Meaningful learning VS rote learning (Featured Post)

This is a featured post by Epigami (a tuition agency).

Source: http://www.epigami.sg/blog/dont-just-learn-understand/

In the last decade, the Singapore educational system has become a global leader in the education field, helping exemplary pupils to be accepted in the worlds best universities. But with the increasing competitiveness of those top tier universities, students are faced with mounting pressure to excel in every aspect which might have an impact on their exams. This has led to the mass implementation of ‘rote learning’ in Asia, where students focus more on memorising knowledge than the full comprehension of the concepts behind it.

What is ‘rote learning’ and what’s wrong with it?

From the earliest days of schooling, rote learning is an essential tool to efficiently memorize educational fundamentals.  It is a knowledge acquisition process based on repetition. Simply put, make a child say the alphabet every day for 6 months, and they will remember it ‘forever’. This is of course the most obvious way of learning and no other method could be better suited for the developing mind of an infant, as the concepts taught are simple in nature, and do not require a broader knowledge base.

Though, as one progresses through the ranks and gets shifted through the numerous streams put into place by the MOE, new knowledge starts to build upon old concepts, some aspects converging, others diverging, and all of if defining a complex web of knowledge which requires the student to delve into a deeper state understanding if he is to find any further use to it.

How many of us wonder at one point or another: Why am I learning this?

Read more at: http://www.epigami.sg/blog/dont-just-learn-understand/

In the last decade, the Singapore educational system has become a global leader in the education field...[read more]


Email Correspondence with Epigami Team:

Dear Mr Wu, 

Epigami has recently written an article on meaningful learning as compared to rote learning. Once again, we believe that such an article would be useful and beneficial for your students in Singapore, especially in the subject of Mathematics. You can read more about our article at: http://www.epigami.sg/blog/dont-just-learn-understand/ and we hope that you can share it with your readers on your blog. 

Thank you and have a great week ahead! 😀

Best regards, 

Sandra @ the Epigami Team

 

Rote learning has to make way for digital literacy: Heng Swee Keat

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/rote-learning-has-to-make/779680.html

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that with information readily available, rote learning has to make way for digital literacy.

SINGAPORE: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that with information readily available, rote learning has to make way for digital literacy.

Speaking at the Second International Summit of the Book on Friday, Mr Heng said there is a need to place greater emphasis on critical and inventive thinking.

Whether it is a papyrus, print or the iPad, it seems that books are here to stay.

Professor Tommy Koh, chairman of the Organising Committee of the Second International Summit of the Book, and Ambassador-at-Large, said: “I think the book will endure to the end of time.

“But the form of the book has changed and will change. The container will change, the platform on which we read the book will also change.

“My children, for example, prefer to read the book either on the computer, on the iPad, on the tablet and other electronic forms. I still prefer the printed book. But in one form or another, the book will endure. There can be no human civilisation without books.”

But the question is whether readers are able to discern truths from untruths, especially in an era that is inundated with information.

Mr Heng said: “Some fear that the technologically sophisticated books of the future will dull the mind, as we no longer bother to use our imagination to render words into sounds and images.

“They worry too that we will forget to think for ourselves after we close the book because social media offers such an array of ready-made opinions that we will just pick one off the virtual shelf rather than form our own.

“We need to place greater emphasis on critical and inventive thinking, so that we may go on to imagine and create new insights.

“At the workplace, as the information revolution transforms the nature of work, our ability to move from theory to practice, to apply learning imaginatively in different contexts, and to create new knowledge, will become increasing valuable.”

Continue reading at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/rote-learning-has-to-make/779680.html