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Posts Tagged ‘moe

Every time there is an economic downturn, the numbers increase here in NIE. (I’ve been an educator in NIE since 1996 in some capacity or other, so I know!) MOE steps up teacher recruitment of folks who, to paraphrase what teacher trainees have told me, "actually wanted to be teachers" or  "want more stable jobs".

I don’t have a bone to pick with these potential recruits. They may or may not have less than ideal motives, but they may also have life and work experiences that can prove valuable in and outside the various learning environments (notice how I did not use the term classroom).

Instead, I question the way MOE opted to sell education as a career in the display outside Raffles Place. I was not there to see it myself, but I saw a photograph of the display. [Archive of related articles collected by someone else]

2008-12-10 MOE classroom display The link to the archive does not include the photo above that I scanned from the local rag. The photo made me wonder why MOE opted to sell the classroom environment as a “rank and file” one.

Was it to appeal to the folks who were used to that environment? Was it perhaps to reassure them that modern learning environments were orderly or ideal (like car ads with little or no traffic)?

Real learning environments are more dynamic and messy now. They will only get worse (or better, depending on your perspective) in the future! Perhaps the publicity arm did not have enough money to put up a more elaborate and accurate display. Then again, perhaps they did not have the imagination to think outside the traditional classroom box, especially if they were products of such a classroom!

My critique may sound harsh, but I think that new teachers need to know what modern learning environments need to be like in order to prepare our children for the now and the future.

The folks at Raffles Place will already know the harsh realities of the working “classroom”. I hope that they will bring this view with them when I welcome some of them in my classes. The same classes that take place in a lab, studio, Second Life, and various Web 2.0 environments!

I attended the MOE Workplan Seminar 2008 this morning. This seminar is held once a year, typically for the Education Minister to reflect on the past year and to shed some light on the path ahead.

You should be able to see a press release or a copy of the speech soon. I had intended to blog the event ‘live’ but met up with a few old friends there and got distracted!

There was lots to be said of course. But one thing struck a chord. The Minister described how he had visited schools to solicit feedback from schools. In summarising one of his findings, he mentioned how some principals and teachers had indicated that they hoped to implement changes so that children would “enjoy coming to school” and “learning by play”. That is a tall order and one that seems to be coming from the sample of schools he visited and not from MOE HQ.

Might this be the “Welcome!” doormat for educational gaming? I’ll take my fingers off the Wiimote for just long enough to keep my fingers crossed!

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the precursor to Master Plan 3 (MP III): MOE announces 6-year plan to boost ICT in classrooms.

Yes, I did notice that the URL says 5-year plan while the headline and content said 6-year plan.


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