab equipment (Russell & Weaver, 2011; Sandi-Urena, Cooper, Gatlin, &
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Bhattacharyya, 2011). In general, the nature of group member interaction has been shown to strongly
influence the quality of collaborative group work (Volet, Summers, & Thurman, 2009). Students can reflect
on the processes and products of group work. When incorporating reflective activities into group work, it is
important that students have the opportunity to apply what they have learnt through their reflections to
future tasks to improve their learning.
Reflective writing is a pedagogical strategy that can increase critical thinking in students (Craft, 2005;
Heinrich, 1992; McGuire, Lay, & Peters, 2009; Rooda & Nardi, 1999). Reflection enables learners to develop
critical thinking skills essential to decision-making and practice (Brookfield, 1987; Branch & Paranjape, 2002;
Westberg & Jason, 2001). Reflection encourages learners to take control of their own learning needs,
facilitating their professional development, problem solving, and lifelong learning. It is a process allowing
individuals to revisit and analyze their experiences for better understanding and ultimately for improving
practice (Schn, 1987; Brookfield, 1987; Branch & Paranjape, 2002; Johns, 2004; Plack & Greenberg, 2005).
Effective writing requires critical thinking and the analysis of experiences to construct deeper meaning from
those experiences. It can prompt discussion about such things as personal biases and their impact on the
decision making process (Plack et al., 2007). Critical thinking is generally thought of as a process of analyzing,
synthesizing, and/or evaluating information (Paul & Scriven, 1987). For decades, the concept of critical
thinking has been recognized as an essential outcome for students at all levels and in all disciplines (Reed &
Kromrey, 2001).
Our central goal was guided by the following research question: Does reflective writing affect
students reflection to develop better knowledge, critical thinking and application skills in experimental
chemistry tasks?

METHODOLOGY
Overview of Design Study
The student body is composed of 382 undergraduate students representing the entire population of
Semester 1 Pharmacy and Health Sciences programs in the International Medical University, Malaysia. The
School of Pharmacy (SoP) and Health Sciences (SoHS) at this institution offers a one-semester general
chemistry module for pharmacy and health sciences programs. Students in this module attend a 180-min
weekly laboratory where they work in groups of 2 people supervised by a lecturer and demonstrator. On
average, 32 students are divided into 16 groups in each laboratory for experimental work. Most experiments
in the general chemistry module involve students in applying titration and weighing techniques.
Evaluation Measures
This study represents part of a research project on Semester 1 students inclination to reflect when
engaged in general chemistry experimental work. The intervention used was reflective writing and the
instrument used was a pre- and post-intervention test. The intervention part seeks to reflect students
thinking while attempting chemistry experimental work and the instrument part is aimed at characterizing
their learning thinking in the pre- and post-intervention test design for one experiment. This study shares
how students reflective responses to these tasks are encouraged and analyzed. It may hopefully help
students become more reflective in their learning habits. The intervention of the study was adapted and
modified from Xu and Talanquer (2012). The instrument involved was developed by researchers and has been
used among undergraduate students. Two panels of experts from a local university have validated the
instrument contents.
The results of this study are based on data collected in experimental work taught by the same lecturer
and demonstrator during the first semester of general chemistry. The demonstrator was a Ph.D student in
chemistry with experience teaching general chemistry labs. Reflective writing began after about 3 hours (one
session) of experimental work in the general chemistry module. This reflective writing is at an appropriate
level, with most of the required theory having been covered in lectures. The written output may indicate how
much the students understood the experimental work. In particular, we obtained copies of individual reports
written by one member of each student group in every lab experiment involved.

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Ethical Considerations
All participations were informed of the study by the researcher. Participation was voluntary, with no
consequences to students who declined participation or to participants who withdrew from the study.
Participants were randomized into the control and treatment groups. Scores were saved into a passwordprotected computer database.
Data Collection
During the first week of experimental work, the Principal Investigator (PI) visited the students and
explained the study and writing components. All participants were informed of the dates, times, and
locations for the pre- and post-intervention tests. The pre-intervention test was administered to participants
at the beginning of the semester. The pretest-posttest specifically designed for students consisted of five
short answer questions, respectively. Pretest was carried out to identify what students already know while
the posttest ascertained what students have learned from their experimental work after a week of reflective
writing treatment was given.
The main results of our study are based on data collected in laboratory classes. Individual reflective
writing by students was collected. More detailed information about the composition of these student groups
and the experiment they did is presented in Table 1. Given that students in the G3 and G4 labs (control group)
were not asked to complete reflective writing for the experiment, the number of collected reflective writing
reports was 191.
Table 1: Characteristics of the groups and experiment
Experime
nt
1

