Purpose of education – Prepare students for the working world, for employment: credible labour force – Develop skills: social skills, critical thinking – Impart knowledge: accumulation of knowledge – How to be an educated person / a good citizen, unity, national identity – Building up character, facing adversity, ethics – Teaching right from wrong ( conformity? – Understand matters in life Types of education – Liberal education: education including the arts, equal weight given to arts and sciences ( Literature, history and appreciation of the arts – Home schooling.
– Family education (parental guidance) – Informal and formal education (skills and academics) – Experiential learning – National education – All-round education Overemphasis on excellence eroding purpose of education? – Pursuit of achievement: meritocracy, guided by principle of progress: development – Credible labour force to satisfy economic needs ( Knowledge: improve ability to handle learning in future ( English teaches us communication skills – Career ( Secure better jobs because past excellent track records show that individual has capability of handling what is required of him – National.
identity ( People strive for economic growth, creating prosperity, increasing standard of living of people, making them happy and hence more loyal to the nation ( National education ( BUT increasingly competitive ( Uneven distribution of income ( Cannot eliminate discrimination, likely that discrimination will prevail – Disunity ( Rise of elitism: encouraging unhealthy competition ( SAP, independent schools, IP – Compromises ethical values ( Too concerned with quest of excellence, may try to excel using underhanded means ( Undermines moral development, ignore ethical means
( Conceal knowledge, unwilling to share knowledge with people Thinking mind better than accumulation of knowledge? – Develop independent learning process – Montessori: emphasis on self-directed learning on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher – More receptive to views: learn not to be so subjective or opinionated – BUT may develop non-conformist thinking, disrupting social stability. Society may become more opinionated due to the diversity of opinions – Increased acumen to resolve social and moral dilemmas.
( More tolerant and understanding of each other ( empathise better with each other ( understand problems or issues better ( Importance of upholding social values (altruistic punishment) – BUT too liberal: unable to uphold values ( Difficult to create a staunch and orthodox thinking, no particular value to adhere to, makes it difficult to define values ( France: liberty is subjective vs. liberty is institutionalized in US Learning in schools vs. on the Internet vs. at home – In line with purpose of education? ( Who’s the ‘teacher’? Reliable source? Able to deliver all purposes of education?
– Information: amount, accessibility, coverage in terms of depth and breadth, response-time, reliability ( Internet = “information superhighway”: additional 7. 3 million pages per day ( Sep 30 2007, 1. 244 billion people use the Internet according to Internet World Stats – Pace of learning: linked with building up a strong foundation or understanding of a concept – Exclusivity: must take into account that everyone has the right to be educated – Learning environment: conducive vs. environment with lots of distractions – Formal vs. informal education Special types of schools: SAP and IP – Linked with racism or elitism.
– Consider purpose of setting up these special types of schools in the first place ( In line with bilingualism: to take Chinese and English as first language ( Better amenities to further develop students’ potentials – What debate has it spurred? ( Exclusion of Malays, Indians and Eurasians: endanger social fabric of nation, Singapore is supposed to be a multi-racial society ( Creating a bigger divide between the intellects and those who do not do well in studies – Is it a justified cause? ( SAP may not be because Malay and Tamil are official languages as well. Why exclusively the Chinese?
( Since Singapore only depends on human capital, need to maximize the learning potential of more capable students ( probably inevitable to have a divide *Dependent on the maturity of the students. Students in elite schools should not be arrogant or flaunt their abilities ( could be the cause of the debate in the first place. – Government can work on giving Malay and Tamil more recognition, and providing schools with more amenities if they deem themselves deserving of the facilities – Can look at how well these types of schools tie in with the purpose of education. Do they fulfill the purpose of education better than mainstream schools?
Courtney from Study Moose
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