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The impact of educational change in Malaysian Smart Schools on Islamic Education teachers and students

By Mohd. Isa Hamzah


This study is an attempt to investigate the impact of educational change in Malaysian Smart Schools on Islamic Education teachers and students. This study is trying to understand all aspects of the change process in Smart Schools and to understand the problems of students and teachers as they endeavour to improve learning and teaching in Smart Schools. Following the implementation of the Smart School pilot projects in the Malaysian secondary schools. this study is aimed at suggesting an approach that can be used to incorporate the use of computers and ICT in Islamic Education by taking into consideration the views. experiences, expectations and needs of the teachers and the students themselves. In examining the new initiative of Smart Schools, a mixed methods design was adopted to gather the data needed from Islamic Education teachers and students. \ud A grounded theory approach was used in the early phase of the study as this approach is suitable for this relatively new field where little research has been done. This research began with an exploratory phase which involved the use of focus groups as a means to gain knowledge of respondents' views, perceptions and attitudes about Smart Schools. The results from the focus group were used as initial data to develop a structured questionnaire for a large survey study in the Smart Schools. The last phase of research involved an in-depth interviewing process to clarify and validate the previous two phases of research. \ud This study found that the use of computers was the core feature of the change phenomenon in Smart Schools. Islamic Education teachers and students were hardly coping with the task of incorporating the use of new technology in their teaching and learning. Many barriers and obstacles in using new technology were reported by Islamic Education teachers and students. The most important barriers identified in this study are the lack of computers and available resources, lack of training, shortage of time and the pressure of a heavy syllabus and examination centred learning. This study also notes the influence of subject culture in determining the use of computer in Islamic Education. This study also suggests some recommendations for the future implementation of Smart Schools throughout Malaysia by year 2010

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