Education

紅豆書簡, 新加坡是「文化沙漠」?還是「文化荒島」?:

從在新加坡教書開始,我就發現:這裡的學生大多數都「很聽話」。這好像也是一般人對新加坡的印象。
「很聽話」的前提是:有要對方執行的指示。
學生大概很不習慣我這種讓學生有多重選擇,經常回答:「你決定啊,都可以。」的老師。
要學生寫一篇讀書心得報告,學生會來問:「我寫某某人的某某書可不可以?」
我說:「我在課堂上說過了嘛!只要是『書』,都可以。」
「可是那本某某書不會很深,很學術…」沒自信的樣子。
我說:「你決定啊,我沒要求一定要寫很深很學術的書。」
「可是老師喜歡我們寫很深很學術的書吧?」明顯來「揣摩上意」。
我不知道該再說什麼,我曉得直接規定寫某一本書的讀書報告事情會簡單得多。
但這裡是大學

Singapore Notes, More Hard Truths About Education in Singapore:

18 year old Wong Zheng Kai explained it clearly and patiently to the slow learner: "Hwa Chong's fees would be too taxing on my parents." While the monthly fee at Dunman High is $37, it is $300 at Hwa Chong. Grossly out of touch, Lee was still thinking meritocracy alone determines placement in secondary schools when he posed his question to her earlier, "What made you choose Dunman High? Which schools did you try to get in but couldn't? Let's not be shy."

Cavaliero, Requiem for a dream:

A few years ago, when Singapore decided to be a 'renaissance city', its methods were predictable: it conjured a Renaissance Masterplan. And dotted throughout the edict were words like: hardware, software, systematic introduction, documentation, upgrade, benchmarking, baselines, multiplier effect.

Mr Wang Says So, Tan Wen Yi -- The CCA Suicide

Maybe Wen Yi's problem was that he had 'blossomed into a medal winner' last year. Perhaps after that, the school just wouldn't let him leave the track-&-field team. Perhaps Wen Yi's sporting ability was viewed as important for helping the school to win some stupid MOE award for 'Best in Sports' or something.

Alexander MacColl, The Victorian Expansion into Asia...

If the professor were to ask a technical question, like 'what is Tarling's thesis' or 'on what page does the author use the most vowels', a dozen hands will shoot up. If, however, the professor asks something like 'What do you think about the thesis' or 'In your mind, was the Japanese war-time occupation a bad thing', he will be met with blank stares. Eventually, someone will make a valiant effort, coming up with something like, 'well, I think that in the footnotes to page 26 the author mentions that he thinks it is a bad thing', but getting true opinions is like pulling teeth. Desperate professors eventually turn to the one or two exchange students (usually Swedes or Germans, their 6' blonde heads towering like golden totem poles above the me-sized Asian crowd) in the hope of eliciting a response. And so we minorities often get a say. Affirmative action, lah.

Tribolum.com, Bond Free:

This is me paying it forward. Not out of moral obligation or for a fixed term stipulated on a piece of paper. I am driven by the faith shown in me by an organisation and a people not at all related to me.

Kulturbrille, At junctions:

I don’t think that any of us feel that our work is stretching us to the limits of what we understand and know. We learn about the machinations of organisations and the imperfect trappings of a stereotypical life. But above all, we have been caged and led to conformity. I think, perhaps generously, that we could have been the ones who burned a little too bright and moved the earth beneath of our feet, instead of steadily tilling it without question.