December 5th, 2012
As I’d mentioned in my previous post, I had the opportunity to attend the Beaconhouse School of Tomorrow Conference last week! It was really eye-opening to meet so many committed educationists and passionate thinkers, especially when I share the same ideals too. A lot of interesting discussions went on but I thought I’ll share very briefly some of the things I took note of:
1. The message of the entire two-day conference was clear: we NEED to reconsider the role of school leadership and think of students’ learning experiences. We can no longer adopt the traditional “I teach, you learn” mentality and we should move towards empowering students to take responsibility for their learning instead.
I really like this idea because 90% of my students are hardly responsible for their own learning, not because they don’t want to but because they are just so used to being fed information. So it was definitely good to learn other innovative methods I can use to cater for individual needs in the classroom.
2. I really like the focus on “inspiration”. Teachers should inspire the children to learn, to be curious, to be empowered, and this is something I definitely don’t see in schools today. The talks and workshops also challenged the role of the teacher, and posited that the teacher should act as a facilitator to help kids learn.
To be honest, although I do believe this as well, it’s extremely hard to practice it because of the huge class size in schools. But of course, nothing is impossible so it’s really up to the teacher to make the extra effort.
3. The concept of assessment is also severely questioned throughout the conference and I absolutely love the exchanges of different ideas! (teacher nerd) We re-examined the traditional assessments in schools (UPSR, PMR, SPM) (though PMR will be abolished from next year) and discussed how assessments can be used to support learning instead of being used to undermine learning.
All in all, I really enjoyed the entire conference and was really honored to be able to meet so many incredible and passionate people. I’ve never really thought about this before I became a teacher, but now I definitely see how important education plays a role in affecting so many aspects of a nation. If we want a better future for our country, there’s no doubt that we should reexamine the concept of education in our schools.
Personally, I feel that we’re still a long way to get all our schools to that ideal concept of education, but if we don’t start somewhere we’ll never get there.