terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Chillren Nowsadays Ah...

I just couldn't resist not responding to this. Doubly so, since it was written by a student.

"However, having been in the programme for about a year, I have noticed that 'experiential learning' just seems to mean tons of mini-projects." - Uh, yeah. What did you think experiential learning was? Trips to the playground? Arcade fun at shopping centres? Tea break with the Milo auntie? It's still part of something called Education. Deal with it.

"Many students, myself included, feel that these projects are just a half-hearted answer to the promised 'experiential learning', which can be carried out by organising more field trips that suit the curriculum.

For example, schools could organise field trips to a hydroponics farm when students are studying agriculture in their geography lessons. This would allow students to have a better understanding of the topic they are studying."
- And the way to see if you've understood...? Hmm, could be it you'll get a test or mini-project based on that which you have just experienced?

"For example, our physics teacher taught us the topic of electricity in one hour!

My elder brother, who is not in the Integrated Programme, learnt about electricity in one fortnight. And even with that, he said that he needed one month to understand the subject fully."
- Come now, children, play nice. Don't make the older brother feel stupid.

"I would also like to point out one major flaw of the Integrated Programme - the 'portfolio', which is supposed to be a collection of the student's best work.

However, how does it help the student?

The students I have spoken to about the portfolio take no pride in it because, to us, it is a waste of time to constantly update it."
- OK, is this about not seeing how a portfolio helps or just being lazy? And seriously, it's a 'waste of time' and that's a major flaw?

"However, this 'everyday work' refers to the tests conducted after each topic is taught.

We students feel that great emphasis is still being placed on tests and examinations.

I would like to conclude by saying that the Integrated Programme is not what most schools have described it to be but rather a half-hearted attempt to try to revolutionise the education landscape."
- Again, how else do you suggest making sure you really learnt all that stuff, and that you didn't spend the time playing grab-ass with your classmates at the back of the classroom?

Now the question is: who chose to take the IP?

My second question: is this a joke? This sounds like someone's answer to a Directed Question (EL1, Paper 1, Section 2).


OCT 11, 2004
Scheme not what it's cracked up to be

SEEING many schools, especially the ones that offer the Integrated Programme, organising open houses, I decided to write this letter to express my views as an 'insider' for the benefit of Primary 6 pupils who are considering the programme.

What is so special about the Integrated Programme that it has attracted so much attention?

Of course, students in the programme will not need to take the O levels, enabling them to take part in 'experiential learning'.

However, having been in the programme for about a year, I have noticed that 'experiential learning' just seems to mean tons of mini-projects.

For example, during the recent September holidays, I had to do three mini-projects - one for geography, one for history and the last for English.

I wonder how such projects allow students to go through 'experiential learning'?

Many students, myself included, feel that these projects are just a half-hearted answer to the promised 'experiential learning', which can be carried out by organising more field trips that suit the curriculum.

For example, schools could organise field trips to a hydroponics farm when students are studying agriculture in their geography lessons. This would allow students to have a better understanding of the topic they are studying.

The Integrated Programme is also teaching far too many things, making the pace too fast. The programme merely does a whirlwind tour of each topic, then expects students to understand them thoroughly.

For example, our physics teacher taught us the topic of electricity in one hour!

My elder brother, who is not in the Integrated Programme, learnt about electricity in one fortnight. And even with that, he said that he needed one month to understand the subject fully.

I would also like to point out one major flaw of the Integrated Programme - the 'portfolio', which is supposed to be a collection of the student's best work.

However, how does it help the student?

The students I have spoken to about the portfolio take no pride in it because, to us, it is a waste of time to constantly update it.

Schools also claim that they are putting less emphasis on examinations and more on everyday work, so as to ensure consistency of performance.

However, this 'everyday work' refers to the tests conducted after each topic is taught.

We students feel that great emphasis is still being placed on tests and examinations.

I would like to conclude by saying that the Integrated Programme is not what most schools have described it to be but rather a half-hearted attempt to try to revolutionise the education landscape.

TAN HAO YANG

4 Comments:

  • At 12:03 PM, October 12, 2004, Blogger BoKo said…

    Also, they're in the IP because they're supposed to be smarter and quicker - if you can't take learning electricity in one hour, then drop out, and get out of the way of those who can.

    These are the kids who will grow up complaining that their doctor isn't giving them the right treatment for their ailments because it's not what they signed up for. Like they're the experts.

     
  • At 1:48 PM, October 12, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    Yeah, I do not disagree.

    I think what's sadder are kids who are saying that things 'are a waste of time' because:

    1. They didn't want to do these things in the first place;
    2. They don't see any immediate benefit(s); and/or
    3. They didn't get the marks they thought they'd deserved for them.

     
  • At 10:09 PM, October 12, 2004, Blogger cour marly said…

    I read this letter and had to quickly put down the paper before I spewed my breakfast.

    The total clueslessness is just too much to bear.

     
  • At 8:12 AM, October 14, 2004, Blogger * min said…

    i need to bitchslap the person. scowl.

     

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