Ever thought of WHY people are in this “rat race” in the modern world where they “paper chase” and teach their kids to do so too in a never-ending cycle?
Arguable, it is entirely human nature to better oneself’s prospect and yes..purely of own personal choice sometimes in the spirit to excel.
But what if you are inhibited by the education system that places emphasis on some field that you entirely do not have the passion to excel in much less to say about the talent to do so?And you want to really pursue something you dream of?
Then its important to understand how to get around it and pursue your dreams by paving your own way. “If there is a will, there is a way!” But first, understand how people in your own society views education and whether YOU are stuck in that paradigm or in a NUTS- No U-Turn Syndrome.
Start thinking differently and see things in a different perspective!
This video by RSA Animate- Changing Education Paradigms might help to get you started off. If you are the inspirational type of tutor from ConsultAtutor or even a parent who wants to fire up the passion in your child, watch this.
Ever got into a situation that you found out a tutor has been working on foundation mathematics in a tutorial instead of high-level questions/sums that you have been expecting your child to practise on without knowing that the tutor is trying to work from the bottom first? Here’s where a well-maintained and well-communicated relationship between you(a parent) and your tutor will play a crucial role.
For communication to truly work well between the parent and tutor, it is imperative that conversations are regularly carried out. Face-to-face conversations are the most effective and allows the tutor to convey important information like student’s progress, weaknesses, personality flaws, lesson plan to parents and vice versa. Alternatively, if schedule does not permit, conversations via a phone call (not sms!) should be carried out as frequently as possible. On the other hand, sufficient room has to be given for the tutor to explore various teaching methods suitable for your child. So why is it so important other than simply conveying important information of the student between parent and tutor?
The reason is simple. A tutor commonly conducts tutorials once or twice a week and most of the time spent on the student is on teaching, guiding and clarifying the student’s doubts. For truly effective learning, sufficient preparation work has to be done before/after tutorials. Hence, the role of the parent in taking part in the child’s learning is all the more important as the child has to continue on the preparatory work at home and consistently.
In Singapore, major examinations have been a mainstay in our academic system from Primary 1 all the way up to tertiary levels. No doubt that examinations is the most common method to assess a student’s ability or knowledge in a particular subject at a particular level, but is it the most effective way to grade our young ones based on these twice yearly major exams?
Many different ways of assessing students’ learning progress and grasp of concepts accurately have been brought forward by academics over the years. Feedback have also been given from parents, pupils and educators regarding the “over-emphasis” on major examinations. As the education system and the way people view raw test scores from examinations evolves, there is therefore a need for us to explore and design new assessment tools that complements holistic learning. A good way to start is from the Primary 1 level where students transit from kindergardens to their first step of formal education in schools. And this is exactly what the MOE is currently embarking on by doing away with Primary 1 examinations in sixteen “testbed” schools.
Holistic development is especially important in a child’s formative years which generally is during her time in a Primary School. Under a less stressful environment, students can develop communication skills, learn to freely express their creativity and explore different areas of interest that they might have not discovered. The focus is much more on learning, developing and exploring which are beneficial instead of being bogged down by the pressure to score in major examinations at the beginning of a child’s formal education.
On the other hand, as a parent you could also be concerned about whether is there sufficient time for the child to prepare for PSLE. Also, with a change in learning environment, pedagogies that are suitable for holistic learning and assessment have to evolve too. Educators, both teachers and tutors alike will have to adapt to the change in order to bring the initiative forward. And this takes time too, which is a challenge.
What do you think? Should more schools follow in doing away Primary 1 major examinations? Share with us your view by taking part in the poll below!