Singapore American School is taking an innovative approach to education by offering a personalised curriculum to its students.
The Educator Asia spoke to the leadership team at Singapore American School (SAS) about the role of their teachers in crafting and implementing a personalised curriculum in their school.
Personalised learning gives students a bigger stake in their education. This does not imply that teachers play a less important role in the classroom – in fact, they may have to play a bigger role than in a traditional learning environment, according to Jennifer Sparrow, deputy superintendent at the Singapore American School.
“It’s not about moving from teacher-directed to student-directed learning – we’re looking more at a sounding board. Depending on the student or class being taught, the sounding board will look different,” said Sparrow.
Teachers are trained in techniques such as conferencing to be able to evaluate students in an ongoing manner and adjust their learning progressions accordingly.
At SAS, teachers also have to do a lot of note-taking on their observations of the students, said middle school principal Lauren Mehrbach.
“We do lots of pre-assessment and one-on-one conferencing with the students. We also look at ways to structure and scaffold our work so that we know whether a student has reached a level of understanding quickly or not,” she said.
To ensure that teachers stay on the right track, SAS has professional learning communities (PLCs) in place for teachers to exchange their experiences with each other.
“PLCs help teachers hold each other accountable for their work,” said Dr Chip Kimball, SAS’s superintendent. “[It also helps] to best control the quality of the learning experience in every classroom.”