This blog is for teachers, parents, students, and anyone who wonders about the purpose of school and the direction of education in the 21st century. It examines issues in contemporary parenting and education, often with a cross-cultural angle.
Graduations remind me of diving boards: parents and teachers become spectators, waiting to see each student jump, spring, and dive into ...
Monday, 13 June 2016
3 Things I've Learned in Singapore
Here's an extract from an interview with Multicultural Kids. To read the entire interview, click here.
How has researching and writing 'Beyond The Tiger Mom' influenced your own parenting/teaching style?
One interesting thing that all the Chinese moms I interviewed stressed was the importance of greetings; Chinese kids are expected to stop whatever they are doing at home to greet elders (parents, grandparents, visitors). The moms believe very strongly that these greetings teach kids to value and respect their elders, and that these greetings are very important for family unity and harmony. I think living in Singapore and interviewing parents here has made me think much more deeply about ways to create family unity and harmony.
Academically too, I think I’ve been very influenced by Singaporean culture. As I say in the first chapter of my book, the parents I interviewed influenced how I think about math education and the importance of early math skills.
Additionally, as a parent and an educator, I also think a lot more about how to extend my kids’ (and students’) attention spans. In the US, teachers are routinely taught to accommodate short attention spans by entertaining kids, making everything “fun,” and moving quickly from one task to the next. Here in Singapore, educators and parents don’t accommodate short attention spans; instead they deliberately train kids to extend their attention spans and concentrate more fully on a complex task for a sustained period of time.