Month: August 2019

Questions Parents Should Ask When Analyzing the Curriculum of International Schools

The curriculum varies from one international school to the next. Parents send their children to any of these schools for various reasons. Considering the cost of tuition, it is important for parents to review the value of the system on their child. If looking for a school for multiple children, it is important for parents to look at the individual needs of their children. One international school curriculum may be suitable for one child, and unsuitable for another.

How much of the curriculum is focused on the child’s development?

The world has become quite competitive. Are you taking your child to an international school to improve his chances of competing favorably in the job market? If so, how will the curriculum you are considering going to prepare the child? Remember, you child excelling in academics is not necessarily preparation enough for him to cope when faced with stress and setbacks. How is the approach used in teaching helpful to the individual development of your child?

How are your child’s self-esteem and social skills development factored in the curriculum?

Every parent aspires to see his or her child grow to become an important person in society. The contributions made by your child will depend on his ability to lead confidently, and not just focused on following others. Is the system of education going to help your child to grow as an individual as well as part of a team? Is group work, plays, debates, and presentation part of the approach used by educators to lure your child to get out of his shell and make a mark in society?

You need a system that exposes your child to many social situations as possible to help him become accustomed to the demands he will encounter later in life.

How will the curriculum help your child to form his own identity?

Unfortunately, the future of many students veered in the wrong direction because, at a critical age, they did not get the support they needed to discover who they are and what they are capable of. For any student to find fulfilment and happiness in life today, as well as tomorrow, he needs to be exposed to multiple paths of education.

This can be academic and personal growth. He needs to discover the extra curriculum activities he has a passion for and explore the lessons to be learned through various events. How much freedom does the curriculum give students to discover who they are and what they would like to become? The more choices and exposure available to students, the easier it will be for them to choose the path that will lead them to prosperity.

How involved are the teachers in the development of the students?

This is extremely important because students thrive when they feel they are receiving empathy and attention from the teachers. Even though the students are encouraged to be independent, knowing they have someone who has their back will help them take risks, especially in innovation. Students spend many hours in school, and knowing they have an adult with interest in their growth and development is of comfort to them and their parents.

It is critical for parents to pick a wholesome curriculum. It should meet the academic, social, and personal aspects of the student. Involving the child in the selection of the curriculum and school is important if the long-term goals are to be achieved.

Approaches Used by Educators in International Schools in Singapore

One of the considerations for parents when deciding whether their children should attend an international school or follow the domestic education system in Singapore is the method used by the teachers to educate the students. Although Singapore has been lauded internationally for its education system, some parents feel the local system forces students to excel academically while overlooking other aspects of individual development.

The international schools are luring more parents to enroll their children through the approach used to elevate both academic and personal development. The methods used are quite broad. This has intentionally been done to give teachers room to remain flexible in how they use the international program considering each student is unique.

Inquiry-based Approach

The emphasis in this approach to allow students to ask questions, find the answers they seek, and allow them to construct their understanding of the events they are interested in. Even though in some instances, the information is based on fact, it is important for teachers to allow students to have dissenting views and eventually show them why their conclusion is wrong. This method shows students that having an opinion, even when it is wrong is acceptable. It also trains them to accept correction when they are wrong. This system of educating the students helps them to look at failure as a learning process, instead of considering it an outcome.

Conceptual Understanding

Learning concepts is unavoidable, especially in the middle and later years of education. The students will encounter theories, learn how the different scholars came to the conclusions that they did, and how they can use the information to make connections with situations in their environment. Processing new information can be difficult for students, especially when they feel overwhelmed by the details. However, explaining it in respect to their experiences makes it easier for the students to take it in, and even relate the details in a global context.

Effective Teamwork and Collaboration

Using teamwork in the lesson plans helps students to interact freely with their peers, discuss the problems they are expected to solve and find ways to find conclusive answers. This approach helps students to be more tolerant and accepting of people who are similar and different from them. They also realize that each one of them has something to bring to the table. Besides showing the importance of collaboration between students, the relationship between teachers and students is illustrated in this approach.

The student understands the importance of listening to the teacher, but also understands that it is okay to question the findings of a senior without being disrespectful. This interaction prepares students for their careers. They will be ready to work with their workmates, especially in instances where a supervisor and subordinate must collaborate.

Developing relationships between the local and global contexts

This is one of the significant differences between the curriculum taught in local schools and that of international schools. Relating how things are in Singapore with the rest of the world helps students to develop an interest in the occurrences outside the boundaries of Singapore. Looking at the challenges facing other countries will help them appreciate their country even more. Additionally, this exposure gives the students a glimpse of the happenings around the world and encourage them to have a global view of their innovations and ideas instead of restricting their potential.

Assessment

This is a crucial part of teaching that is used by teachers in the local and international curriculum. This vital feedback is not just designed to show how right or wrong the student is, but it is done to provide support to the students.  It helps teachers to figure out the students’ weak points and how to bridge the gap that is holding the student back.

Some or all these approaches are used by teachers in international schools to help them encourage wholesome development of their students. Personal development is a critical part of education and cannot be overlooked or replaced by academic excellence. These approaches have been used to strike a balance between individual and education goals, which are essential for all students.