Mr. Ng Thing Seng
by Thing Seng Ng
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
I read your story and teaching philosophy with great interest. I have for a long time, think mass education has too many short comings.
Students who are good at maths may not necessarily good at English. But they are all stream into their respective class, according to their respective age. It is unlikely that teacher could effectively employ differentiated teaching in a class of students who has different abilities.
Consequently, I have coached my kid at home using a mixture of online resource such as Khan Academy and Coursera. My youngest kid, turning 11 this September has done High School Algebra and is practicing for SAT college board assessment.
I also believe in holistic learning, meaning a child's time table should be balanced with physical activities and leisure.
The problem with Online Curriculum.
However, online teaching curriculum has it short coming. In order to complete mastery of a subject, students need to receive feed back from educator. Herein, mastery of subject such as maths and science that require convergence answer may be possible via online exercise that would complete the mastery loop instantaneously but the same may not be possible for subject that teaches divergence thinking.
21st century skills are taught to students normally through research project -through subject such as Global Perspective and the work produced by students would hone their communication skills, collaborative & social skills, research skills, and creative thinking, all of which would make them independent and self directed life long learners. This kind of learning is great, however the work produced by students are generally divergence in nature - meaning there is no single convergence solution, but many creative solutions. The educator here cannot rely on standardize marking scheme to provide feed back, neither can such work be assessed using machines.
Therefore, I personally, think the best way to educate is through a blended environment - after all students do need to interact to learn collaborative skills. Online learning could help free up teachers' time in lecturing, so that teachers could spend more them engaging students.
I believe a blended learning environment could help attain mastery of 2 sigma learning outcomes.
Homeschooling in Malaysia.
Homeschooling community in Kuala Lumpur is mushrooming because our national curriculum are deemed to be inadequate in preparing students for higher education. I think your online programme will have a good market in Malaysia.
Incidentally, I am involved in a coop group where parents come together to form a platform, to teach our children 21st century skills. We would like to find out more about your Online High School programme to see how it may fit in the setting of our Coop.