Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Exploring the Mindsets and Well-Being of Rural Secondary School Students in Perak, Malaysia

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Exploring the Mindsets and Well-Being of Rural Secondary School Students in Perak, Malaysia

Article excerpt

Introduction

Perak Amanjaya, the state government of Perak, Malaysia has developed seven key thrusts for structural and non-structural development. Two key thrusts for the non-structural development intend to develop future human capital that is, having skilled, ethical and knowledgeable society and participative youth and social harmony.

Skilled, ethical and knowledgeable society equip each citizen with the right capabilities to participate effectively and sustainably in economic activities with high growth potential. Meanwhile, participative youth and social harmony is meant to safeguard the well-being of youth and the society irrespective of race and religion. This can be achieved through making quality opportunities available for active participation in socio-economic activities that will lead to social unity.

* The two key thrusts advocate the inclusivity of all community members in Perak ranging from school children to adults. Youth represents the most critical human capital to be developed. Such capability development often starts from schools. The inclination of youth to be academic or non-academic is often affected by a number of factors including mindsets and psychological well-being. Youth should be guided to be productive participants in the community as they are the successors of the current and aging generations.

* Up to January 2013, about 80 per cent of school leavers in Perak have opted not to pursue their education at tertiary level (IDR, 2013). The lack of interest in pursuing tertiary education among school leavers suggests that these school leavers are likely forced into the labor market as young as 18 years old. However, not all of them are equally equipped with the necessary skills. This scenario calls for non-academic programs should be available to these school leavers.

Research Objectives

With the assumption that not all school leavers be able to participate productively in the communities on their own especially the low achievers, the research aims

a. To identify the mindsets and psychological well-being of low achievers at secondary school students in the rural areas of Perak.

b. To unravel the psychological needs of these low achievers to be participative youth in the community.

c. To provide strategic direction in leveraging current mindsets and psychological conditions of low achievers at rural areas to be participative youth in the community.

Studies on Mindsets and Well-Being

Mindsets (M) refer to a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more people or groups of people that is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviours, choices, or tools. A similar set of assumptions also exist about individuals' basic qualities (i.e. intelligent, personality and characters). Individuals with fixed mindset believe their qualities are carved in stone and have the urgency to prove themselves over and over whilst those with growth mindset believe their basic qualities are things they can cultivate through their efforts and are open to accurate information about own current abilities, even if it's unflattering.

According to Dweck (2012), individuals who believe their success is based on innate ability, have a "fixed" theory of intelligence (fixed mindset). They dread failure because it is a negative statement on their basic abilities. Others, who believe their success is based on hard work, learning, training and tenacity, have a "growth" or an "incremental" theory of intelligence (growth mindset). They improve their performance and learn from failures. Dweck (2012) argues that the growth mindset will allow a person to live a less stressful and more successful life. Students with fixed mindset believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They pursue the goal of being look smart all the time and never look dumb. …

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