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Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

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Would you or won't you worry if your child were failing in P2?

Yes
70
96%
No
3
4%
 
Total votes : 73

Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:17 pm

Chenonceau wrote:
Chenonceau wrote:Irene Tham's article in the Straits Times today got me thinking about the practice in schools of testing beyond the current year syllabus. I understood from the article that...

It's The Parent's Fault
Parents who send kids to enrichment FORCE Teachers to test at ever higher levels.


It cannot be the parents' fault alone when no one is putting a gun to MOE's head to say "Test beyond the cognitive level or else..." In fact, again and again, in parliament and in this forum, so many are saying... Don't test beyond cognitive levels... so our kids can have a normal childhood.

No one is FORCING MOE to test high. I am in effect trying to lobby MOE to test reasonably and to NOT follow the bar set by enriched kids.


I agree with you Chenon...when an issue has grown to such a magnitude, it cannot simply be one single entity's fault. It is a chain effect interlocking each other deeper into the issue. In some cases, it was the parents driving the acceleration of curriculum when teachers found that too many can obtain full score. In other cases, it was the teachers driving the majority of the children into an unrealistic realm in an exam that resulted in many flogging to the tuition centres for help. There is contribution from the direction of some principals as well to make this paper chase madder than it should. And certainly MOE not managing the phenomenon and letting it get so out of hand cannot be innocent of this resulting situation as well. So at such a crunch where everyone actually contributed to the problem, then the only one who can pull everyone to their senses again would be the one with the most power and that would be MOE. If PERI has not disbanded, it is probably time for PERI to review and improvise things further.
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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby schweppes » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:42 pm

ksi wrote:This sounded familiar but it was not the teachers telling me since we were from a "laid-back" kinda of kindy which I was glad I put my child there. It was my friends sharing how good their kids were with the computer, trying to influence me not to stop my child. Over time, the school exposes my child a little here and there to the computer, I HAD NEVER until iPad came along 2 years ago, she did it on her own. And honestly, there is no rocket science to pick up computer skills, with all the blockage from me, I am really quite surprised what my child can do on the computer, I give credit to the software creators for making everything quite intuitive. So I feel that when they are given enough right foundation to learn, they will learn when the time comes....not everything needs to be taught in a classroom or deliberately force it on them just to gain some head start advantage. Interest drives them further. So schweppes, you were right on track!!


Thanks ksi, for the affirmation. :hugs:

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby schweppes » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:47 pm

As parents, we all want our kids to do well in school and in life. So, it can be a scary thought / disheartening if our kids are not performing up to mark. Whether it's a case where parents get caught up with the moment or to keep up with the jones, I can't help but feel that there's this sense of urgency where we have to keep up or otherwise lose out.

Earlier on I talked about cultivating mental strength in our kids. Think parents must have the mental strength to understand the limits of our kids and not to over-push our kids too.

It's tough. I struggle with this all the time.

Wanting my kids to do well. Coz if they do, I feel that I have done a good job being a good parent. Coz if they don't do as well, then I'm gonna feel real lousy. Wondering where have I failed as a parent. Am I doing enough to help them?

I'm NOT saying that we should settle for mediocrity. Of course not. If my kids can perform well, then I will do whatever I can to help and motivate them to perform their best. But if they can't perform as well, then I must have the mental strength not to panic. To work on their weaknesses and to remind myself that they have other strengths too.

That sometimes, in the failings, they learn to be resilient and to pick themselves up and strive harder.

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby bebe » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:07 pm

schweppes wrote:As parents, we all want our kids to do well in school and in life. So, it can be a scary thought / disheartening if our kids are not performing up to mark. Whether it's a case where parents get caught up with the moment or to keep up with the jones, I can't help but feel that there's this sense of urgency where we have to keep up or otherwise lose out.

Earlier on I talked about cultivating mental strength in our kids. Think parents must have the mental strength to understand the limits of our kids and not to over-push our kids too.

It's tough. I struggle with this all the time.

Wanting my kids to do well. Coz if they do, I feel that I have done a good job being a good parent. Coz if they don't do as well, then I'm gonna feel real lousy. Wondering where have I failed as a parent. Am I doing enough to help them?

I'm NOT saying that we should settle for mediocrity. Of course not. If my kids can perform well, then I will do whatever I can to help and motivate them to perform their best. But if they can't perform as well, then I must have the mental strength not to panic. To work on their weaknesses and to remind myself that they have other strengths too.

That sometimes, in the failings, they learn to be resilient and to pick themselves up and strive harder.


:goodpost: My dd1 is not a smart learner, but she is diligent. Given that her attention span is short, and she tends to have "memory lapse"..sometimes I wish we can have a slower pace in our education system for "slow" learner... :sad:

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby schweppes » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:25 pm

bebe wrote:
schweppes wrote:As parents, we all want our kids to do well in school and in life. So, it can be a scary thought / disheartening if our kids are not performing up to mark. Whether it's a case where parents get caught up with the moment or to keep up with the jones, I can't help but feel that there's this sense of urgency where we have to keep up or otherwise lose out.

