A week ago, ICA, my 7 year old daughter’s school announced a curriculum change for June 2011. And I’m welcoming, no, I’m embracing the change.
Foremost, is the progressive change from breadth to depth. This means that instead of focusing on a greater number of lessons covered in a period they would concentrate on teaching fewer lessons but with more quality or greater depth. It is a commitment to make kids understand the basics offering more examples and practice worksheets.
I want to do a standing ovation! That is what teaching is all about. The basics are what these grade 1 kids will take off from. So if they have mastered it, the odds that they would understand more complex problems is better.
Second is sticking to Pin-yin, which is simplified oral and written Chinese. Previously, ICA taught traditional Mandarin. But if you go to Beijing or Shanghai everything is in Pin-yin.
The other changes include fewer quizzes and the abolishment of long tests. Instead of a long test, which divides quarter coverage into 2 an integrated single test will be applied. This is a better, though much harder, way to know if the kid fully understood all the lessons. Singapore Style of Learning would continue to be the framework for Math and Science. And for Social Studies, there would be emphasis on application than memorization. So instead of memorizing all the regions in the Philippines, students would be given data to interpret.
Dismissal is now moved 20 minutes earlier. Yahoo! They realized young bodies can only take so much and what good would it do if you push it beyond its limits but burn-out.
If I’m not mistaken, the proponent of these changes is Dra. Queena Lee-Chua, a Xavier parent and an ICA alumni. I’m so happy she is on board. I’m an avid fan of her speaking engagements and books. Of course all those changes would only work with highly qualified and equipped teachers which ICA committed to continuous international training standards.
Can’t wait for everything to take effect.