Policy makers and educators around the world are increasingly recognizing that there is a need to reform our education systems to prepare our children for a future that will be fundamentally different from the world we are living in today. The advances in Science and Technology have changed the world drastically and it will continue to change. The young of today are very different from the young of the past. Therefore, the way we teach must change.
Recently, the Education Minister of Singapore highlighted the new direction of the Singapore education system to take into account the increasingly global world we live in. He highlighted three broad areas:
1st Area: Student-centric Education: Enabling All Students to Succeed
2nd Area: School-based, Teacher-led Excellence: Empowering Schools and Enabling Educators
3rd Area: Working with Parents and the Community: Enhancing Partnerships
This, together with the 21st Century Competencies (more affectionately know as 21CC), signals a significant change to focus on the individual child and to instill strong morals and values into the child. It is also about preparing our pupils for a globalized world where its emphasis is on Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving.
Interestingly, as I was surfing through my PLN, I came across this video from http://www.teacherleaders.org/ about “A Look at TEACHING 2030”. From the video, I was heartened to see that the education system in America is also moving towards a very similar direction.
It is a clear sign that we are slowly but surely making in-roads into changing our education systems. I believe there is a future for education but it won’t be easy. However, it is necessary as our pupils deserve the efforts we make in changing the way they learn.
Leave no Child behind
Ultimately, the focus should always be on the individual child and the belief that every child is special and unique. As the army saying goes, “leave no man behind”, the same should be said for education. We should be mindful to focus on every individual and not ignore them just because we think they are not worth our time and effort. No matter how challenging or academically poor a child is, he/she is still special and every child has a potential to become the best that he/she can be. We, as teachers, should be the one who discover that talent or skill to make that child the best that he/she can be.
Will there be challenges? Definitely, with our large class size and workload, it can be a daunting task to spend time and nurture every individual. But I guess if we can remind ourselves to focus on the individuals rather than the class as a group, we should labour on and one day we will see the fruits of our labour.