Earlier on I talked about cultivating mental strength in our kids. Think parents must have the mental strength to understand the limits of our kids and not to over-push our kids too.

It's tough. I struggle with this all the time.

Wanting my kids to do well. Coz if they do, I feel that I have done a good job being a good parent. Coz if they don't do as well, then I'm gonna feel real lousy. Wondering where have I failed as a parent. Am I doing enough to help them?

I'm NOT saying that we should settle for mediocrity. Of course not. If my kids can perform well, then I will do whatever I can to help and motivate them to perform their best. But if they can't perform as well, then I must have the mental strength not to panic. To work on their weaknesses and to remind myself that they have other strengths too.

That sometimes, in the failings, they learn to be resilient and to pick themselves up and strive harder.


:goodpost: My dd1 is not a smart learner, but she is diligent.


Thanks bebe :hugs: Kudos to ur girl for being diligent. That's really half the battle won when the child is hardworking and responsible. :rahrah:

bebe wrote:Given that her attention span is short, and she tends to have "memory lapse"..sometimes I wish we can have a slower pace in our education system for "slow" learner... :sad:


Not "slow" learner lah. Think most of us have average kids - mine too - living in a very fast paced world. :sweat: :sweat: :nailbite: Me also trying very hard to keep up as well. :shock: :roll:

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:28 pm

schweppes wrote:As parents, we all want our kids to do well in school and in life. So, it can be a scary thought / disheartening if our kids are not performing up to mark. Whether it's a case where parents get caught up with the moment or to keep up with the jones, I can't help but feel that there's this sense of urgency where we have to keep up or otherwise lose out.

Earlier on I talked about cultivating mental strength in our kids. Think parents must have the mental strength to understand the limits of our kids and not to over-push our kids too.

It's tough. I struggle with this all the time.

Wanting my kids to do well. Coz if they do, I feel that I have done a good job being a good parent. Coz if they don't do as well, then I'm gonna feel real lousy. Wondering where have I failed as a parent. Am I doing enough to help them?

I'm NOT saying that we should settle for mediocrity. Of course not. If my kids can perform well, then I will do whatever I can to help and motivate them to perform their best. But if they can't perform as well, then I must have the mental strength not to panic. To work on their weaknesses and to remind myself that they have other strengths too.

That sometimes, in the failings, they learn to be resilient and to pick themselves up and strive harder.


I so agree schweppes. :hugs:
Other than expecting the children to learn mental strength, we, the parents also have to exhibit that. I have walked away from many things sold to me eg. like Shicida, Jelic brain training programmes, Montessori method, Glenn Doman......from people like friends and relatives who meant well when my child was as little as 2 months old. They have no ill intentions certainly but only think that I should give my child a head start in life, which every parent should. In fact, until today, I really appreciate them for introducing such things to me, not because I would like to consume them, but made me realise there were so many tempting things to do for my child out there in the flowery world if I am not careful and want to try all, in the name of giving a head-start. It also built up the mental strength in me to say 'no' and moved on a course which I considered more according to what the natural force guided me. In the end, I consumed NONE of those mentioned-above but only used my instinct as a mum to guide my child according to what she is. I also sent my child to a no-brand learning style kindy because the only brand I know of is PLAY as a child, LIVE and LAUGH as a child. :rotflmao: In the end, thank God she is not short-changed academically when she hit P1 and I am still monitoring her progress as the journey goes on.... Preschool days' focus was not academic. Even if it points back to academic excellence today, it is more accidental than deliberate efforts.

It pays if we pay more attention to our motherly instinct in us and be unfazed by all the temptations around us. As I move along with my child, it became clearer and clearer to me that using our motherly instinct as the guiding principle will not go too wrong.....but listening to a lot of external advices especially if one who does not know your child well would sometimes set you a few steps backwards. If your children are watching you in action on mental strength, they will mimic you.
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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:29 pm

schweppes wrote:
ksi wrote:This sounded familiar but it was not the teachers telling me since we were from a "laid-back" kinda of kindy which I was glad I put my child there. It was my friends sharing how good their kids were with the computer, trying to influence me not to stop my child. Over time, the school exposes my child a little here and there to the computer, I HAD NEVER until iPad came along 2 years ago, she did it on her own. And honestly, there is no rocket science to pick up computer skills, with all the blockage from me, I am really quite surprised what my child can do on the computer, I give credit to the software creators for making everything quite intuitive. So I feel that when they are given enough right foundation to learn, they will learn when the time comes....not everything needs to be taught in a classroom or deliberately force it on them just to gain some head start advantage. Interest drives them further. So schweppes, you were right on track!!


