Thursday, November 23, 2006

Who do you learn from in school? Peers or Teachers?

I asked the above question to myself after reading these two posts from current teachers.

I guess I was lucky to have been hanging out with some exceptional class/schoolmates during my time in secondary/JC. Probably the most important thing that we all shared was the passion in the subjects we liked. My peers were my greatest teachers. Esp in JC - when we started asking questions that the tutors had difficulty answering. We ended up searching for the answers ourselves. (And mind you, the internet was still in its infancy in Singapore - google/wikipedia/online databases didn't exist then for the masses; so we had to do it the hard copy way).

Some of my previous entries on this topic are here, here, here and here. Fox's take too (although I was not in the GEP).

If a student is unmotivated in school, can a teacher ('good' or otherwise) do anything? I have never been to a neighborhood school, so pardon me if I appear ignorant about the difficulties students in such schools face. I do know a little somewhat after reading oikono's entry.

Technorati: Singapore, education

5 comments:

SM said...

Google only came into existence when I was 18. I remember...

wikipedia even later.

Online databases -might- have existed, though.

takchek said...

Ah, but do JC students have access to those databases then? Unless you are somehow able to use the facilities at NUS/NTU then...

gecko said...

If your peers are savvy and like-minded, then the learning takes place regardless of teachers. But in a neighbourhood school, your peers may not be savvy, let alone like-minded - who do you turn to then?

SM said...

takchek: I really won't know if they had access to the online databases... abstracts, definitely. But we know that those aren't necessarily informative below a certain level of familiarity with the field.

Nowadays Google makes everything so easy, even the obscure specialist databases. ;)

Fox said...

My parents are teachers in neighbourhood schools and the one thing they kept telling me, as a child, was how unmotivated their students were and how I should not be like them lest I end up a roadsweeper. No kidding.

Most teachers in neighbourhood schools acquire low expectations of their students after many years on the job. With teachers like that, I think it is more difficult for a student in a neighbourhood school to motivate him/herself.