The inadequacy of our current schooling system

I have been to two different talks in NIE for the past two days. The first talk is about learning analytics and the second talk is about knowledge building.  From these two talks, one of the recurring theme that seems to occur is the inadequacy of our current state of schooling.


Some would argue that  schools are embracing those in-things like SDL , CoL and 21CC. Such jargon definitely looks good on paper but what does that actually mean in the classroom setting?  Is that a regular feature or just a one-lesson show? If we wish to transform school,  there is more than using such jargon. Let’s stop being NATO (No Action Talk Only) and we have to move beyond the #justsaying stage. We need to interrogate our views on learning. Use of in-jargons amount to NOTHING if we are still in the transmissive mode of learning . The student is just a black box in which you need to “pour” knowledge (Worksheet-culture).  If we do not change our view on such “factory-mode” learning, there is no way we can change the way we want our students to learn.

With such view of learning, there explains why the school needs to find time to structure for discomfort (1st tweet)  as the school is still primary a “yes-no ” mode.  That is the inadequacy of our current schooling system and  we need to change it.  We are not doing our students any justice by teaching them the way we are taught. So , to start the change, we must first ask ourselves some hard questions:


(1) “What is learning?”

(2) “Is this view of learning going to help my students when they go out to work? ”







Modern PD – Go and Figure out yourself

This article really articulates what I feel about PD. It should be all about “figuring it out yourself”.  PD should cause cognitive dissonance and leaves us with questions.  Such model might cause some discomfort among teachers as we might be too used to “schooling” .  They might be thinking “Hmmm. If I am to figure it out myself, what is the teacher doing?”.

For me, I feel that PD session should be more of conversation rather than monologue. This could increase the possibility of cross-pollination o ideas and the participants could do a rise-above.  It is no longer going to be a “step-by-step” workshop . Such  “step-by-step” workshop unfortunately is the regular feature of the teacher’s PD workshop .


For a start, the physical layout of the space need to be designed to facilitate conversation . I guess our current layout in AST is a outdated. Perhaps, they should consider looking at more modern learning spaces such as NIE classroom and LLI iN.Lab .




Critical versus important

“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” – Dwight D. Eisenhowe

It is easy to fall into the  trap you are being productive when you are dealing with urgent things. When you see things get done , you go like “hey I am doing something, “. However , on the other hand, important problem never has an easy solution. It would take time for one to see the effect of the solution.  This is the type of the problem that I need to think more now since I am currently taking on the role of Head of Department .  Not easy for me as I am a rather impatient person and wish to see results soon. I am trying and thinking deeply the important problem can help me to grow professionally.