Another dot in the blogosphere?

Bracketed education

Posted on: October 10, 2016

I have a thought that is more question than statement. Why do countries with modern economies implement bracketed education?

By brackets I mean this: Open parenthesis, something in the middle, close parenthesis.

This thought was spurred by an article I read a short while ago about an Italian approach to early childhood education here in Singapore. Approaches like these focus on the learner and natural ways of learning, e.g., questioning, play, just-in-time and contextual information, unfettered curiosity.

Even the first two years of Primary school education have been affected by newer kindergarten approaches. Fewer worksheets, no exams for promotion, let kids be kids. The prototyping for this move started in 2010 and it is the norm now.

Skip past the middle block to higher education in a polytechnic and university. These institutes serve simultaneous purposes of preparing a workforce and helping young adults to find their purpose. As lecture-driven as these places may still be, the variety of learning opportunities astounds with field and overseas trips, lab work, internships, longer term projects, portfolios, and more.

The middle schooling group might also do these things, but the learners are younger and perhaps less ready for them. The relevance of these experiences might not be yet real to them.

The between-the-brackets education is more accurately labelled schooling. Comply to instructions, complete curricula, concede to tests and exams as measures of worth.

The brackets seem to embrace authenticity. The bracketed seems to be a bubble that has yet to burst.

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