"Problem Solvers, Critical Thinkers, Lifelong Learners"
I currently work in a company that provides supplemental education internationally, aiding development in children ages 3 to 14 in Math and English. 'Eye Level' the name of our brand captures the spirit of our company's approach: learning is most effective when the teaching is delivered with the individual student perspective in mind, i. e. from the student's eye level. Essentially, we provide a systematic and individualised self-directed learning system, which considers the student's learning abilities, styles, and skills allowing for a fully individualised starting point along the Eye Level curriculum placing them firmly as the 'key' in our practices and pedagogy. helping them to develop into problem-solvers, critical-thinkers, and lifelong learners.
Any discussion identifying possible learning issues would certainly begin with considering whether the programme indeed does enable students to become problem-solvers, critical-thinkers, and lifelong learners.
To the layman, problem-solving might be something as rudimentary as knowing the answer to the question, "1+1". Teachers in my centres often care more (or solely) about whether answers are correct, not understanding whether the processes of problem-solving students are being guided through in their booklets have been internalised. This approach fundamentally misunderstands the essence of problem solving, treating it as a question-answer process, rather than an acquirable and evolvable skill. The good teaching of problem-solving skills results in students being able to make sound decisions, driven by responsible and rational thinking; especially important in this era where global issues are aplenty (Keen, 2011).
Similarly, lifelong learning has been addressed in the periphery (if at all) by our teachers, perhaps because the rhetoric of lifelong learning in Singapore has largely been to address the need of staying relevant in the 21st century workforce (Ng, 2013). Lifelong learning is of great importance; it represents being "connoisseurs of the past, implementers in the present, and visionaries for the future (Berman, 1984). This means that our teachers must teach using a radically different approach to invite students to learn not just for today's sake (the next test or exam), but tomorrow's benefit. Eye Level helps student to achieve mastery of various learning concepts, so that they can connect and apply these concepts in the future. However, there have been many documented instances where our teachers take "discounts", moving students on before they achieve better levels of mastery. Unfortunately, teachers are hindering students in their quest of lifelong learning.
Perhaps least tangible, but I believe most important, of the 3 goals is critical-thinking. Critical-thinking is a way of approaching and solving problems based on all information given, as well...