Dinah & the education system in Singapore

Dinah & the education system in Singapore

In Singapore, I have had the opportunity to meet Dinah. A conservatory teacher, passionate about music. Thanks to the Couchsurfing APP where I published an ad to let the community of Singapore know that I was going to be a few days and I wanted to meet educators and exchange experiences in the field of education and creativity.

In this case, technology facilitated my contact with Dinah. As soon as he read my message he wrote to me and offered to guide me during a day of my stay in the city. She showed me his school and explained to me what the education system was like in Singapore. She is actually from Malaysia and 10 years ago she decided to change country to work at a music school in Singapore. It is much easier for Malaysians to get a job in Singapore than for another person from another part of the world. Although, yes, getting nationality is something else!

I wanted to know why the education system in Singapore and the best grades in science and mathematics are so successful. To begin with, she explained that the education system is divided into three basic levels: Preschool, Primary Education and Secondary Education. At the end of Primary, children take a test called Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), that marks what they will study next.

The High School is determined by the grade obtained in the PSLE ​​exam and its aspirations. They have varied programs such as those that prepare them for university or those specialized for those who want to acquire specific knowledge, such as art, music or sports.

In total they are between 5 and 6 hours in school that corresponds to the whole morning and in the afternoon they carry out extracurriculars and different volunteering proposed from the school. The teachers have many more hours of class preparation and extras than those of our schools.

Teaching in Singapore stands out, above all, for respect for diversity, dialogue and reflection. They avoid memorization and strengthen discussion groups.

About the language, I found that they have an excellent level of English compared to other countries I have been through. Boost bilingualism. They are aware of the importance of English to open up to an increasingly global world, so from the Department of Education they promote this language. On one of the facades of the department building, there is a banner where they invite to speak the English language to reach an excellent level of English in 2020. 

Thank you very much Dinah!!!

When LEGO and IKEA join, COOP appears

When LEGO and IKEA join, COOP appears

COOP is an architecture system built from pieces of wood that I have known in Singapore. We could say that it is a mixture between a LEGO and an IKEA. The objective of this system is to empower citizens and invite them to design their community spaces. Through the concept the DIT (Do It Together) the DO Agencya collective of students, alumni and staff from the Diploma in Architecture course at Nanyang Polytechnic, creates an interactive installation consisting of different modular units, which can be manipulated in a myriad of ways. Whatever the knowledge and the ages, the public are invited to realise their ideas in a tactile way by playing and exploring the endless possibilities that COOP offers. 

The best of all it is not only a hobby but the constructions are real, as well as reconfigurable (in case you get tired) and reusable. They are designed with advanced digital technology and designed with de ability to adapt to different social, cultural and environmental context.  

For more information: https://www.practice.org.sg/en/m1patch/coop/ 

The Singapore National library@harbourfront

The Singapore National library@harbourfront

I went to the National library@harbourfront de Singapore  (opened in 2019) looking for technology and left excited about the humane treatment.

It is a public library located on the top floor of a mall. It may seem strange but I can assure you that it cannot have a better location than this. It has spectacular views. Imagine reading a book contemplating the sea and Sentosa Island.

 

What most captivated my attention were the people who ordered the books. They are all volunteers. All of them proud to collaborate in a space as pleasant as that. The message on his shirt makes it clear. Also, they know the library from top to bottom and are willing to help you in any way they can.

Also the distribution of spaces. The bookshelves are headed by an interactive plasma screen where you can check the latest news. Also, you can see how the process of returning books is through the windows. There, the returned books arrive at the volunteers through a conveyor belt like in the airports and they are placed where the books correspond. 

There is a central space where they expose the results of the workshops and also where there are some tips on internet security and fake news. Specifically, actually the results presented technological solutions to improve the lives of older people. Workshops have been designed by volunteer engineers. Behind there are rooms where activities and conferences are developed.  

Finally another space with great amplitude for the little ones and a kind of truck that they take out when the weather is good.

I liked this space, especially for its distribution. In the centre, there are two circles made with mats so that children can go with their family to read books sitting on the floor. I also observed a whole row of 3 shelves full of books about why things work and how they work.

This makes me relate it to the conversation that a boy in his 8s had today with his mother about a fan. He asked her where the air came from and how it was produced. So after seeing the bookshelf in the library and the interest of children in the way things work, my reflection is as follows: will it be because of the education they receive, that children in Singapore have such curiosity developed? It is clear that developing skills and abilities related to critical thinking, creativity, curiosity … requires a provocation by those around us and those who educate us.

I’m a knowmad!

I’m a knowmad!

If two months ago I had been told that I am a knowmad person, I would have been really surprised. I know I am a crazy girl, but if somebody tells you are “mad”, it’s different…

Now I know that we, knowmads, have some madness, yes, that is why we would not have the strength to develop all those ideas and projects in which we believe and find sense in. Projects, which improve our environment and society.

To know well what a knowmad is, let me introduce you to Dr. John Moravec, researcher, futurist, author and, above all, knowmad. He is the creator of the knowmad concept and Education Future LLC founder.

Moravec, already in 2008, spoke about the new nomads of the 21st century. Over time and more than a decade later, the concept makes sense and defines a whole generation of workers who learn using different resources.

John Moravec defines a knowmad as:

A knowmad is a nomadic knowledge worker who is creative, imaginative, innovative, and who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. Knowmads are valued for their individual-level knowledge, and create new value by applying what they know, contextually, to solve problems or generate new opportunities.

 

(Dr. John Moravec, August 22, 2018 – https://www.educationfutures.com/blog/post/knowmads-definition)

 

 

The best of all is that the knowmad has no age restriction. He is aware that he has to unlearn to learn again and that knowledge, to be effective, must be conceptualized. Also, he is not afraid of failure and is able to collaborate with other people.

Anytime is a good time to start being a knowmad or to realize that you already are one, as has happened to me. The fact of taking a break after working more than 12 years at the same place, makes me value what I learned and put into practice so far, and helps me see what is waiting for me in that exciting trip.

New cultures, interesting people and projects with a lot of value and with plenty of social transformation.

 

The adventure begins!

Hi!

Hi!

I am Anna Blázquez and I define myself as a knowmad. A creative, innovative social and proactive person, flexible and able to work in collaboration with other people from different parts of the planet.

My goal is to improve the world through innovation and creativity.

On my trip I would like to meet other people like me, who are involved in a project whose objective is to improve their social and educational environment.

 

Are you a knowmad person too?

If you are one of them, I would like to know your project and who knows if a possible collaboration comes out!

For my part, I offer myself to:

Listen and learn about your project, in addition to interviewing for my blog.

Give a talk/debate to teachers about education and technology

Workshops with children and adolescents on creative technology.

Explain my experience as a traveler and volunteer in different countries.

You can read my professional profile on Linkedin and contact me via twitter or also Linkedin (upon request of contact).

Sign up the countries and cities I will visit:

Singapore – Malaca – Kuala Lumpur – Shanghai – Jeju – Osaka – Kyoto – Hanoi – Hue – Ho Chi Minh – Siem Riep – Phnom Phen – Bangkok

2019

Buenos Aires – Santiago de Chile – Lima – Cuzco – Mexico DF – León – Los Ángeles – San Francisco – Boston – NY

2020

Thank you and see you soon!