Muhammad Ridzuan bin Abd Manan is a 21-year old student in Counsellling course in UNIMAS Sarawak. He lives in Ijok’s Felda which is located in Selama, Perak. En Ridzuan is the seventh among the rest of 10 siblings in his family. Before he further his study in in this local university, he experienced to be a temporary teacher for two months at SK DESA JASMIN in Bandar Bharu NIlai, Negeri Sembilan. He taught several subjects to very different level and standard of students. En Ridzuan said that he taught moral subject for Standard 1 students; bahasa Malaysia subject for Standard 3 students; science subject for Standard 5; and for Standard 6 students he taught Islamic studies and Kajian tempatan subject. En Ridzuan enjoys his job as a temporary teacher. In his career of teaching, there’s some events that make him happy and sometimes to be angry. This is because, some of his students give lack of attention during his teaching session. However he said, there is also some students that pay attention and give positive response to what he ordered in the class. He shared his experiences during his teching session. In a class, there was two male students acting to play guitar by using the broom at the back of the class.
There was also two female students fighting each other to get what they want. Besides that, he has to face a student that was very lazy. He also experienced to have a group of student that prefer to go the toilet every each of the class. Luckily, En Ridzuan managed to control the class. According to the experiences that En Ridzuan had shared; we found that the situations he faced in the class are most related to one part of the theory in cognitive psychology which is attention. We emphasize more about the students’ attention in the class. Attention is described as the ability of an individual to focus on specific stimuli or locations. In this case, the ability of En Ridzuan’ students to focus on what he taught in his class is called attention. Generally, the attention’s process can be happened by hearing or looking at something in one time. Therefore, En Ridzuan has to play his role to attract the attention from the students by doing many activities differently as long as they would give the cooperation.
Generally, we can describe the attention of the students by categorizing it into two parts for more understanding; which is selective attention and divided attention. For these primary students, sometimes their attention is classified as selective attention. This is because, they just focus on what they like and prefer. In the other word, they are very selective during their attention process. For example, En Ridzuan has to teach them in terms of colors and figural shapes. This is to ensure that they can give full attention as the children has high tendency to visualize things rather than listening. In this phase of development, they need colors to attract their focus to study. During this, they filter out some information and promote them for further information. En Ridzuan shared his experience that he storied to the students about something that attract some students and distract rest of the students in the class. Based on the model of selective attention, the early part of this process is that the message is filtered before the information is analyzed for meaning in the later stage. By then, only attended message can pass through the next stage of attention process and separated from the unattended message in the intermediate selection. However, some students are not attracted to the story at all.
At first, they were seemed to be excited to hear the story but at last, they do their own activity at the back. This is because, the students filtered the interest content of the story as the attended message and focus on it at the first part. But later, they lost their focus on that story as they get bored with the content and find other activity to be done. The students filtered the message that they really wanted to know or interests. Next, En Ridzuan shared that the students are really paying the attention once there are rewards and punishment for them. For example, when he noticed that the students getting bored with his teaching, he tried to do any activities that will reward them such as sweets, chocolate and letting them to take rest early than usual. This can be described as the attention based on operant conditioning that changes their behavior. In addition, En Ridzuan said that some of the students manage to give attention to him with the aid of the text book. Basically, the book content is too short and simple so that they would not get lost during learning session. He also tried to give them a simple questions and response as to ensure that they feel enjoy to study.
During his class, there was an incident that few students keep on fighting at the back of the class. Suddenly, the whole class pointed their eyes toward them. This is an example of salience stimuli that capture their attention.
Salience stimuli are highly recognized in terms of color and motion. This was occurred in front of En Ridzuan as well. This incident is actually indicates a part of this topic regarding the eyes movement which is called overt attention. Once the students focus on the teaching, suddenly they were all focusing to the fighting students. In the nut shell, we should understand that people have their own tendency in terms of attention. Some people could give attention on what they like. Attention has divided into three parts especially during learning styles. There are people that focus more on visual that we called visual learners. There are also auditory learners that have more tendencies to just listen. Lastly, there are also some students that prefer to do practical than study theoretically that we called kinestatic learners.