4 Academic

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Students choosing the afternoon Academic Programme would study one subject per year and, in that one year, the teacher would have the job of getting them though at least two years worth of 'current' materials. The sharpest students would likely work through and pass exams in three 'current' years worth.

The ideal situation would be that the teacher teaches for a while, then lets the students proceeded at their own rate. Then teaches a little more, then sets them free again. At some point, the teacher would become a facilitator and the students would all be at different stages - the smartest leaping ahead the fastest. I adopted this approach for teaching Japanese and many students stormed ahead, way beyond any syllabus requirements;  my job was then to teach the slower ones to make sure they could pass their assessments.

The students have to be naturally keen to do this, not pressured into it by teachers or parents. If they cannot get into self-study, then, obviously they are in the wrong programme.

The purpose of morning study is to reach a certain level of literacy and numeracy. If not achieved, it would have to be studied again the following year. With such a plan, a two year junior programme could be completed in one year by a keen student thereby giving them more freedom to chose what they want to do. Or perhaps they could then move onto a one-year Senior literacy and numeracy programme. This would create motivation - study more now, do less later. The job for English and maths teachers is to create tasks that support and relate directly to other areas of student interest. For example, probability in maths for a sports student might look at the odds in horse racing betting. While there is a core basic element to any academic subject, it should be minimised and focus instead placed on what a student needs.

Science example: In junior science, there could simply be minimal to no teaching lessons whatsoever. Instead, the teacher gives them a question. "Where does electricity come from?" The students research and find their own answer. It is just - information. In developing their answers they will all find and read different things. Some will do better than others but it doesn't matter as long as they are all searching and finding stuff out for themselves. The ones that do better will be the more academic. If they are not interested and do less work, science is obviously ... not for them ... or perhaps, not yet. There is always later. As a minimum, if a student produced no work, s/he would at least be expected to read about and/or watch videos on electricity and be able to answer basic verbal questions and offer explanations about it. The teacher's job is to provoke, stimulate, guide a little, but not to teach information or answers or 'to the test'. In science, the teacher would likely spend most of their time organising experiments for students to further stimulate learning. This same student-centred approach for juniors could be adopted for most subjects.

Afternoon programmes would have zero assessments. The entire emphasis is to be on the 'doing' and to do it as well as it can be done. Doing assessments and/or studying for the test forces the direction of education and restricts the student's natural curiosity to search. We need to open it up and give them more freedom. In this way, each student will learn more, they will all learn different things, and they will share and help each other. As a result, they will remember more, meaning, far more will be learned.

* Students NOT academically oriented should not be forced into the academic area.

 

 

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Last updated: 02/25/18.