Article provided by National Library Board

How education system changes can help more kids succeed

A selection recommended by the National Library Board.
A selection recommended by the National Library Board.PHOTOS: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

There is more to education than getting good grades. Recent changes to Singapore’s education system aim to allow children to find joy in learning and to succeed beyond academics.

The reforms will help students develop soft skills such as communication and work ethics. These are increasingly more important in the workplace, said Straits Times senior education correspondent Sandra Davie, who discussed navigating upcoming changes to the education system and their implications in an askST@NLB talk.

Grades no longer the emphasis

Grades may once have held priority, but primary schools now emphasise more on physical education, the arts and active learning, instead of rote learning. From 2021, the Primary School Leaving Examination will be scored with bands rather than grades, which allows students to be graded on their own merit instead of being compared to others. 

Learning at their own pace

At the secondary level, subject-based banding will be introduced this year and will be fully implemented by 2024. They will take subjects at a higher or lower level based on their aptitude, rather than being streamed. This would allow students to realise their potential in subjects they are strong in.

Check out some of our library e-books and audiobooks on how to help your child succeed:

THE PRICE OF PRIVILEGE: HOW PARENTAL PRESSURE AND MATERIAL ADVANTAGE ARE CREATING A GENERATION OF DISCONNECTED AND UNHAPPY KIDS (2009)

By Madeline Levine

E-book available here

In this ground-breaking book on children from affluent families, clinical psychologist Madeline Levine exposes the epidemic of emotional problems that are disabling America's privileged youth.

EVERY CHILD HAS A THINKING STYLE: A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING AND FOSTERING EACH CHILD'S NATURAL GIFTS AND PREFERENCES--TO HELP THEM LEARN, THRIVE, AND ACHIEVE (2008)

By Lanna Nakone

E-book available here

Through stories, illustrations and step-by-step instructions, Lanna Nakone gives parents a new way to understand and encourage children's thinking styles, sensory preferences and personality tendencies so they can create a safe and more learning-friendly environment.

3. YOUR CHILD'S STRENGTHS: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS (2008)

By Jenifer Fox

E-book available here.

With this ground-breaking work, renowned educator Jenifer Fox argues against the flawed paradigm that 'fixing' kids' weaknesses is the way to achieve success.

4. HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED: GRIT, CURIOSITY, AND THE HIDDEN POWER OF CHARACTER (2012)

By Paul Tough

E-book available here

Through stories from researchers and educators, Paul Tough uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do — and do not — prepare their children for adulthood.

5. TROUBLED HEARTS, TROUBLED MINDS: MAKING SENSE OF THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSION OF LEARNING (2019)

By Peter Nelmes

E-book available here

Education specialist Peter Nelmes delivers key lessons on how we can better connect with both the head and the heart of disruptive children during the teaching and learning process.

6. THE NATURAL LAWS OF CHILDREN: WHY CHILDREN THRIVE WHEN WE UNDERSTAND HOW THEIR BRAINS ARE WIRED (2019)

By Celine Alvarez

E-book available here

This book draws on current research on childhood development to share powerful insights on how to enhance learning for all kids, regardless of their family income or access to resources.

7. MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS (2006)

By Carol S. Dweck

E-book available here

Audiobook available here

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts and almost every area of human endeavour can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.

8. POWERFUL TEACHING: UNLEASH THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING (2019)

By Pooja K. Agarwal and Patrice M. Bain

E-book available here

Audiobook available here

In this book, cognitive scientist Pooja K. Agarwal and veteran K-12 teacher Patrice M. Bain, decipher cognitive science research and illustrate ways to successfully apply the science of learning in classrooms settings.