«By Kirati Khuvasanond A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Curriculum and Teaching and the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University ...»
Disagree With Friends Students were asked in the interview about their reaction when they disagreed with their friends‟ ideas. More than half of the students (64.10%) reported that they decided to keep quiet when they disagreed with their friends. Almost half of the students (46.30%) chose to stay quiet when other students indicated that they Kreng Jai their friends, that is, if they show that they disagree with their friends‟ ideas. Many students mentioned that they Kreng Jai to disagree because disagreement might make their friends lose face and could lead to personal problems at the end of the conversation. Nearly 26 percent (25.92%) indicated that they were uncomfortable and shy disagreeing with their friends. Students reported that they lose face when they disagree or have different opinions than their friends (18.52%). Students indicated that they were afraid that their different opinion would not be accepted by others, which they take as losing face among friends. Figure 18 shows the reasons students stated for not expressing their opinion when they disagreed with friends.
Figure 18. Reasons why students stay quiet when they disagree with their friends Friends Disagree With You On the other hand, when students were asked about their feelings when their friends expressed opinions that disagreed with them, only 28.
92% reported that they felt negative toward friends who disagreed with them. Many students stated that they were uncomfortable and lost face when someone disagreed with them. Other students viewed disagreement as normal when any opinion is brought up. As a student said, “I am not usually take it personally when my friends disagreed with me. On the opposite, I took it as opportunities to learn new ideas.” Disagreeing With the Teacher Students were asked about their reactions when they disagreed with their teacher.
Only 15.85% of students indicated that they would express their opinion.
On the other hand, 84.15% of students chose to keep quiet and pretend they agreed with their teachers.
Among students who choose to keep quiet, 41.49% indicated that they were afraid that their teacher would deduct points or punish them if they disagreed with teacher. Onethird of the students (37.23%) said that they preferred to remain quiet because they believed in the teacher‟s knowledge. As one students stated, “Teacher is the person who educate us. Teacher knew everything which means everything that teacher said is correct and we should follow that opinion.” One-fourth of the students (25.53%) believed in seniority; that is, younger people should not argue or disagree with their elders. As reflected in a student‟s response, “We as a student should not argue against teacher because teacher is not only be our educator but they also older than us and that‟s mean we must respect them as they are older too.” Another student said, “Kreng Jai should be apply to this situation especially disagreements with teachers.” Students explained that disagreeing with older persons, especially a teacher, would mean challenging them and that could be interpreted as not respecting teachers. Other reasons that make students decide to remain quiet are shyness, uncomfortable, and losing face when students need to express disagreement with their teacher. Figure 19 shows reasons students decided not to express their disagreement with their teachers.
Figure 19. Reasons Students Stay Quiet when They Disagree with the Teacher In comparing disagreement reaction toward both teachers and friends, students tended to express their disagreement with their friends more than with their teachers.
However, more than half of students indicated that they would just keep their disagreement to themselves. No matter whether they disagree with their friends or with their teacher, they chose not to mention anything. Kreng Jai plays a major role in both cases. However, students seemed to feel less Kreng Jai toward their friends than toward their teacher. This is because their teachers are older than they are. Seniority was one of the reasons students indicated as a reason not to argue or disagree with teachers.
However, seniority or power distance is not the factor that students most often mentioned when they were asked about the reaction on disagreement with friends. Most students were afraid that arguing with their friends would hurt their friends‟ feelings, which they usually prevent by keeping quiet when they disagree. See Figure 20 for disagreement reaction toward teacher and friends.
Figure 20. Disagreement Reaction toward Teacher and Friends Teacher Interviews There were 10 teachers who participated in this phase of the study.
All of the teachers were asked to participate in the interview session. All of the teachers who participated in this study were taught to use teacher centered approaches as the regular instructional technique in their classes. Some teachers were assigned to teach two out of three techniques examined in this study while some teachers were assigned to only one technique.
Experience with Instruction Jigsaw. Five teachers who taught vocabulary by using the jigsaw instruction technique were interviewed. Four out of five teachers indicated that they liked the jigsaw instructional technique. One of the teachers who liked the technique said, “I really love and enjoy using this method; I would like to continue using it with other lessons of mine.” A few teachers who were assigned to use the jigsaw method also were assigned to use CIRC as one of their instruction techniques in another class. All of them mentioned that they loved the jigsaw more when compared to the CIRC technique. As one teacher expressed her experience, “I think it is easier to manage the class with Jigsaw instruction technique since students were getting into smaller groups. Another teacher said, “I like Jigsaw instruction technique because there were about 4-5 students in each group. It is easy to manage the students not to be too loud and the group is small enough to get all students to work together.” The size of the group was noted positively by another teacher who said, “The small size of group fits well with students and eliminated the chances that some students would just sit and wait for the answer from other members of the group.” In addition, teachers stated that Jigsaw allowed good opportunities for students to interact with other friends, which they felt was good for developing social skills in students. Teachers viewed these methods as a chance to build students‟ confidence in expressing their opinion to others.
Among these five teachers who used jigsaw as their instructional technique, there was only one teacher who indicated that she was not very impressed with the technique.
