The Primary School Tuition Culture in Singapore
Suffice to say that the primary school tuition culture in Singapore is worryingly prevalent. Anxious parents spend above and beyond the necessary amounts of money and effort on sending their primary school children to Singapore’s top tuition centres, enrichment classes, or private tuition, which in turn drill them with towering heaps of worksheets and assessment books in chase of top grades.
As Government Parliamentary Committee chairman for education Lim Biow Chuan would put it,
This is getting out of hand… [children] have lost the skill of self-directed learning.
In a forward-thinking society, we must embrace the reality that exceling in academia is beyond the matter of having the best photographic memory in school or clocking in countless of hours devouring textbooks.
Here, we divulge some secrets that will supercharge your child’s learning abilities and, hopefully, one day render tuition redundant:
1. A for Attitude
Tuition centres are not equipped to help a primary school tuition student’s attitude towards school and learning. This hinders the building of the very foundation which will fuel a student’s drive to score well. Feelings toward the very idea of learning in school is dichotomous – one may feel either repelled or compelled towards it because of certain associations to the experience.
For instance, a lower primary school tuition centre student may have been bombarded with too much school school and tuition homework. Moreover, that does not include busy tuition and enrichment class schedules.
Such a frenzied life may wear him out when instead he yearns to develop hobbies and interests that shape his individuality. Studies have shown that by the time children turn eight, they will begin to form their own opinions about things that affect them.
On the other hand, if they are exposed to an environment that cultivates a love of life-long learning, their entire paradigm gears them for any and every opportunity to learn something new.
Helping your child to cultivate the right attitude towards the acquisition of brand new skills and knowledge will yield a long-term impact. Attitude affects behavior, and will therefore effect success.
Such innate love for learning may prevent the need for tuition classes as early as a child’s primary school years.
2. Embracing Setbacks as Set Ups
On a similar note, raising a resilient primary school student who embraces setbacks as set ups can directly affect his approach towards studies. A child who knows how to take failure in his stride can overcome shortcomings and eventually succeed.
For that reason, it is essential to not be too hard on your young child when he doesn’t meet your expectations in school. Instead, allow them to make mistakes and learn from them.
Research has shown that learning from mistakes can boost one’s memory and the ability to remember facts. This will help ingrain into your child’s mind the key concepts of any given subject matter. Tuition classes will hence be unnecessary.
It is safe to say that such values is not a main cause for concern to tuition centres in Singapore.
3. Finding the Connection
In addition, most tuition centres in Singapore teach what to learn as opposed to how to learn. This will result in transient learning where primary school children absorb facts presented to them in attempt to retain them in their memory, only to swiftly forget what they were taught.
A more effective way of truly learning a subject is to recognize key connections and commit it to memory by associating it to knowledge previously learnt.
Primary school students who don’t score well in exams are usually unable to connect with the content they are being taught. While this is hardly a reflection on the student’s ability, or even on the curriculum content, it is actually the failure of the method of instruction.
That said, it is essential to help them understand the true meaning and connection between the topics of a given subject to be able to appreciate and master it.
4. Being A Confident Communicator Since Primary School
More often than not, being a confident communicator puts one at an advantageous position over others. Students who respectfully speak up during lessons tend to thrive during their school experience because they are not afraid to clarify their doubts and ask questions that lead to deeper understanding and meaningful discovery.
To add, not only can being naturally articulate help tremendously during the primary school oral examinations, it also is a lifelong skill that one will carry throughout their lives.
The trick to raising a confident communicator is to start from as young as your child’s preschool years. In conversations, encourage your preschooler to speak up, share his opinions and creatively describe things to you at every opportunity. According to child psychologists, daily interactions are the best type of training ground.
5. The Lifelong Learning Strategy: Active Understanding
Acquiring learning strategies have been proven to help students grasp any given subject matter by thinking about why they are learning it, instead of what they are learning.
According to MindChamps research and development team, a child should be taught the three stages to learning and development:
- Active Understanding
- Active Storage
- Active Recall
In sum, these stages are a systematic way in which a student can truly understand the vast volume of information which he is taught in school on a daily basis. The first stage aims to understand, order and reduce information into comprehensible portions. When that is done, these categorized bits of information is stored effectively into memory. The final stage involves evaluation, reconstructing and synthesizing the information. The knowledge is therefore controlled, recalled and applied in a useful and meaningful manner.
To find out more about Active Understanding, and other skills, attitudes and values that will make them successful in the world of tomorrow, sign your child up for a free learning strength evaluation today:
This article was written by Rachel R. Ooi, Digital Marketing Manager, MindChamps.