Acadamic Development and Quality Translator
We live in a world where the demands to achieve academic and career success have become the end-goals of life. But when did that start? Is this what we really want to achieve as a society and as individuals?
Professor Linda Darling-Hammond believes education is only good if it helps our children succeed outside of school, in having good careers and happy lives.
Citing examples from New Jersey, Finland, Toronto and Melbourne, she finds that children with quality education in the early years get a better start in life. She pushes for more investment to be made in early childhood education and educators who can nurture our children.
She also tells us that these teachers need to have a collaborative and supportive system that helps them grow as professionals and allows them time to inculcate the love for learning into children.
Professor Darling-Hammond praises Singapore's Thinking Schools, Learning Nation initiative and how well the Singapore education system has been doing. However, she stresses that there is a need to think more deeply about assessments, asking educators and policymakers to question if assessments are being used for the right reasons. Assessments can be opportunities to see where children can be helped in or to identify talents, not just a score to represent that child.
She further emphasizes on thinking critically in order to solve complex problems, communicating effectively, working collaboratively, and learning how to learn. Having these skills will help our children to become happy individuals in the 21st century.
Professor Darling-Hammond has been a long-time supporter of Singapore's education system and of the work NIE is doing for teacher education. She was the 9th CJ Koh Professor and also a keynote speaker for the Redesigning Pedagogy Conference 2013 from 3 to 6 June 2013.
Speaking to the participants at the conference on 5 June 2013, Professor Darling-Hammond presented on "Teaching for Deeper Learning: Developing a Thinking Pedagogy". She then presented a CJ Koh Professorial Lecture, entitled "Improving Learning: What Can We Learn from Reforms around the World?" on 6 June 2013.
She left us thinking how we can create a more equitable learning system where all children and students benefit from education and are empowered to learn for themselves.