In an increasingly globalized world, it becomes more and more imperative that our students are able to compete with the world’s students. The future of our nation depends on it in no small way. In an effort to improve our own school systems, researchers are searching the world for systems that work well – in hopes of imitating what others are doing right here at home.
What did we find in Singapore?
1) Teaching is a highly respected and well compensated profession.
Here in the United States, teachers are so under-compensated that they can barely pay their bills on their salaries and must therefore add second and even third jobs to their already strenuous schedules. Additionally, teaching as a profession is not given the respect it’s due.
2) Teachers in Singapore are given plenty of access to experienced mentors early in their careers and to continuing education later on.
Here in the United States, teachers brand new out of school are placed in classrooms and expected to sink or swim. There is little guidance from their more experienced peers. Not enough emphasis is put on continuing professional teacher development.
3) In Singapore, the use of technology in schools is highly emphasized as a way to engage and excite students.
Technology infused Future Schools give students the chance to do what they do best while at school while at the same time streamlining parts of the teacher’s job, like taking questions from students and answering them in an organized way (via a real-time Facebook chat page for one particularly innovative classroom).
Do we do a lot right in the United States? Without a doubt. However, if we want to continue to lead in an increasingly competitive and globalized world, we have to train our students to excel.
For the full story and to watch an inspiring video that gives an inside view of Singapore’s best classrooms , visit Edutopia’s website here.