Nur­tur­ing crit­i­cal thinkers

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

MALAYSIA’S ed­u­ca­tional pol­icy has un­der­gone sig­nif­i­cant changes over the past few years. One such change is the Kuriku­lum Stan­dard Seko­lah Ren­dah (KSSR) syl­labus, which re­placed the Kuriku­lum Bersepadu Seko­lah Ren­dah (KBSR) in the pri­mary school sys­tem in 2011.

The KSSR fo­cuses more on teach­ing Higher-Or­der Think­ing Skills (HOTS) than Lower-Or­der Think­ing Skills (LOTS).

While LOTS lead stu­dents to mem­o­rise con­cepts, HOTS train them to syn­the­sise and an­a­lyse in­for­ma­tion and knowl­edge to solve prob­lems and make de­ci­sions.

Stu­dents need to be equipped with HOTS for the later stages of their lives, es­pe­cially in to­day’s so­ci­ety where an­a­lyt­i­cal, crit­i­cal and cre­ative minds are in de­mand.

Eye Level is an en­rich­ment pro­gramme de­vel­oped by Daekyo, a lead­ing ed­u­ca­tional ser­vice provider founded in 1976 in South Korea. With the aim of help­ing stu­dents be­come prob­lem solvers, crit­i­cal thinkers and life­long learn­ers, Eye Level has come up with ro­bust cur­ricu­lums based on thor­ough re­search. The Eye Level cur­ricu­lums help stu­dents learn and ap­ply LOTS and HOTS in and out of school.

Eye Level Math trains stu­dents to use LOTS and HOTS through­out its 32 lev­els. First, stu­dents mas­ter Ba­sic Think­ing Math (BTM) by prac­tis­ing ad­di­tion, sub­trac­tion, mul­ti­pli­ca­tion and di­vi­sion. They then learn Crit­i­cal Think­ing Math (CTM) by tack­ling sit­u­a­tion-based ques­tions.

To un­der­stand the ba­sic con­cepts of BTM, stu­dents need to use LOTS. To ap­ply such ba­sic con­cepts in CTM, they should de­velop HOTS.

Eye Level English first helps stu­dents de­velop LOTS by fol­low­ing in­struc­tions to learn ba­sic lan­guage skills through phon­ics and oral flu­ency ex­er­cises.

Af­ter gain­ing a ba­sic level of English com­pe­tence, stu­dents con­tinue to fol­low guided in­struc­tions to de­velop HOTS. At this level, they prac­tise read­ing and writ­ing.

To im­prove their read­ing com­pre­hen­sion, stu­dents learn to an­a­lyse a va­ri­ety of texts, in­clud­ing lit­er­ary works. This way, they feel more com­fort­able deal­ing with cog­ni­tively chal­leng­ing ques­tions and ideas.

Car­ry­ing out lin­guis­tic and cog­ni­tive ex­er­cises that are sys­tem­at­i­cally or­gan­ised through 14 lev­els, stu­dents grad­u­ally be­come more pro­fi­cient in English.

In train­ing stu­dents to de­velop LOTS and HOTS, Eye Level English not only helps them in school but also lays a strong foun­da­tion for their fu­ture ca­reers, en­cour­ag­ing them to be com­pet­i­tive pro­fes­sion­als.

The KSSR’s em­pha­sis on HOTS means that stu­dents will be en­cour­aged to prac­tise th­ese skills in school. Con­se­quently, schools will have to change their method­ol­ogy of teach­ing and eval­u­a­tion.

To de­velop HOTS, stu­dents need to be­come more in­de­pen­dent, con­fi­dent and ac­tive in learn­ing, or­gan­is­ing and us­ing their knowl­edge and skills. This idea is com­pat­i­ble with Self-Di­rected Learn­ing (SDL), the pri­mary ap­proach of Eye Level.

Through­out the SDL process, stu­dents learn to take ini­tia­tive and re­spon­si­bil­ity. Such be­hav­iour is closely linked to HOTS rather than to LOTS.

■ For de­tails, look out for the ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

The Eye Level pro­gramme utilises Self-Di­rected Learn­ing, which en­cour­ages stu­dents to de­velop in­de­pen­dent learn­ing skills.

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