Principals must continue to push learning boundaries, by testing out new ideas in teaching and learning, and tapping on the experience of senior staff, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday.
As parents today become more educated, the more they expect of their children, which translate into similarly high expectations of teachers and principals, said Mr Heng at the appointment and appreciation ceremony for principals at the Shangri-la Hotel. "I believe that as a leader in education, you need to combine the science and the art of teaching and learning," he pointed out.
Research in education practices and in cognitive science has given educators practical insights into how humans learn, he noted. "Even as the experts share their latest insights, somewhere in our schools, our school leaders are already testing out new ideas in teaching and learning," he said. "But wisdom does not come just from mastering the science of learning... Wisdom includes the art of education, which is about abiding by timeless values and principles, and making judgments on whether specific practices that seem to have worked well elsewhere are relevant in our context."
Principals should also devote attention to the social-emotional aspect of learning, by helping students gain confidence, and broadening their exposure to new interests, said Mr Heng.
Sixty-one principals received their appointment letters on Friday, of whom 26 are newly appointed.