Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Initiative - Professional Development

Today I conducted a course for the Academy of Singapore Teachers. It is called Experiencing Lesson Study where participants observe stages in lesson study as they happen. I am glad we have moved away from professional learning where teachers just sit through lectures after lectures. Professional learning now involves more authentic situations.

The 2011 Work Plan Seminar is on Thursday. A year ago, professional development was given a boost when Minister announced that teachers must take a lead in their professional learning. In fact, your present experience is part of this - to increase learning opportunities for all teachers.

And I hope you are progressing well by learning using a collaborative structure with the aid of technology. The technology can provide us with the information necessary for our learning. But it is the human collaboration (aided by technology, no doubt, cell phones, skype, emails and so on) that help transform information into knowledge.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

e-Learning for Coming Two Weeks

I am writing from Rotterdam where I am teaching a three-day course. The photo shows a class in progress in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. To the Dutch educators, the Singapore mathematics curriculum is an 'initiative' as it is different from what is currently in practice and is perceive to improve the educational experience of learners.

Prof Tay Eng Guan will come to class to speak to you about the subject option for next semester. This will happen the next time we meet in NIE.Please be punctual in order not to miss vital information. I hope your groups are progressing well in your research on initiatives.

Over the next two weeks, you and your classmates are meeting - online or otherwise to try to put cooperative learning strategies into practice to learn about various MOE initiatives in Singapore system and the philosophy behind the initiatives.

Please blog about your learning experience after each of these meetings. Try to be explicit abut what you learn and how you learn it - also tell us about the cooperative learning structure(s) that your group use in the learning process.

What did I learn?
How did I learn it?
What role does technology play?
What role does cooperative learning play?

I am just an e-mail away. Please let me know if you need help or clarification.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Question I Didn't Answer Completely

Upon reflection, there was one question raised during discussion that I did not answer completely. It was "what's next" as far as our mathematics curriculum is concerned. I did say that it will be dependent on our internal needs and external trends. I did imply that the problem-solving focus has been a good one given that we had not changed the framework since its introduction in 1992.

I was hoping someone would grill me further for a complete answer but no one did.

I would have added that "what next" would be to look into ways into engaging more learners, especially those who struggle and or not interested. Learner engagement is a difficult thing but one that has take priority.

So, based on a study of curriculum refinements since 1992, I would say that the framework is a robust one (the rationale for why we teach mathematics is so well-captured ... "vehicle for development and improvement of a person's intellectual competence") but we need to (1) look how to get the ideals of the curriculum translated into most, if not all, classrooms, and (2) think harder if we have gotten the scope and sequence for topics such as statistics, probability and geometry correct.

Monday, September 6, 2010

School Starts Today!

at least for a group of teachers who are beginning their degree programme at the nie singapore and i am excited to meet them this evening.

another batch - the third one for this programme - understanding initiatives in the singapore system and trying to interpret them in relation to national needs and international trends. and translating what they learn into practice.

their e-learning portal is www.mmeinitiatives.pbworks.com