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.