Self-directed learning is a buzzword amongst educators, especially with the ‘teach less, learn more’ movement in Singapore schools. But when it comes to self-directed learning, schools running the Integrated Programme arguably place more focus on it.
Due to the absence of O Levels, teachers in IP schools have more curriculum time to allow students to explore and learn, unrestricted to textbooks. So what do teachers and students actually do when they say ‘self-directed learning’? Gathering experiences from students from the Integrated Programme, we offer you a sneak peek of what self-directed learning looks like in IP schools!
For most subjects in IP schools, you won’t find textbooks. Most of these IP schools curate their own curriculum and notes, and sometimes, there are simply no notes – students have to make their own.
Of course, it isn’t as unstructured as it sounds. There are still fixed learning outcomes and content that teachers have to cover. But sometimes it is just not so explicit. The self-directed element comes in when students need to consolidate and filter out information to know what is important and what will be tested in exams. You also need to be proactive in annotating your notes and picking out crucial tips and skills through the lectures and lessons.
Beyond the classroom
Some IP school teachers get really creative with lesson ideas! For science lessons, teachers may demonstrate science concepts using experiments, or ask students to conduct their own. For English or Language Arts lessons, students may be asked to share their thoughts through debates, socratic seminars, or power point presentations.
One example of a math class that went beyond the classroom is one where students were challenged to find the height of a tree or school building without using any measuring tape (hint: trigonometry). The students really have to get creative to think of resourceful ways to solve the problem!