Last Friday at the CTSS award ceremony, the Guest of Honour was Miss Tay Siew Lian, Deputy Director of Training Branch. I was very impressed with the speech she gave. In fact, I had also been impressed by another Director from MOE, the other one being from the GEP department. Not only are they both eloquent, their speeches were enlightening. Miss Tay may be speaking to the students (some of the graduates from ACJC were so rude as to sigh loudly when she came on after two speakers) but her messages were also relevant to the adults there.
She told a story of the three bricklayers laying bricks(which I think was taken from Ajan Brahm’s book) who were asked what they were doing.
The first bricklayer replied, laying bricks.
The second bricklayer replied, I’m building a wall.
The third bricklayer replied, I’m building a cathedral.
She then asked the students, whenever you are faced with a boring school task at hand, do you consider yourself like the first bricklayer and think you’re just laying bricks, or are you like the third bricklayer who saw the bigger picture, are you building your cathedral?
I asked my three kids to imagine themselves as bricklayers and then asked them the same question. Not surprisingly, they were all laying bricks instead of building cathedrals.
That’s often the difference between the ace students and the average students. The ace students already have the picture of their cathedrals in mind and are laying the bricks towards the completion.
The average students are just laying bricks bacause they had been instructed to do so, and most do it grudgingly, not seeing the bigger picture.
To see the bigger picture, one has to learn, relearn and unlearn. For that, one also has to develop a curious mind to be creative (C&C). It’s evident MOE is going towards this direction with the programs for Interest Driven Project (IDP) assigned for the JC students as well as GEP students.
Unfortunately, not many things spark curiosity in kids nowadays and just searching for interesting topics to start the IDP proves daunting.
Perhaps the message were not clear to me as a parent either until now, why Aaron was assigned all these projects – Family Tree in P4, IDP in P5, etc. What better way to start sprinkling the seeds of curiosity than for the GEP students to be curious about their family?
I’m a student all over again, learning, relearning and unleaning.