“..The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein.*

Indeed, Einstein’s valuation of education  posits that a functional educator ought to unstintingly embrace the essence of education, which is to train the minds to THINK.

With that belief, this site is dedicated to sharing the output of teaching in classroom and through research. By undoing the wall between teaching and researching, the 20 years of disciplinary research on materials, had also added bulk to the understanding on students’ learning as output of  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research. The latter is loaded with stories of students’ improvement, which had inspired me to move on with the idea of Thinking Classroom (TC) ever since the classroom size at a division known as Bioresource, Paper and Coatings Technology (BPC) had been reduced for graduate quality improvement.

Here are some insights into the TC series: TC1.0 was initially designed as assessment for learning intended to ensure students mastery of the delivered contents. The intervention could ensure 80% of high achievement scores and the driving factors were in class quizzes and instant feedback from the instructor. TC2.0 which emphasised scaffolding of thinking via complex mapping activities was the onset of monitoring true thinking and identifying of learners who coped better with training to think through reading and construction of map.  While the number was small, mapping as an intervention was opposed by the majority who favoured learning via memorisation of notes. With that in mind,  TC2.1 was designed to emphasise dialogic communication to enhance students’ reasoning ability and reduce rote learning. Besides seeing more cognitively engaged learners, learning sessions became more lively and hilarious ; ).  Thank you to students who helped me understand their unique learning journey: You are all inspiring!

Click here to read more about mapping and thinking classroom – a small share of effort in nation building. Let’s start planning more for it.


Interested to join hands in Fibrous Biomass Research? Contact arniza@usm.my

Write in for scholarship: GhazaliHartamas@yahoo.com

Related Fundamentals:

★ IWK307 Advanced Paper Technology – Instrumental Analysis of Pulp & Paper ★

★IWK103 (Part 1) Biomass for Pulp Production ★IUK107 (Part 1) Basics of Materials Analysis ★


*Source: In response to not knowing the speed of sound as included in the Edison Test: New York Times (18 May 1921); Einstein: His Life and Times (1947) Philipp Frank, p. 185; Einstein, A Life (1996) by Denis Brian, p. 129; “Einstein Due Today” (February 2005) edited by József Illy, Manuscript 25-32 of the Einstein Paper Project; all previous sources as per Einstein His Life and Universe (2007) by Walter Isaacson, p. 299.