She said students did not do well getting into groups and that the teacher needed to help manage students in groups. She also mentioned that students were a bit too loud when working as a group. In addition, she thought it might not be a good fit for students who are lazy and do not care about others and that the work was loaded on other members of the group. As she said, “Group of students who is lazy still need teacher to point on them and tell them what to do step by step.” CIRC. Five teachers who used the CIRC instructional technique participated in this interview. Three out of five teachers‟ feedback was largely positive. One of the teachers stated that she liked the method because it allowed students to interact and work with others. Another teacher added that, even though this is a great method, both students and teachers need some time to adapt to the learning environment since they all are familiar with the teacher centered method. As reflected in a teacher‟s response, “I think this method is a bit difficult for teacher to manage the class, but in a long run, when student and teacher used to the technique, I think this is a great method to apply in my classroom.” Two other teachers indicated that they found this method difficult for teachers in terms of time management. One teacher stated, “Since we only have one teacher per class, it is difficult to take care and manage time and activity into two groups that need your different type of explanation and attention.” The size of student groups was another issue that teachers commented on in the interview. As one teacher mentioned, I think divided students into two group make each group a little too big for the hands-on activity since there are about 40-50 students in the whole classroom. Some students were not working and waiting for their friends to tell them the answer. One teacher stated that she would prefer teaching students with a teacher-centered instructional technique as it allowed her to push or call on weaker students to participate in her questions more than CIRC. She felt that teaching with a teacher-centered technique would allow her to deliver more solid information to students than any of the cooperative learning techniques.
Teachers Observations of Students’ Reaction to Jigsaw Teachers were asked about their students‟ reactions to the instructional technique used in the class. All of the teachers stated that they felt students were excited and enjoyed using the Jigsaw technique. However, during the working session, students were a little confused about how they should complete their task. This was solved when teachers provided more explanation.
While working with their friends, teachers noted that girls seemed to be quieter than boys. One of the teachers said he had observed that “girls were shy and seemed like they were no confident with their answer. I think they were afraid that boys will laugh at them if their answer is wrong.” Other teachers mentioned that students had more confidence in sharing their answers and opinions than when they learned as a whole class. Students still asked the teacher when they did not understand what to do on their tasks. As one teacher explained, “Students sent one or two members, which most of the time were the same set of members, to ask for more explanation. Then they go back to their group and share the information to their group members.” Teacher Observations of Students’ Reactions to CIRC Only one out of the five teachers who used the CIRC technique stated that students were excited and had fun learning with this type of instructional technique.
However, most of the concerns the teachers had were about the quality of the students‟ work when students helped each other. Teacher mentioned that they were surprised that not many students waited to copy from their friends. Students performed well in the team. Teachers reported that students tried to adapt their style of work, so that they could complete their task. However, one teacher indicated that students still were not confident with their quality of work and still needed to confirm with their teachers on completing their tasks.
Teachers’ Observations of Students’ Reactions to Teacher-centered Instruction The teachers reported that, when teaching with the teacher-centered instruction technique, students seemed to wait for the answer from the teacher and were less willing to participate in the class. Most of the time, teachers had to call on individual students to answer questions. The teachers felt that teacher-centered instruction is effective in delivering information to students, but did not help in improving students‟ social skills or in developing self-directed learning behavior. One teacher said, teacher-centered is like a spoon feed method. Students would get the entire knowledge and information teacher planned to include in the lesson, but students do not have chance to interact with others in the class. In addition, students will have a hard time on self-learning because they get used to the information or knowledge fed by their teacher.” Teachers’ Observations about Students’ Questions and Opinions Teachers were asked how they felt when students asked questions or expressed their opinions in class. All the teachers who participated in this interview indicated positive feelings when students asked questions during the lesson. One teacher said, “I felt good when students asking question or sharing their opinion in the class, even though I have to repeat some parts of the lesson. At least students learn how to express themselves.” She added that “students‟ questions help me realize on what part students still need further explanation.” Teachers view students‟ opinions as a way to help form students‟ thinking skills. As one teacher said, “when students shared their opinion, that makes me know in what way students think and how I should I help guiding students to a better process of thinking.” Another teacher commented, “I felt comfortable to answer students‟ question or accept students‟ opinion if that is not students‟ intention to challenge me.” Most of the teachers welcomed questions from students. However, they preferred that questions be asked after class rather than having students ask them in class.
One teacher stated, “I don‟t like when students asked questions in class, since it interrupted my teaching, and also interrupted other students‟ learning as well.” In addition, teachers mentioned that they felt that students do not like to ask question in class, since they have to ask questions in front of their friends, resulting in losing face.
Even though students were comfortable asking questions of the teacher, a different reaction was reported in terms of expressing their opinions to the teacher.
Teachers reported that students seemed uncomfortable sharing their opinions. The main reason the teachers gave was students losing face. Some teachers mentioned that it might be because students believe that teachers know best, and students, therefore, should agree with the teacher. One teacher said, “Students think that they should not argue or disagree with teachers, since teachers are the people who deliver knowledge; teachers know everything. With this reason, students should not argue or challenge anything, but follow.” Another teacher stated that she needed to ask students to share their opinion before the teacher‟s opinion was stated to prevent students from being afraid that their opinions will be seen as being against the teacher‟s opinion. Even though this helped in encouraging students to express their opinion, a good number of students still were uncomfortable expressing their opinions in class.