Student-centred instructional approaches advocate involving students in decisions regarding their learning and eschewing a one-size-fits-all mentality to pedagogy and assessment. Such approaches shift the focus from having external and highly impersonal benchmarks to one that actively considers the individual student.
In Singapore, moves to embrace this approach have gone beyond the classroom to involve national exams and co-curricular activities. The Ministry of Education recently reported an uptick in the number of applications for direct admissions to secondary school. This indicates an increasing willingness of schools to consider alternative avenues of assessment that look at students’ aptitudes in areas outside of traditional testing. In addition, a programme that brings together students from different schools to pursue shared interests in sports and arts is looking to expand its scope to further encourage students’ development and competencies beyond academics.
Endeavours to implement such pedagogy is not without its challenges. For one, teachers’ workloads will increase in tandem with the demand for personalised lessons. However, if the aim is to equip the students of today to be future-ready, a cookie-cutter approach to pedagogy will do them great disservice. Student-centred instruction is a demanding challenge, but one worth taking on.