Student
Group
G1
G2
G3

Number of
Students
96
95
96

G4

95

Lab
Experiment
Determination
of chloride
concentration
by Volhards
method/titrati
on

Number of Reflective Writings


Collected

191

Students writing prompts in this reflective writing section were adapted from Xu and Talanquer
(2012):
1. What did you learn in this lab?
2. What do you not completely understand?
3. What are the challenges you have in this practical?
4. How would you improve what you did?
5. How have your ideas changed as a result of this lab?
6. What is/are the safety consideration/ precautions for this practical?
7. How do you apply the concepts learned in this practical?
Our rubric in reflective writing, which is included in this paper focused on the analysis of seven key
activities which are factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, metacognitive
knowledge, problem solving, critical thinking and applications (Xu & Talanquer, 2012). This rubric was applied
to evaluate the level of knowledge (factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive knowledge), critical
thinking (problem solving) and applications that students have achieved in their experimental work.
The week after reflective writing, a posttest consisting of five short answer questions was
administered to the students in the same quiet, comfortable classroom setting where they took the pretest.
Our posttest rubric focused on the analysis of three key activities; obtaining experimental work background
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information, interpreting data to generate explanations and reflecting on the experience.


Data Analysis
The statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 20.0. A non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test
was performed and any p-values smaller than .05 were considered significant. A process of analysis of the
written reflections led to identification of three major types of reflective statements (general codes), each of
them divided into different subtypes (specific codes). Table 2 includes the list of general and specific codes
in our analytical system, together with concrete examples from the data. Codes were assigned to capture
different types of reflective statements made by the students regarding knowledge, critical thinking and
applications.
Table 2: Coding categories for students written reflections with some example text extracts
General
Codes
Knowledge

Specific Codes

Factual Knowledge

Conceptual
Knowledge

Procedural
Knowledge

Example Quotes from Students Reflective Writing


I learned what the actual meaning of Volhards titration
method is. I had heard the term before, but I now know the exact
meaning of that.
This lab directly tied into what we have been learning in lecture
about titration using Volhards method. In order to determine the
concentration of chloride ions in a sample solution, we can use
this experimental method.
I learned the correct titration and weighing method. I also
learned only two-three drops of indicator are used for each
titration.

Metacognitive
Knowledge

A question did arise during experimentation, which I still do not


fully understand. I also aware of safety demand of surroundings;
wear safety glasses, labcoat and gloves all the times [sic] in the
laboratory.

Critical
Thinking

Problem Solving

The challenge that I have is over-titrated [sic] during the titration


process. I have to observe closely to the color change when I
repeated the titration.

Application

Application

This method would be very helpful in determining the


concentration of any ions in a sample solution.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


The sample of 382 students (n = 191 from School of Pharmacy (SoP) and n = 191 from School of Health
Sciences (SoHS) programs) meant that 191 participants were in the control and treatment groups,
respectively. Of the control and treatment groups, respectively, 96 (50.3%) were from SoP and 95 (49.7%)
were from SoHS. According to the non-parametric test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, there was no statistically
significant difference between control and treatment groups in the pre-intervention test for E1 (p = 0.631; z
= -0.480).
In the post-intervention test, there was a statistically significant difference between control and
treatment groups (p = 0.000; z = -11.390). Pre-intervention test, which was administered a week before
experimental work, was accompanied by theory having been covered in lectures without requiring students
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to do reflective writing. The students were then given reflective writing treatment after experimental work
along with an administration of post-intervention test. To see the students possible improvement, results
from the two tests were compared. Description of the data gained by Wilcoxon signed-rank test is presented
in Table 3 and Table 4.
Table 3: Wilcoxon signed-rank test statistics of pre- and post-intervention shown by groups

Z
p

Pre-intervention test
Control group Treatment group

Post-intervention test
Control group Treatment group

-0.480
0.631

-11.390
0.000

Table 4: Wilcoxon signed-rank descriptive statistics of pre- and post-intervention shown by groups

N
Mean
SD

Pre-intervention test
Control group
Treatment group
191
191
2.199
2.157
0.866
0.949

