Edublog: Uncovering Wisdom through Pedagogy

World Educational Leadership Summit 2016: Points to Ponder

In early April 2016, I attended the World Educational Summit, where I heard many thought leaders speak about learning.

I would like to share 3 main ideas that I pondered over as I listened to the speakers:

  1. Emphasis on order and objectivity in curriculum practices.

Dr Eric Mazur noted how in the name of reliability and fairness, schools tend to value assessment structures that enable order and predictability. But problem-solving in a real world occurs amidst erratic and dynamic conditions. Are we then imposing artificiality in learning? Dr Mazur even asserted that the focus on reliability and fairness tilts assessment design to one that favours lower order thinking because complex, higher order thinking may not be adequately captured through standard assessment settings.

So, how do we address this issue? (more…)

Differentiated Instruction in a Mathematics Classroom

Subject Mathematics
Level: Year 3
Topic Graphs of Exponential Functions
Macro-concept Model
Enduring Understanding Models communicate mathematical patterns in quantitative relationships.
Essential Question Can all patterns in quantitative relationships be represented?
Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens Differentiation

A class of 28 students has completed their study on rules of indices before introducing them to the graphs of exponential functions. Based on the students’ performance in the previous formative assessments and assignments, part of the lesson preparation involves splitting the class into 2 groups according to their perceived readiness in manipulating algebraic expressions by using rules of indices.

After establishing the basic knowledge of exponential graphs, the process of differentiated instruction is demonstrated in two ways: student choice and grouping by readiness.


Concept-Based Instruction in a Higher Chinese classroom

Subject Higher Chinese
Level: Year 4
Topic Loyalty
Macro-concept System
Enduring Understanding 1) Loyalty forms the basis of any civilised and humane system of morals.

2) “Loyalty” can only be seen as a virtue if the object of loyalty is good.

Essential Questions 1)Does modern society continue to value loyalty?

2) What is “loyalty” as a virtue?

3) Is there a need for a moral basis to “loyalty”?

Curricular or Pedagogical Focus / Lens Concept-Based Instruction


Students are required to learn about Yue Fei and “Man Jiang Hong” Poem that he wrote. Through discussing the essential questions, the students will re-define the notion of loyalty in modern context.


Differentiated Instruction in a Social Studies Classroom

Subject: Social Studies
Level:  Y2
Unit: Culture, Community and Identity
Topic: Elements of Culture
Macro-concept: System
Enduring Understanding: Culture enables creation of identity
Guiding/ Essential Questions:     
1) What is Culture?
2) How do different elements of culture relate to each other?

Teacher’s Notes:

This lesson was implemented in February 2015 over 2 blocks. Differentiated Instruction (DI) was necessary as I wanted to find out what was the “entry level” of each student in terms of her understanding of culture. The underlying assumption is that some students may largely associate culture with its tangible forms while others would be more ready to discuss at a more abstract level.














Summary Skills

Subject: English Language
Level: Year 1
Unit: Reading Comprehension
Topic: Summarising skills
Macro-concept: Systems
Topical concepts: summary, trivia
Guiding Questions: only on the topical concept of ‘trivia’ because the lesson is focused on the summarising skill of ‘delete trivia’.

  1. What is trivia? (Factual)
  2. What counts as trivia? (Conceptual)
  3. Which writer worth her salt would include trivia in her writing? (Provocative)


Learning Technologies Bulletin 17: Smart Nation

Here’s another issue of the bulletin for your reading pleasure.

Handy Tool:   Zeetings
Zeetings is a tool that allows you to actively engage your audience during a presentation. 
It provides you with a handy platform to record the thoughts, comments, and questions that the audience may have during each segment of your presentation, whether you are delivering it in person or otherwise. You can also make use of accompanying tools such as polls, thumbs-up/down, scales, etc. to track the audience’s responses at specific points. 

No installation required for both you and your audience– everyone participates from their own device! 
Try it out here. (Sign up is free)



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