Prof Datuk Dr Rajendran Nagappan

PMW, Ph.D.(Michigan State), M.Ed.(UM), B.A.(Hons) (UM), Cert. in Edu.
Unit for Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC)
Action Plan For Future of Tamil Schools
Prime Minister's Department
E-mail: rajensaratha at gmail.com or nsrajendran at hotmail.com
Web-site: http://www.nsrajendran.com

Rajendran brings with him more than 40 years of experience working at various levels in the field of education. He is Professor of Pedagogy and Thinking Skills at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. Currently, he is the Director of the Unit for Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community and Coordinator of the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools under the Prime Minister’s Department. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of AIMST University. He served as a University Senate member and as the Director of the Aminuddin Baki Center for Global Education at UPSI for three years (March 2009-Feb 2012). He was also a member of the Independent Review Panel of the National Education Review.

He was a visiting scholar at the College of Education, Michigan State University from September 2006 to January 2007. Prior to his present position at the university, he served as the Assistant Director at the Ministry of Education, Malaysia focusing on research, planning and implementing various subject areas and the teaching of thinking skills at teacher education colleges in Malaysia. He has also taught in primary schools, secondary schools and teacher education colleges for many years.

He obtained his Certificate in Education from Seri Kota Teacher Education College in Kuala Lumpur. He obtained his bachelors degree and his Masters in Education degree from University of Malaya. He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy from the College of Education, Michigan State University, USA in 1998.

Rajendran has conducted various workshops and seminars for teachers and ministry of education officials, both locally and in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. He has also been involved in training top level public sector officials in improving their managerial thinking skills through courses organized by various organizations including the National Institute of Public Administration in Malaysia, Malaysian Police Academy and Judicial and Legal Training Institute. He has also conducted seminars and workshops to train teachers and the Ministry of Education officials from Malaysia, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal in areas such as educational psychology, pedagogy, qualitative research methodology and teacher education.

He was involved in consultancy work for World Bank (A member of the team which prepared the Sector Paper on Higher Education titled ‘MALAYSIA: EDUCATION QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT – Higher Education Policies, Practices and Issues: A Background Paper’). In 2004, he was appointed a panel member of the International Experts Seminar on Intercultural Learning and Dialogue organized by the International Association of Universities, Paris, held at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. In 2010, he was a Malaysian delegate to the 185th Executive Board Meeting of UNESCO, Paris. He has served as a Editorial Board member of INSANI Educational Research Journal published by Universitas Negeri Makassar, Indonesia. Currently he is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Research, Policy & Practice of Teachers and Teacher Education (JRPPTTE) published by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.

He has conducted various research projects. The biggest being, Teachers’ pedagogical decision making qualities: The need for transformation of teaching practice funded by Malaysia’s Eighth Malaysia Plan. He is also one of the two National Research Coordinators from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idirs who are involved in a Cross-National Study of Primary and Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation (TEDS-M 2006 - 2010) conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in the Netherlands. He a member of the research teacm which conducted a study entitled “Education For Children in Plantations: An Assessment”, a research funded by UNICEF Malaysia to evaluate the quality of education provided to children in plantations in Sabah. His other research projects include, Teacher Education: Issues, Prospects and Challenges funded by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Teachers teaching students of multicultural background, Assessment of Knowledge of Human Rights Practices in Schools (Research Project by Human Rights Commission of Malaysia), Infusing Higher-Order Thinking Skills into the University Pendidikan Sultan Idris Teacher Education Curriculum, Teacher Professionalization: Building Teacher Knowledge Base for K-Society in Malaysia and Bullying among National and National Type (Tamil and Chinese) Primary School Children, with Reference to Perak.

He has presented research papers at local and international conferences, including the Ninth (Auckland, New Zealand), Tenth (Harrogate, England) and Fourteenth (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) International Thinking conferences and at the UNESCO Conference on Intercultural Education held in Jyvaskyla, Finland. He also presented a paper at the 53rd World Assembly of International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) in Porto, Portugal in July 2008. He was a key-note speaker at the 35th SEAMEO RELC international Seminar in 2000. Title of the paper delivered was Language teaching and the enhancement of higher-order thinking skills.

He has written numerous papers on various issues concerning the teaching of higher-order thinking skills and students of multi-cultural background in classrooms. His publications include, Teaching and Acquiring Higher-Order Thinking Skills: Theory and Practice (2008:2010), Teaching thinking skills at institutions of higher-learning: Lessons learned. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 18(3). (2010), Pedagogical Decision-Making as a Basis for Transforming Teaching and Learning: Practices and Challenges of History Teachers (2008) in Lee, J.C.K. (Ed.). Developing Teachers and Developing Schools in Changing Contexts. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, Hinduism and Governance (2009) in Chandra Muzaffar (Ed.). Religion and Governance. Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF): Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aasiriyam (Book on Tamil Education and Teaching and Learning of Tamil Language in Malaysia). (2008). Kuala Lumpur: Uma Publications, Teachers teaching students from a multicultural background: A case study of Malaysia published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy, The teaching of higher-order thinking skills in Malaysia published in the Journal of Southeast Asian Education, and Language teaching and the enhancement of higher-order thinking skills published in Language curriculum and instruction in multicultural societies.

He has been actively involved in public service for more than 30 years. He is the former president of Malaysia Hindhudharma Mamandram (MHDM). He served as the Secretary of the Third International Skanda-Murugan Conference held in Malaysia in 2003. He was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 7th World Tamil Teachers Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in June 2006, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 1st Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Regional Conference on Educational Research held in July 2006. He was also the Secretary II of the Organizing Committee and the Chairperson of the Conference Papers Committee of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) Conference held in Kuala Lumpur from 23 – 25 November 2010. He is the current Executive Director of APERA. He has rendered his services to various other organizations including Educational Welfare and Research Foundation, International Association for Tamil Research, Malaysian Educational Research Association, Qualitative Research Association of Malaysia, International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET), and All India Association for Educational Research.