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Posts Tagged ‘mother

I have caught up with my backlog of image quotes. This is the last one I prepared way in advance.

I started with Haiku Deck and moved to Google Slides as the latter afforded more precise text placements.

My Google Slide-based quotes are in this online album. The ones in Haiku Deck are here.

I have shared the image quotes under CC license because the images were originally under a CC license.

I am not sure if I will make more even though I still have a collection of unused quotes.

I am not sure if I can stop myself either.

Recently Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) announced a new curriculum for Mother Tongue (Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil) languages that will take effect in 2015.

Not many bat an eyelid since wholesale curricular revisions used to happen once every twelve years and then once every six or seven. Like cookies, one batch does not get the chocolate chips while another does.

What I find unusual is how parents do not really complain if their children are excluded from a new or better curriculum. This is another example of one-size-fits-all in that something good does not benefit those outside its designated demographic.

One one hand, we can understand the implementation constraints. It takes time, effort, and money to prepare a new slew of reference material (mostly textbooks) and on-going professional development for teachers. Curricular changes may have always been implemented that way, but we should question why.

On the other, curricula should not be designed with legacy issues like electronic devices. You should not have to abandon your device for a new one unless it is truly lacking a hardware feature or if a flaw cannot be corrected with a software update. Even then people have a choice to move to a bigger or better device.

In short, curricula should not be designed with lock in or lock out clauses. That is how the cookie crumbles.

Here are a few ideas for a better cookie recipe.

Other than acceptance and mindset change, the two biggest barriers to curricular change are supporting resources and teacher preparation. Acceptance is a low bar in relatively compliant Singapore. Mindset change is a matter of time.

Traditional publishers can hold schools to ransom with production times and antiquated policies. One way to overcome this is with open textbooks and electronic publishing. These will not circumvent all publishing problems, but they will enable resources to be created more collaboratively and revised on-the-fly.

Teacher preparation is a more difficult recipe to design. That said, Singapore teachers are nothing if not adaptable. They may complain, but they get things done and eventually are bought over. I think that an open approach will go a long way in creating ownership because they can make individual changes on the ground and contribute to systemic changes as a whole.

Here is the pinch of salt that makes or breaks the recipe. The MOE press release stated:

There will also be a greater use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the teaching and learning of MTL. ICT resources such as videos, animations, digital interactive games will continue to be developed to support the curriculum in engaging our students to learn MTL in a fun and purposeful way.

We all know what is likely to happen and that is the reluctant or ceremonial tacking on of ICT. I hope this will not happen, but history has a way of repeating itself.

We should break out of this cycle. ICT should not just be a “fun and purposeful” tool but also a basic enabler. Make all resources electronic and make processes like production, consumption, and interaction electronic as well.

Let the production be open to keep costs down, let the consumption be across multiple platforms so kids can use what they already have (or can buy for very low cost), and let some of the interaction be where the kids are already at or need to be.

If you are going to leverage on ICT, do it to make a different and better cookie, not to make the same one that will crumble.

Video source

The Fine Bros created a spoiler video featuring movie mothers.

Video source

BuzzFeed featured how some mothers struggle with technology.

This is also a day that features flowers, cards, and chocolates for mothers. These are the same go-to items for Valentine’s Day and the cost of these things also goes up for Mother’s Day.

Mothers do not necessarily want these things. They want a portion of your time and to know they are appreciated.

My son and I started Mother’s Day with the stomach: A pancake breakfast. Then we will be my wife’s “slaves” of the day. Her request!

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