During my time - I was in Sec 3 in , three years after upper secondary social studies was introduced as an examinable subject - I had to memorise the causes and consequences of conflicts, as defined by the textbook, and the suggested answers on how to argue which factor contributed the most.
National Identity in Singapore
Now, almost every chapter title is put in the form of a question. Governance in Singapore is presented in two chapter titles - "How do we decide what is good for society? Framing issues in open-ended questions teaches students to weed out ill-thought-out views, said experts. Dr Thio Li-ann, a law professor at the National University of Singapore NUS , said: "One must have the ability to wade through all these incessant information streams and be able to test an argument. Institute of Policy Studies senior fellow Gillian Koh, whose research interests include the development of civil society here, added: "Students do not have to come to definitive positions, but what will be of particular value is learning that process of thinking through an issue It is also better to engage students about controversial issues in the classroom discussions instead of on their own in the free-for-all of the online space.
This reflects a confidence that trusts teachers to facilitate such discussions and allows students to, as Dr Thio put it, "see the whole picture, warts and all". Educators said they were told by MOE at a mass briefing for social studies teachers that there are no "right or wrong answers". Answers which differ from the Government's stance could also get good scores, but they must not be discriminatory or defame anyone. A section titled "What is the role of the people? Now, it is half a chapter. A closer look at the guiding questions in the textbook also shows that some get students to suggest and make recommendations.
Examples include: "What roles should female Singaporeans play in defending the nation, or supporting those who serve National Service? This is in line with other national-level dialogues - such as the Our Singapore Conversation and SGfuture sessions. The Little India riot is cited as an "example of the Government maintaining the internal order of Singapore" and the authorities are said to have taken "swift actions". But many people, including netizens and prominent blogger mrbrown, said this was a "rosy look" of the event. The first officers arrived 38 minutes after the SOC was activated.
Others felt the case could have gone into the treatment of migrant workers, although foreign worker dissatisfaction was found not to be the cause of the riot. Additionally, Ms Braema Mathi, president of human rights group Maruah, said "we can go much, much further" in including other controversial issues. She suggested lesbian, gay , bisexual, transgender issues and the death penalty. Another factor to consider is that raised by NUS historian Tan Tai Yong: "Teachers will have to deliver complex source material and manage debates of complicated matters, all within designated curriculum time.
So support for teachers While teachers have been trained in facilitating discussions, they need to learn to deal with strongly-held dissenting views. This is expected to be taught in workshops, but MOE must try to get the message across to as many teachers as possible. As well, it is important to note that the social studies syllabus is compulsory only for O-level students and Normal Academic students who take N-levels. There are 18 Integrated Programme IP schools now, up from eight in my time. Their students progress to junior college without taking the O-level exams. This route is now getting more popular, and more are bypassing the O levels.
Sure, those who skip the exam still learn about Singapore, typically as part of an integrated humanities programme. But given that social studies, unlike other subjects, focuses on national education, isn't it important for all 15 and year-olds to be on the same page for this subject, especially students from IP schools?
Key Guide: O-Level Social Studies Sec 4 (E/NA)
After all, the IP takes in students from among the top 10 per cent of each PSLE cohort; many go on to join public service and are likely to be more involved in policymaking. What topics are covered, how the teachers cover them, and which students study them - these all make a difference if we want social studies to encourage the young to make a positive difference in society.
The latest revamp of the social studies syllabus is a healthy step in promoting citizenship education. I know which textbook I would have rather studied. Training students in art of citizenship The Straits Times, 22 Jan Revisions to the upper secondary social studies syllabus and examination format should strengthen the link between critical thinking and active citizenship in Singapore. The connection is inherent in the nature of the subject itself.
Social studies exist on the school curriculum to prepare students to participate critically in the common life of the country and to recognise its place in the world. Participation requires them to understand how Singapore is larger than the sum of its parts. Thus, the different races, religions and languages of this country are legitimate sources of its identity because primordial or visceral attachments to family, kin, race, religion or ideology are natural. However, sources are not outcomes, and beginnings not ends.
Exclusive ethnicities cannot create an inclusive and lasting allegiance to the nation. Citizenship is a special calling that depends on the ability of Singaporeans to understand, accept and communicate with one another on the basis that the nation is a collective enterprise which goes beyond the reach of its constituent ethnicities.
Social studies enable this idea to be handed down in schools as a legacy to the young. Likewise, social studies encourage students to understand how life within Singapore is related to the world outside. Young Singaporeans, like their forebears, have internalised largely the idea that the world does not owe their country a living. However, it continues to exist by finding a niche in the globalised economy and in the interstices of great-power politics.
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As the dynamics of the world change with the resurgence of old powers such as China and India, and the emergence of religious extremism as a wild actor in world politics, students need to grasp better the intricacies of the coming world order in which Singapore must survive and seek to survive. Social studies, in the great tradition of civics - preparing individuals for the rights and duties of citizenship - have to enable the young of a city-state to build bonds within the country even as they explore what might anchor it in a world in uneasy transition.
In this context, thinking critically must go beyond mastery of incremental information and extend to grappling with topical issues that force students to look beyond existing policies to deal with current problems. Model essays are not good for exams.
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As a tutor, you should encourage your students to study past exam essays in their various Humanities subjects. They can learn a lot from them, such as how to write an interesting essay, and how to write out a good argument. Instead, use your tuition sessions to teach your students how to write correct answers to questions. Using past essays as examples, show them what answers can get high marks, and get answers can make them fail.watch
My Social Studies 3 Exp Question Paper For Nhhs
They should know that there is no shortcut to success in the Humanities: they need to study and know their subject. One question in Geography can have five different, correct answers. It all depends on your perspective and how you outline your argument, with evidence to back you up. Learn to be flexible in answering essays. This is a rather huge misconception people have about the Humanities. Parents in Singapore would prefer their kids to learn Pure Sciences and technical subjects, rather than Music or Art. Humanities subjects are essential, just as much as the Sciences and the technical subjects.
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There are so many reasons to study subjects like History or Geography, and they are everywhere: in books, on the Internet, and in our daily lives. Studying the Humanities gives us insight into life as we know it, how it was, and how better it can be. Whether it is true Literature, Economics , History, or Geography, the Humanities is what lets us know more about human life and how to address issues like poverty and racism.
The Humanities allow us to correct mistakes we made in the past, and these subjects help us plan for a better future. There is information on the Internet on how the Humanities helped make Singapore what it is today. Humanities subjects are very valuable. Practice makes perfect.
What is the value of learning Social Studies?
Of course, there are those who would prefer the precision and straightforward nature of the Sciences. There are those who are gifted in the technical subjects. Just as technical subjects can be rearranged for a less-structured mind to grasp, so is the case with the Humanities. It is more of mind over matter. You can learn them if you choose to.
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And there you have it, 5 myths about studying the Humanities in Singapore. From poor study practices to wrong mindsets, these can affect you and how you think about the Humanities. Keep an open, flexible mind. Be willing to learn and put in a good amount of study time. And if you are confused, get a tutor to schedule in some tuition sessions.
The Humanities are a lot easier than you think when you have the right guidance. Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via smiletutor. Please select at least one checkbox. Search for: Search. Like 5.
Parents Students Tutors General. Rum Tan 19 May