Monday, August 28, 2017

Lucy Crehan about education in Singapore

Still about Singapore. It does not go into other aspects like tax haven status, as a part of global chain in whose name goods are supposed to change hands and marked up while still in sea, labour practices....Hi - From "Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers" by Lucy Crehan:
"The system produces spectacular results in reading, maths and science, the policies are ever so sensible and carefully thought through and the teacher training provision seems excellent. Vocational education is well-funded and leads to low unemployment rates, and introducing sophisticated career structures that offer teachers incentives, time and support in developing their practice could suit countries in which professional development is ineffective, or only available for the most dedicated of teachers. Offering teachers sabbaticals in which they work in the civil service designing curricula and education programmes is also an idea that might transfer well to a Western context, and might ensure that such programmes are workable and beneficial when implemented in the real-life context of a school. In these ways I found the Singaporean system to be very well run. However, when you spend a bit of time in this system, and you also see the less shiny side. Children’s futures are decided at a young age based on results that are heavily influenced by private tutoring, and an intensely competitive structure piles pressure on students at all levels. Would you want this in your country?"
P.S. Another from the same section:
This bit may be useful in any country and probably known to many teachers. But university teachers generally are not trained. I find that I missed many of these.
From "Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers" by Lucy Crehan.
In the sections about Singapore:
"Well, all these teachers have a mentor and have colleagues to work on their planning with them in weekly planning meetings. But what they also have –which seemed to play a role in making sure all lessons were of at least a minimum, decent standard –are teachers’ guides. Students have good quality textbooks too, of the same high quality as those found in Finland, but many of the teachers also have accompanying books that contain a whole host of useful information and advice, which are crafted by individual schools and subject departments, and contain: 

Objectives for the lesson
Common misconceptions children have about this topic 
Suggested questions to get them thinking 
Assessment questions to help figure out what they’ve understood 
Suggested activities
Having a book like this when I was teaching secondary science would have saved me so much time. Even if you were to follow these tips and utilise the student textbooks, and not do any planning, your lesson would be boring but well-constructed. If you were to use these tips as a springboard, allowing you the time to make the lesson your own and modify it to suit the particular needs and interests of your children it could be well-constructed and exciting. "

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