Saturday, April 16, 2011

Independent Learning

Since it was the last day of the school term, Darling son KW brought home yesterday, in his folder, the work he did during the term. He studied "The Physics of Sound" in the Science Unit, and this was what he learnt in class ... Structure of the ear. No wonder he was testing us during dinner a couple of days ago. Hubby dear and I were Physics teachers, and we both did not take Biology during our secondary school days. Needless to say, we couldn't answer all of his questions =P He was very pleased, as the last time he tested us on Matter, we could answer all his questions.

As with all topics learnt, you get an End-of-Module Assessment at the end of the unit.

I was pleased with what he had done ... paying attention in class to what his teacher had been teaching him. We did not do any extra with him at home. In fact, we did not even know he was learning about the Physics of Sound, although we had seen him writing down on his worksheet, sounds he heard at home.

After the Multiple Choice Questions, came the short questions.

Imagine if he was taught this topic back home! We would probably have to sit him down and go through the text and exercises with him before the test. Teach less, learn more?

Here's another surprise ... an assessment on his knowledge of Kenya. Every year, in conjunction with International Week, an annual school event, since there are so many international students studying at this public school, the students will study a country in depth. They learn about its geography, its people, its culture. Last year, Darling son KW learnt about Mexico, and this year, Kenya. Darling son YW on the other hand, learnt about China.

I am just happy that learning is fun for the boys! They enjoy these lessons, learning new things and engaging in activities. These end-of-module assessments were not stressful to the boys, and they did not add on to the parents' stress levels. The boys did not grumble about having to sit for these tests.

For the young, learning is about having fun. Assessment is just a tool in helping the kid to learn. When assessment becomes the main focus, one loses the joy in learning.

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