Sunday, April 01, 2012

More money to fund innovative teaching efforts

SINGAPORE: Schools will get more funding support in their efforts to be more innovative in their teaching methods.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is increasing the funding for the Innovation Adoption Platform by 80 per cent to S$360,000.

The MOE will build on the positive feedback on the Innovation Adoption Platform and expand the number of projects that can be funded.



This was announced as Education Minister Heng Swee Keat spoke at the MOE ExCEL Fest on Friday.

The ExCEL Fest, which has been running as an annual programme since 2005, is a platform for teachers, parents and members of the public to find out more about the latest and most innovative ideas in the education landscape.

Minister Heng said many of the innovations came from meaningful collaborations among schools, parents and the community.

"This is very powerful, because when different stakeholder groups come together, the net effect is greater collective insights, greater accessibility to knowledge and more shared resources," he said.

"These innovations are very often more effective in meeting the needs of the different stakeholders. They are also more likely to be transferable to other schools."

He highlighted a point - made by Professor Emeritus Michael Fullan from the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - that these contribute to building Singapore's "collective, collaborative capacity" and have the effect of lifting the quality of the entire education system.

At Tampines Secondary School, students are learning Algebra the fun way, thanks to an innovative teaching method developed by its Mathematics teacher.

The teacher came up with a giant board game called "Lost in Algewoods". It isn't just a snakes-and-ladders game. Players have to solve problems while learning Algebra.

Secondary four student Heng Zhi He said: "Usually, in class we are all sleepy. So it's a better way to learn Algebra through this game...We need to be good in Algebra to win the game. After winning the game, we've got prizes from the school. So we want to win the game. It'll motivate us to improve our Algebra to do better in the game."

The school's Head of Department for Mathematics, Mr Gary Sng, said that while playing the game, students also learn many other things.

"For example, they have to work with each other; they're in a team of three, they can't just care about themselves, they have to work collaboratively in order to succeed. They also have to think creatively and critically - critical thinking, because they have to strategise," he said.

The school was one of the two winners of the Gold Innergy Awards at this year's ExCEL Fest.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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