ICLT 2013 Kickstarts Transformation in Teaching and Learning in Malaysia

With the advancement in technology and the increasing growth and absorption of information among the younger generation, there is an urgent need for educators to become 21st century teachers. These days, students are more reliant on the internet for a great number of things, being socially active on social media networks such as Facebook and search engines for information. This inevitably has empowered students to advance their learning capabilities and keep abreast of current issues.

“It is our duty to remind our children that it is the past that propels the present to soar to greater heights. The educators of today must be the trendsetters of tomorrow and just like we treasure our own memories, we must do for our children as well. The teacher today must meet the demands and needs of the 21st Century learner. The onus is on us to ensure that the education we impart in these learners are valued and cherished forever,” emphasised Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education Malaysia.

Addressing this dilemma and setting the pace in education, Taylor’s University collaborates with Jabatan Pelajaran Selangor to organise the International Conference on Learning and Teaching 2013 on June 28-29, 2013 at the Grand Bluewave Hotel, Shah Alam, the first collaboration between a private university and the state education department.

“Taylor’s University is proud to collaborate with Jabatan Pelajaran Selangor to host this conference which will hopefully kickstart a fruitful journey in advancing the development of the education industry. This is in line with the objective of the Malaysia Education Blueprint of which one of its key shifts focuses on leveraging the expertise, experience and technology between both the private and government sectors to achieve efficient and transformational teaching and learning approaches,” enthused Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said, Vice Chancellor and President, Taylor’s University.

Themed ‘Transforming Learning and Teaching to meet the Challenges of the 21st Century’ with over 700 delegates, the conference is aimed at providing educationists the opportunity to share ideas, research findings, activities and skills of which teachers can adopt and adapt it to suit their respective learners and curriculum. The conference had 123 local and international speakers from 10 countries including poster and workshop presenters which addressed the many issues and challenges faced in education. Amongst the speakers for the conference were also 13 academics from Taylor’s University School of Education and Taylor’s University School of Communication.

This conference brings together practitioners from all levels; primary, secondary and tertiary which is an excellent platform to discuss, debate and agree upon new ways to approach teaching and learning in the 21st century. The conference also serves as a platform to help educators form a support network for exchange of ideas and to keep abreast with the latest developments and innovations in teaching and learning.

Speaking at the conference was Encik Mohd Salleh bin Mohd. Kassim, Deputy Director, Jabatan Pelajaran Selangor, “Today, we wish to provide an international arena for both local and foreign teachers and educators to present and share their own research and innovations in education. We can only expect our teachers to participate in the global education system if, we are able to provide an avenue for them. Upholding the standards of education in the eyes of the global community is an objective we can all embrace. A world-class infrastructure and a world-class education system comes with world-class expectations. We are firm with the belief, that these expectations can be met. It is my hope that this conference will have a positive impact on the professional standards of learning and teaching in Malaysia.”

With students being wired and connected, it is necessary for education in Malaysia to keep up its pace while bridging success from the past with innovative approaches to learning and teaching of the future in order to make classrooms diverse, engaging and interactive.

The transformation plan demands that various stakeholders especially practioners and policy makers be aware of the nature of the new generation of young learners who are vastly different from the previous generation of learners. Traditional approaches, teaching methods and learning experiences may not impact these young people as strongly as we expect. Hence, the new generation of learners has to be approached differently where school and schooling has to be a very engaging experience; learning and teaching endeavours have to be more innovative, creative and interactive,” shared Professor Dr. Malachi Edwin Vethamani, Dean, Taylor’s University School of Education, Taylor’s University.

The delegates were privileged to have keynote speaker, Professor Dr. Jens Rasmussen from Aarhus University, Denmark with his talk titled, ‘Competence Goal-driven Education in School and Teacher Education’. He also spoke at a public lecture titled, ‘School Improvement in a Nordic Welfare State’ on June 27, 2013 at Taylor’s University. Speaking at the conference were also plenary speakers, Professor Emeritus Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohd Aroff, University Putra Malaysia and Associate Professor Daniel Tan Tiong Hok, National University of Singapore.