Explore Ecuador

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Business-Education Partnerships: Ensuring Success for Every Student

Education Week – Heather Singmaster

“With one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world, Singapore knows that its people are its greatest resource. Offering all students access to an engaging education, with multiple opportunities that ensure every student succeeds, is the way they utilize all of their resources, address societal issues, and spend as little money as possible on prisons, which studies show are much more expensive than a good education.”(more)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest: Lessons learned from Singapore’s proactive education system

The Seattle Times – Michael DeBell

“Seattle educators traveled to Singapore in October for the third meeting of the Global Cities Education Network…Singapore and other Asian countries all began by imitating the U.S. education system but have since changed and improved at a far faster rate than we have.”(more)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Introduce bilingualism to children at early age: Lee Kuan Yew

Channel NewsAsia – Imelda Saad

“Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has urged parents in Singapore to introduce bilingualism to their children at an early age…Mr Lee said psychologists in the US have found that one can teach a two- or three-year-old child multiple languages, and it will not confuse him or her. That is because after a while, the child will sort out the different words that go with different languages, with different grammar and syntax.” (more)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Building the best education system requires an open mind

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Each culture has a unique educational system.

 

In the U.S, students participate in many extra-curricular activities and spend a lot of time learning how to socialize. As a result, U.S. kids are comfortable in a wide variety of situations. However, many U.S. children do not develop the necessary science, math, and communication skills to handle basic job functions. As a result, many U.S. kids are comfortable deviating from the norm, but lack the necessary skills to develop innovative solutions.

 

In China, Singapore, and India kids spend many hours with tutors to build a classroom advantage. There is often insufficient time to play and socialize and little flexibility to “think outside the box”. These people have strong science, math, and communication skills, but generally lack the ability to innovate.

 

In Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico socialization is part of the culture and academic pressure is much less than it is in many parts of Asia. Most students are tracked when they enter high school. Students who choose the science and math track are generally better academically prepared than most kids in the U.S. Yet, extra-curricular exposure is uncommon, so kids from that part of the world often have difficulty adjusting to the rigors of the workplace.

 

Even though it is easy for us to continue to educate our children within our cultural norms, it is not wise. Instead we should learn from other cultures and adopt effective approaches from other educational systems to provide our students with a competitive advantage.

 

As we change, we should be careful that the alterations make sense. For example, some Asian countries are discussing lowering subject matter proficiency expectations in an effort to improve creativity. At first glance this change makes sense,. However, the U.S. is demonstrating that low subject area proficiency makes innovation challenging. Instead it would be better to use an K-12 creativity curriculum to teach students how to apply and integrate their subject matter expertise in unique and unconventional ways.

 

In addition, it would unwise to create a culture where young people spend all their time working to gain an academic advantage at the expense of the socialization and non-academic exposure, since this too would stifle creativity and innovation.

 

Creating the best educational environment for our kids is not easy. It requires the confidence to break cultural barriers and the flexibility to “think outside the box”.

 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Math is the Language of Opportunity

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

The U.S. State Department offers intensive summer language institutes in what they advertise as the thirteen critical languages. Interestingly, mathematics is not one of them.

 

In the Information Age, one has to wonder if the policy makers need a reality check.

 

Mathematics is the only language shared by all humans regardless of culture, religion, or gender. No matter where you live, pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and adding up the cost of a cart of food involves the same math process regardless of whether the total is expressed in dollars, pesos, or yuan.

 

However, very few people, if any, are literate in all the world’s tongues —English, Chinese, Spanish, etc.

 

Before the Information Revolution, countries were relatively isolated. Employers hired local people to fill jobs and data and information was stored in physical libraries. Many people were required to process, store and access this information. As a result, there were many jobs that did not require analytical skill.

 

Everything changed with the advent of the computer and the Internet. Information is now stored in computers and travels at the speed of light. We no longer need people to manually store or help us find information. Instead we need technically astute people who can use information to make our lives better and more enjoyable. Since information is electronic, stored as combinations of zeros and ones, an Information Age worker must have strong math skills.

 

Sadly, many schools are still educating students for 20th Century jobs – jobs that no longer exist. Kids are still placed into math and non-math tracks and many teachers do not have the background to use the language of math in their classrooms.

 

Travel around the world to Singapore – it only takes a second on the Internet. In that country, students are expected to learn to both English and the international language of math. Many of the K-12 graduates who choose social science careers have stronger math skills than our math track kids. To make matters worse, technology allows companies to hire talent anywhere in the world. No wonder unemployment in the U.S. is at an all time high.

 

For the U.S. to compete and our kids to have a reasonable standard of living, we must embrace the Information Age language – math. It is language of opportunity in the 21st Century!

 

Monday, March 18, 2013

8 phrases that every child needs to hear

Yahoo! Wang Hongyi

“On the contrary, I’m certain that you want to be a caring, encouraging, loving and competent parent. I’ve come up with a list of eight simple phrases you can use, which will help you to become that kind of parent:.”(more)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prestigious British school to open Singapore campus

Asia One – Sandra Davie

“Singapore’s status as an education hub will move up another notch when the local campus of prestigious British independent school Dulwich College opens in August next year…Children aged two to seven will have a full bilingual education where they will be co-taught by two teachers in English and Mandarin.”(more)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rwanda: Knowledge Is Wealth – Let’s Invest More in Education

All Africa- Staff Writer

“But why is it that Singapore ranks ahead of the US, UK, and even the whole of Europe? Well, the reason for this, many scholars believe, is not because children in Singapore are born smarter, but may have to do with the country’s respect for learning and its outstanding education system.”(more)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wealthy Asian nations lead in education, studies find

Reuters – Scott Malone

“Relatively wealthy Asian nations including South Korea and Singapore, as well as Hong Kong, led a ranking of international student achievement, a result that researchers said reflected a strong societal commitment to primary education.”(more)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Automation, Employment, and the Importance of Vocational Education

Education Week – Marc Tucker

“I just returned from a week in Australia and another in Singapore, and found much food for thought in both…We, too, could learn a thing or two from Singapore if we want a country with broadly shared prosperity, a strong middle class and the kind of freedoms that only a broad and prosperous middle class can guarantee.”(more)