Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Measurement Dimensions for Arabic Language Teachers in Malaysia

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Measurement Dimensions for Arabic Language Teachers in Malaysia

Article excerpt

Abstract

Arabic language education in Malaysia has been considered unsuccessful. Therefore, Arabic language teachers as the main factor behind the success of school education system need to be transformed via a preparation, construction and evaluation of teacher quality. Hanna and Gimbert (2011) proposed three major initiatives in teacher quality evaluation beginning with identifying the dimensions in teacher quality. Subsequently, this paper has set upon two objectives, namely (a) to study the dimensions of teacher quality among the scholars, and (b) to identify the best dimensions for quality measurement of Arabic language teachers. The two objectives were achieved through a descriptive qualitative research via literature review of the views and works of previous scholars. A thematic approach was employed in the filtering process and data analysis with the help of Altas.ti version 7.1 software. Results of the study found that a diversity of teacher quality dimensions had been used in most of previous researches namely, teacher qualification, teacher characteristics, and in-class practice teaching effectiveness. This study has also identified a framework proposal for quality measurement dimensions for Arabic language teachers. In addition, this working paper also suggests a further study to complete the dimension framework proposal together with several aspects which need to be emphasized.

Keywords: teacher certification, teacher characteristics, teacher practices, teacher quality, teaching effectiveness

1. Introduction

Teaching is a noble profession. For Muslims, this profession is a continuation of the duty of the Prophets. Therefore, teacher has a special position in the society's view. Today, the change of time brings teaching profession to a more challenging level. In line with the progress and current needs, teachers face various demands. Not only are they responsible for the students but also they are to play a dominant role in realizing the inspirations of the religion, nation and the state as listed in the national education philosophy. The whole nation depends upon the effectiveness and efficiency of each teacher executing their duties. Teachers who teach the Arabic language to the sons and daughters of the Malaysian nation are of no exception. They carry a huge responsibility in their own field in line with the current challenges of Arabic language education (Yaakub, 2007). Their biggest challenge is to return Arabic language education to a position at par with its special position in the nation's education system and in the culture of the Malaysian majority community. This is due to that Arabic language education has so far been concluded as unsuccessful (Rejab, 1992). The special position of the Arabic language in the national education and the current situation of the Arabic language education add more burdens of responsibility which must be discharged by all Arabic language teachers. The success in overcoming these challenges and carrying the weight of the nation's tmst lies in the competency and quality of the existing Arabic language teachers. Behind these challenges, a pertinent and urging question remains; does the prepared Arabic language teaching force fulfill the criteria of a tme language teacher? ( Mat & Soon, 2010)

In the context of student learning, quality teacher is a factor which plays an important role. Even though there are other factors which can influence student performance such as student demography and educational background and economic and social status, teacher quality is more dominant and significant. In fact, teacher quality is more of value to the student performance than other investments in the improvement of the education system such as reduction of number of students per class by adding new classes, salary increment for teachers and all expenses related to education (Andrews, 2012; Croninger, Rice, Rathbun, & Nishio, 2007; Goe, 2007; Lovât & Toomey, 2009). …

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