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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reflection 5 : My Understanding of PERI

The educational landscape has shifted its focus from quantity to quality and from an efficiency-driven system to one that focused on quality and choice in learning. The Ministry of Education is progressively shifting the balance in education, from learning content to developing a habit of inquiry. As the world around us becomes increasely complex, competitive and inter-connected, there is a need to ensure that our children are equipped not just with content knowledge, but also with the necessary skills and dispositionsto thrive in a fast-changing and globalised future. Our education must provide them with firm groundings to grow up to be confident persons, effective communictors, and independent learners. We want them to be resilient, adapatable, innovative and able to work in teams. They should be citizens who are morally upright, have a strong sense of civic responsibility, and who will contribute actively to bettering the lives of others around them.   

To prepare our students to thrive in a fast-changing and globalised future, the Primary Education and Implementation  (PERI ) committee recommended the following :
(1) Balancing knowledge with skills and values
(2) Investing in a quality teaching force
(3) Enhancing infrastructure

How do we create a balance that make learning enjoyable and meaningful for our students, while developing in them the desired skills and values that will put them in good stead for the future? We will need to
(a) use engaging pedagogy to teach skills and values
(b) emphasie non-academic programme within curriculum
(c) have holistic assessment to support learning

Developing the whole child needs the development of the whole teachers too! It is therefore important to invest in a quality teaching force. MOE will
(a) provide additional manpower
(b) recruit committed, quality teachers.
(c) equip teachers well through training and professional development.

In line with the move towards a more holistic education, MOE will enhance the infrastructures through 
(a) implementation of single-session schools
(b) giving schools the flexibility to adjust start and end times
(c) designing new generation schools where there are facilities to better support broad-based and effective learning
(d) partnerships with voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and Self Help Groups (SHGs ) in the running of Student Care Centres ( SCGs)

I use a mind map to summarise my understanding of PERI and its implication on the "Having Every Child Succeed" policy. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reflection 4 : Face-to-face #2

My group met this evening at the NIE Library Cafe for the second face-to-face. Joe and I had a fruitful discussion while waiting for BoBo and Nurul. I learnt a new IT skill today - using cmap to summarise my learning. This is really interesting! I am learning new things every time I meet up with the group. This had indeed add value to my learning journey - the horizon is expanding!

I found cmap interesting as it has features of a concept map as well as that of a mind map. I will try this when presenting my summary to the group via my blog. I will explore this tomorrow.

We discussed on how to consolidate our learning. BoBo walked us through the overview that she had drawn up. Joe gave us a short but insightful lesson on IT Master Plan 1, 2 and 3. He also talked about how infrastructure affects the T & L. We talked about alignment and impact of the various initiaitves too. Due to time constraint, we have to end the discussion. We will be meeting this Saturday for further discussion. This is really the busiest time of the school term. We felt the urgency of getting this assignement complete asap. I am sure the rest felt the same too.  


Reflection 3 : My e-learning experiences

After our face-to-face, the group decided to have the discssuon on line at 10.30am last Saturday. I was really full of apprehension as I have not tried using MSN before. Anyway, I got my daughter to help me and YEH! I got it done!

We talked about the various initiatives and what to focus on. Joe suggested using pbwork and try to expand the conversation. He is really good at it. I could not access this through my Lotus Notes. In the end we explore using Google doc. At last we manage to have everyone on board to brainstorm and give our views. I found it challenging to multi-task - jumping from one platform to the next and having to read the notes at the same time. Most of the time they lost me and have to help got me back in the conversation. PHEW!!

After two hours of discussion, it was decided that we use jig-saw puzzle strategy to share our learning. After the distribution of work we will do a summary of our areas and email the summarised notes to each other so that every one in the team will have an overview of the various initiatives. Nurul came up with a few guiding questions to help us stay focused. I found these questions useful as it focus our attention on the key issues :
(a) What are the initiatives?
(b) When was the initiatves implemented?
(c) Why was it implemented?
(d) What was its impact on the teaching and learning of mathematics?

I have to read on the PERI report and summarise the essential initiatives. It is going to be heavy going but I think the effort is worth it! Through my reading, I have a clearer picture of why educational policies are made and its impact on our educational landscapes. The overview helps me to understand the rationale of the initiatives and the alignement to the Math Curriculum Framework.              

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reflection 2 ( 16 September )

My team had our first meeting this evening at NTU's MacDonald's. We discussed on which Cooperative Learning Strategies to use and what are the key initiatives. We have all decided to use MSN as a plaftorm for communication and discussion. I am still in the process of learning how to blog. Now I have to learn how to use MSN as the channel for discussion. Besides, I also need to know about pbworks. Joe suggested that we all explore and play about with the features on pbworks this weekend. PHEW!  What a challenge for me! However, I will make an effort to get all these done : ) !!!!   


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reflection on Lesson 1 ( 7th September )

I found the introduction of the topic on current initiatives very interestingly and cleverly weave in through the tangram activities. Through the actvities, Dr Yeap introduced the 5 aspects in the framework which stresses conceptual understanding, skills proficiency and mathematical processes, with emphasis on attitudes and metacognition. These five components are inter-related with problem solving as the heart of mathematics learning. It has never occurred to me that the math framework itself is an initiative! lt is indeed very important for teachers to aligned teaching and learning of math to the 5 aspects in the framework. Learning mathematics is more than just learning concepts and skills. Equally important are the cognitive and metacognitive process skills together with the developoment in the social aspects. We need to ensure that our students have math knowledge for everyday use and for continuous learning in math; provide opportunities for students to develop and improve their intellectual competence as well as helping them to build confidence and foster interest in math.