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?