Friday, May 1, 2009

Singapore Pedagogy

The anti-reformists often point to Singapore for as their hope for America.  However, they do so without any knowledge of the reform methodologies (that the anti-reformists hate) which are prevalent in Singapore. The article below highlights the constructivist nature of Singaporean mathematics classes.

Educational reform in Singapore: from quantity to quality by Pak Tee Ng

Knowledge Application—Students are to learn basic research skills, apply and transfer knowledge and skills learnt across disciplines and to make connections between them.

Communication—Students are to improve their ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively in both written and oral modes.

Collaboration—Students are to develop and improve social skills in collaborating with others towards a common goal (students usually work in groups of 4–5).

 Independent learning—Students are to learn to take charge of and monitor their own learning as well as to develop a positive attitude and responsibility towards their work.

The learners are responsible for their own learning. They take charge of their learning and are self-regulated. They define learning goals and tackle issues that are meaningful to them. They know how the learning activities they undertake relate to the goals. They develop their own standards of excellence.

The learners are strategic in their learning process. They know how to learn, develop and refine their learning. They can apply and transfer the knowledge generated creatively.

The learners collaborate with others. They understand that learning is social. They recognise that different people can have different views about the same issue and the multiple points of view can enrich the learning process.

The learners are energised throughout the learning process. They derive excitement and pleasure from learning. They find learning fulfilling.

Construction of knowledge (not just transmission of knowledge): in the new teaching and learning processes, students are able to develop their own knowledge base, pulling information from many sources and making linkages, instead of waiting for the teachers to push information to them.

Understanding (not just memory): students know what they are doing rather than just memorising facts or applying methodologies that do not make sense to them.

Pedagogy (not just activity): in the new TLLM paradigm, teachers do not merely carry out activities for the sake of having activities, but each activity is a part of a well thought- through pedagogy that will bring students to a higher level of understanding or appreciation.

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