Post-intervention test
Control group
Treatment group
191
191
2.262
4.288
0.824
0.825

As shown in the tables, the pre-intervention test did not show statistically significant difference
between the control and treatment groups. The most noteworthy result was the statistically significant
increase in the post-intervention test when compared to the pre-intervention test. This increase may be
explained by accepting that the intervention of reflective writing treatment helped make students more
eager to seek the best knowledge, more courageous about asking questions and more honest pursuing
inquiry (Facione, Facione, & Sanchez, 1994). As suggested in the literature, the reflective writing treatment
may have helped students to question the truth, validity and accuracy of the information they were receiving;
and it could have given them the courage to ask questions (McGuire et al., 2009).
This idea is supported by McGuire et al. (2009) who found that reflective writing as a pedagogical
strategy allows students to integrate their thoughts and experiences with didactic material in order to more
adequately understand both the experiences and the didactic material, and with this understanding comes
courage to question circumstances in the experimental work setting. Luthy, Peterson, Lassetter, and Callister
(2009) stated that writing tasks promote effective learning and writing. The study results indicated that the
reflective writing treatment might have helped encourage student learning, which in turn prepares them to
communicate more professionally and courageously with other health care professionals in future.
Focus on Reflective Writing
Analysis of students reflective writing drew out three major types of reflective statements
categorized as knowledge, critical thinking and application. The presence of these types of statements was
likely influenced by the questions used in the reflective writing treatment to guide students reflections.
Overall, students invested the largest portion of their reflections (44.9%, SE = 1.7) in writing about knowledge
acquired as a result of experimental work (knowledge). Second, students think critically about laboratory
methods, results and problems solving (critical thinking: 22.4%, SE = 1.3) and lastly students reflected upon
potential applications of their experimental work (applications: 32.7%, SE = 1.5). As shown in Figure 1, the
relative weight of reflection changed with the different types of reflective statements.

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Figure 1. Relative weight of the types of reflective statements in students written reflections of
experimental work. Different letters indicate significant difference at the level of p < .05
Students reflective statements about different types of knowledge gained as a result of experimental
work elicited four major types. These included factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive knowledge.
As part of their reflections, students also think critically about their experimental work and this elicited
problem solving skills. Students also reflected on potential application of their results to solve or understand
other problems from their experimental work. Working in the lab seemed to promote more reflections not
only about knowledge of experimental skills or procedures, but also about what was understood or not as a
result of lab work.
Our study was designed to explore the effect of reflective writing on students reflection to develop
better knowledge, critical thinking and application skills in experimental chemistry tasks According to the
data from this study, changes in the level of types of reflective statements of experimental work seemed to
correlate with statistically significant changes in the pre- and post-intervention test. These changes were
noticeable in the areas of knowledge, critical thinking and applications. In the case of knowledge, the results
were particularly interesting as higher level of students knowledge understanding was associated with the
experimentation. In particular, students were more motivated to make knowledge understanding reflections
about the extent to which they understood relevant concepts, ideas or methodologies. Engagement in
guided-inquiry experiment seemed to make students more inclined to reflect on the relevance or value of
their experimental results for solving problems.
The results of our study are in line with those of related investigations that highlight the benefits of
engaging general chemistry students in more open investigations (Hand & Choi, 2010; Russell & Weaver,
2011). However, our findings also underscore the need for explicit interventions to improve the quality of
students reflections, particularly in critical thinking. From our perspective, reflective thinking requires that
we help demonstrators to become better at motivating, pressing, and guiding students to talk about
chemistry concepts and ideas in the laboratory.

CONCLUSION
This study tested the effectiveness of a reflective writing intervention, based on the Xu and Talanquer
(2012) model in Pharmacy and Health Sciences degree program students. We found a statistically significant
difference between control and treatment group from pre- to post-intervention tests; much valuable
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information was gleaned from this study. An innovative intervention that used a convenient format of
administration, completion, and submission was implemented. The researchers extended understanding of
this intervention, based on the statistical data, is that this reflective writing intervention did contribute to an
increase in truth seeking in participants. Therefore, this intervention may help the students seek the best
knowledge in experimental work effectively. The interventions received some positive feedback. Following
the intervention, several participants stated that the amount of writing and time involved was reasonable,
the questions were clear, and they were encouraged to reflect on important aspects of experimental work.

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