eduKate has been closely following the drumbeat of the latest and best teaching methodologies in Singapore. The latest changes in syllabus for Singapore Primary and Secondary schools are geared towards a holistic approach but more importantly, its task is to equip the latest generations of Singapore students with a 21st Century education. This means that Singapore primary and secondary school students are now challenged with the the need to understand what is being taught in school. No longer are they required to just do sums, they are now required to know why they do it and how to apply the knowledge learnt creatively. Be it English, Science or Mathematics, the curriculum requires students to have a finesse and understanding when attempting their PSLE, O’levels or A’ levels.
It is a ground up Ministry of Education directive where students are required to explain and manipulate what they have learnt to prove understanding and creatively apply their knowledge for every day tasks, not just regurgitating facts or methodology to achieve a good result in exams.
The new system requires them to acquire knowledge, understand, show mastery and be creative in their application. This is the new challenge faced by students now. And it does mean that we have to teach and train them to thrive in the new education system, teach them the exact reasons they are learning a topic matter and make it relevant for them. This way, they will want to be the best in Singapore, and be a Captain of Industry in the future.
Why the new education system?
This approach is important in two ways, current generation students are internet savvy and seeks relevance in knowledge. They do not want to learn something that is useless and irrelevant to them. They know its a waste of their time when they see it. And its useless trying to convince them its important when they have decided otherwise.
Secondly, current students will be joining a tough competitive and dynamic world class workforce that requires a multitude of skills to be successful in their career. With an ever increasing international competition, having an edge in education and be highly skilled makes all the difference in their career.
So what do we do?
At eduKate, we are always ahead of the curve. Starting our new approach 4 years ago, we have started teaching holistically to our students, incorporating the latest SEAB syllabus requirements of critical thinking and understanding of subjects, out-of-the-box thinking, and teaching creative solution solving as part of our tuition programmes. We use high end teaching skills that is efficient, modern in thinking and mash it with the latest news that would drum up interests in students. And that was 4 years ago. Our students that were with us 4 years ago, and still with us now, are amazed that they are seeing all these teaching coming online now in schools when they are already in tune with this system. It is almost deja vu for them.
Here’s a typical example of what we do. Teaching a topic of science in Primary upper block “Respiratory”. We will first do an introduction of the topic. Then we find a whole canvas of news that are interesting to students. Currently, the Haze we are experiencing and its effects on us is the topic that we mash together with this topic. And this relevance to the students will attract them to learn more about their respiratory system. It makes it interesting to students, why the haze gets them sick, why is it so important to have a good set of lungs, and what exactly is happening in those lungs that suddenly becomes so important when its hazy and those masks are stopping all the pollutants.
We will also customize the lessons to individual students. If a student has an interest in sports, we will teach how the student can train under low oxygen conditions (aka hypoxic training) to improve their performance. It all starts with their respiratory systems.
Relevance, that is the key word that makes students want to learn more. They see it as useful information for themselves and their knowledge will help them to get the best of what they are experiencing. They learn how the knowledge changes their perception and how mastery of the topic helps them proactively make decisions that empowers them. It also spurs them to know more. Gain even more knowledge that they can use to cross subject learning and then apply for themselves to great effect. That is what an education is about, and why we name ourselves edu|Kate.
Its the elegant solution, beautifully executed and our philosophy in teaching. Everything is designed to deliver results that students can appreciate. Once we get the students invested into the topic, we delve deeper into the topic, explain the subject matter and get through all that is needed in the syllabus. By now, our students are doing two things at the same time, learning what they want to learn through our customized programmes, and also learning what is in syllabus in our classes. This dual approach is the secret to our success. And the holistic approach that will give our students the confidence to do well in examinations. Because they like the topic, and they learn above and beyond their syllabus, the students will naturally do well, showing off their mastery in their examinations with pride because they find everything they learn is now relevant, as well as well versed in the topic.
So now, we are developing the next generation teaching, back to the drawing board and get the next level of futuristic teaching methods. There is no stopping, we lot. Our student needs to learn nothing but the best, and we owe it to them to provide the finest education available. We exist not for ourselves, we exist solely for our hardworking students.