What have we learned about learning?

In today's post, you might notice that the topic is not exactly coding specific. We are taking a different approach as we take a broad macro view on the topic of learning. No one will disagree that our education system here is indeed world class. Rankings by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) reveal Singapore top 5 repeatedly when assessing educational outcomes.


We understand that systems are optimized to be in place for the masses. However, we feel that the system can be improved by adjusting certain mindset shifts. We take inspiration from Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. In an interview with Steven Levitt, author of popular bestseller "Freakonomics", he describes a traditional academic setting where students are exposed to a new topic through a lecture and they are given 2-3 weeks of homework in that topic. A test is given and scores are assigned to the students based on their understanding of the topic. If a certain threshold is met, the student moves on to a new topic or concept. All good so far? The problem lies in where the child says score 70, an acceptable passing score. Clearly, there are some gaps in understanding and this becomes apparent when the new topic builds on the previous one. However, the child progresses to the next level. A lack of understanding on a basic concept will show up as "cracks" and as such, the child ultimately lags behind.


Sal Khan uses the analogy of a construction of a building. Imagine telling the contractor that he has 2 weeks to work on the foundation. They do what they can and maybe, there are some delays due to supplies or manpower. In 2 weeks, an inspector shows up and "grades" the progress. The cement is still wet. He grades it as 80 percent. Oh, that's a passing grade! So great, we move on and build the ground floor over 3 weeks. When it's due, the inspector gives it a 70 percent. That's considered as passable still! We move on to the second floor and so on. As we "build" on gaps in understanding, the gaps become larger and soon the whole structure "collapses". You may argue on having a better contractor or perfect inspector, but systematically, the structure is doomed to fail.


We believe in mastery learning, that is understanding the concept fully before moving on. Classes are structured in small groups, in a mentor-mentee fashion. Kids learn at their own pace and are never rushed to meet timelines. At the end of the topic, we do an assessment to ensure mastery of the concept before they move on to the next level.

 

The Logic Coders is a coding school for kids aged 6-16 in Singapore

Locations: City Square Mall #06-05 / Parkway Centre #13-07

We offer term-time and holiday programs using the Lego EV3 Robotics platform and Python

Learn more at: https://www.thelogiccoders.com.sg/