Thanks ksi, for the affirmation. :hugs:


:smile: :hugs:
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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby schweppes » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:36 pm

ksi wrote:
It pays if we pay more attention to our motherly instinct in us and be unfazed by all the temptations around us. As I move along with my child, it became clearer and clearer to me that using our motherly instinct as the guiding principle will not go too wrong.....but listening to a lot of external advices especially if one who does not know your child well would sometimes set you a few steps backwards. If your children are watching you in action on mental strength, they will mimic you.


:hi5: how true this is!! Must be intuitive and listen to our gut feel. Afterall, we know our child best. Though agree with u that sometimes, we can get carried away or be swayed by "external" influences. :sweat: :sweat:

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby linden2000 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:22 am

Last year in my son's neighbourhood school, the average marks for P5 Math both SA1 and SA2 were 40+ which means the average kid failed Maths. Maybe the time when i studied was such a long time ago but at that time the average kid would have scored at least 70+ and only those who are weaker in the subject fails. I am pretty sure most of those parents whose kids failed would have panicked enough to either start coaching their kid personally or send them for tuition or enrichment. So would think it's too simplistic to just attribute the increase in standards and expectations to just parents' ambitions.

Chenonceau's analogy of training a dog to pee at peetray by giving a treat reminds me of my pup. I did this when training my then puppy many years ago to poo on newspapers and instead of doing business twice a day, she increased the frequency to 5 times a day to get 5 treats.

So if enrichment through learning ahead rewards kids with superior results, more parents would be encouraged to do just that. More of such enrichment centres sprout and to compete with each other, they teach even harder material. And according to the ST writer's theory, schools will then be forced to test even harder material? After another ten twenty years, one wonders what will the difficulty level be like.
Last edited by linden2000 on Tue May 22, 2012 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Child Underperforms Because Tested Above Cognitive Level

Postby Chenonceau » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:00 am

ksi wrote:I agree with you Chenon...when an issue has grown to such a magnitude, it cannot simply be one single entity's fault. It is a chain effect interlocking each other deeper into the issue. In some cases, it was the parents driving the acceleration of curriculum when teachers found that too many can obtain full score. In other cases, it was the teachers driving the majority of the children into an unrealistic realm in an exam that resulted in many flogging to the tuition centres for help. There is contribution from the direction of some principals as well to make this paper chase madder than it should. And certainly MOE not managing the phenomenon and letting it get so out of hand cannot be innocent of this resulting situation as well. So at such a crunch where everyone actually contributed to the problem, then the only one who can pull everyone to their senses again would be the one with the most power and that would be MOE. If PERI has not disbanded, it is probably time for PERI to review and improvise things further.


The words in red speak the half formed thought in my head that I struggled to find words for. You've given it form and made the contours of this thought clearer to me.

linden2000 wrote:Last year in my son's neighbourhood school, the average and median marks for P5 Math both SA1 and SA2 were 40+ which means the average kid failed Maths. Maybe the time when i studied was such a long time ago but at that time the average kid would have scored at least 70+ and only those who are weaker in the subject fails. I am pretty sure most of those parents whose kids failed would have panicked enough to either start coaching their kid personally or send them for tuition or enrichment. So would think it's too simplistic to just attribute the increase in standards and expectations to just parents' ambitions.


Thanks for giving the phenomenon some numbers.


schweppes wrote:Earlier on I talked about cultivating mental strength in our kids. Think parents must have the mental strength to understand the limits of our kids and not to over-push our kids too.


Whilst I tell myself this everyday, and try to practise what I preach, the system cannot go to the extent where the average child fails and then expect EVERY parent to have the mental strength to understand the limits of the child.

At worst, the parent can confirm the child's own assessment that it is not cut out for academics when it is merely not taught enough. In this case, why would the child continue trying at a compulsory subject. It is one thing when the subject is an elective, but if it is a Math core... there is no escape from the hell of failure after failure (not due to the child's incapability, but due to the fact that schools assume every child has Math tuition). Even worse is when a parent throws remarks such as "You're only good enough to be a hawker centre cleaner". How many of us are guilty of such despite ourselves? At best, the parent has to spend a lot of effort affirming the child at home. How many parents have the time to do this?

I am no stranger to allowing my child to fail. In this very forum, I have been scolded by total strangers for advocating that failure teaches lessons important for success... However, I am aware that IN SOME SPECIFIC SITUATIONS, failure BREAKS the child and does not help in building resilience.

The barbaric practice of testing beyond our children's cognitive level is wasteful. Many kids have their spirits BROKEN (because not everyone has parents who have the mental resilience to not panic). They stop trying even though if they tried and with the right amount of help, they can do it. And when they reach adulthood, they're STILL afraid to fail.

Why should education be so painful that it is used as an excuse to build resilience? Education should be part of everyday living and learning. Why is it so painful to work and learn in Singapore? Why must there be so much pain?

We love our children don't we? If we do, we have to stop blaming ourselves and each other, and unite in our efforts to look for a STOP button to press. I have proposed one STOP button. Schools should stop reinforcing the efforts of enrichment parents by testing to the levels of enrichment children.

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