Feature: TTutors’ Views: Gender & Learning

Compiled by Norazlina Mohamad (norazlina_mohamad@oum.edu.my)

Over the years, there seems to be no end to debates regarding gender and learning. Admittedly, there are differences between how men and women learn. Our tutors have some views about gender and the learning process

MALE LEARNERS PREFER AN INFORMAL STYLE

Based on my experience, male learners prefer an informal, more visual learning style. They also thrive in a learning environment which allows them the fl exibility to move around and discuss in groups. However, they seem to have trouble focusing on the lesson for extended periods of time.

Usually, you will fi nd that it is the female learners who outperform the male learners. How can we narrow the gap between the two? We need to diversify our teaching methods and come up with innovative approaches to cater to differences between both genders.

Dr Hu Laey Nee
Sarawak Learning Centre



INDEPENDENT LEARNING FOR TESL

I have been an OUM tutor for the TESL programme for the past eight years. This programme involves classroom communication activities such as discussions, forums and presentations as a major aspect of the teaching and learning process.

From my observation, I fi nd no difference in terms of communicative and analytical learning styles between male and female learners. This is perhaps due to the nature of the TESL programme which requires the learners, regardless of gender, to do research and read widely. This means that they have to be independent learners to a certain extent.

Puan Noor Adlina Gooi Abdullah
Kelantan Learning Centre



NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE ADULT LEARNERS

In my opinion, I believe that there is no difference between male and female adult learners when it comes to acquiring knowledge. Regardless of gender, any learner has the potential to cope and adapt reasonably well to their learning environment.

Prior to the commencement of tutorials, OUM learners are required to attend workshops which expose them to the blended mode of learning. This is to ensure that they are able to function as independent learners.

At the same time, it is also important that learners remain highly motivated throughout the duration of their studies. They should also communicate and interact effectively with peers, tutors and administrators. All these things can be developed by anyone regardless of gender.

Segar Raja M
Kedah Learning Centre

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As a tutor, I believe that I can help learners to create learning spaces by:

Encouraging them to think independently by giving them short essay tests
 
Encouraging them to work as a group
 
Adding variety to the assignments and encouraging them to think from a different perspective
 
Ensuring that the tutorial room is always conducive for the learners
 
 
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