Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Do students think school is a waste of time?

Singapore’s education system is held in high regard around the world. For example, a Mckinsey report on education made special mention on how Singapore’s education system promoted school autonomy, led to top scores in international tests, and enabled greater achievement equality. US President Obama himself has even praised Singapore’s education system.

 International recognition is always nice, but did anyone ask our students how they felt about school? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Do smart kids read fiction or non-fiction books? How about newspapers?

I like to borrow books from the library, from magazines to comics to self-help business books to science fiction. I noticed, however, that the non-fiction sections tend to be easier to find in Singapore's libraries. For example, they might be located nearer to the entrance than the fiction section, or placed on a lower floor. Perhaps Singaporeans prefer to read non-fiction books?

More importantly, is it better to read fiction, or non-fiction books? How about newspapers?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mugging vs understanding: which is a better exam strategy?

Mugging - memorising whole chunks of your textbook without necessarily understanding it - can be a good strategy to use in school. No matter what the question is, you probably can regurgitate a suitable answer.

On the other hand, understanding the underlying intuition behind a concept helps you appreciate the idea better, which could prove useful in an exam.

Which is the better strategy?