Conversations with Mee Tohians as they observe and sketch on a learning journey at Jurong Hill.
Welcome to the new school year and we wish all students, parents and partners a Happy, Healthy and Fulfilling 2017 ahead. We are delighted to receive the cohort of Primary 1 students in 2017 and other students who will be at the next higher level back at school.
The school theme for 2017 is “Designing Learning as a Journey”. This year’s theme is built on the theme for 2016, which is focused on redefining learning for students through changing the mindsets of the society in making the following transitions in learning:
• Beyond learning for grades, to learning for mastery;
• Beyond learning in school, to learning throughout life; and
• Beyond learning for work, to learning for life.
These transitions are necessary in a world, today and tomorrow, which will be shaped by more and greater disruptions to what we are familiar with. They will support our collective efforts to educate students to be ready for tomorrow.
So how do we design the journey of lifelong learning for students? It calls for the school, parents and other stakeholders to take a long-term view of education. For a start, we can draw reference to the 21 Century Competencies (21CC) Framework to decide the destination (what is important for students for learn).
The development of the core values, social emotional competencies and the emerging 21CC collectively help our students to embody the Desired Outcomes of Education (DOE). These are attributes or new literacies that educators aspire for every Singaporean to possess, upon the completion of his formal education.
What are the key considerations in planning a learning journey? What kind of learning would we like our students to experience?
As we plan this learning journey for our students, we wish to ensure that their experiences are anchored on:
• Joy of Learning
• Strengthening the Singapore Spirit and
• Developing Entrepreneurial Dare
Hence, beyond developing academic rigour, we want our students to be able to apply their knowledge and conceptual understanding, ask questions and solve problems that may not have immediate answers or solutions. This will become possible when the adults can tap on the innate curiosity of the young, draw out that thirst to go beyond the textbooks, the classroom and the school, seek to learn from and with others, and develop mastery of learning, without the fear of encountering setbacks.
Students need exposure to knowing Singapore better, what values define the Singaporean identity and the nation’s place in the world so that they can become citizens who are globally-oriented yet rooted to Singapore.
Such attitudes towards learning will then lead to students developing the attributes to explore, collaborate and create value for Singapore and the world, as the world enters a new phase of development shaped by unprecedented forces and influences.
Helping young Mee Tohians understand the significance of launch markers at Jurong Hill.
The educators will design the desired learning experiences for the students and influence student learning by having clarity of the fundamentals, destinations and checkpoints. Educators must embrace the same spirit of learning that we would like to see developed in students the way ahead. Adopting a collaborative spirit on this journey of design is needed and we wish to call upon parents and key partners to join the teachers and school, in this endeavour.
Education today must go beyond equipping our students with academic knowledge, to providing them with opportunities to discover and nurture their strengths, develop resilience through managing setbacks and imbibe good values through actions, so that they can grow into well-rounded individuals ready for the future and its challenges.
Together as partners, we will be able to help the students embark on a lifelong journey of learning, to prepare them to embrace an increasingly complex and dynamic world, and preserve and strengthen the cohesiveness of our Singaporean society.
Last but not least, I wish all an enriching and a fruitful journey ahead!
Mr Gau Poh Teck
|Practising keen observation skills and sketching them at Jurong Hill. || School Heritage Ambassadors experience the joy of learning as they learn about heritage with friends and teachers. |