Exploring the interplays between informal and formal learning: Case studies in the Singapore School Context

Project Number
RS 5/16 DH

Project Duration
July 2016 - July 2018

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
We hypothesize that while pursuing academics for students is important in the Singapore context, it might not suffice for them to mature in identity formations (Hung et al., 2011). There is a need to have variations in identities afforded by differing place and process. Encouraging youths to participate in multiple and varying contexts should aid rather than detract from a holistic learning experience and development. Hence it is the intent of this proposal to make explicit how youths engage their productive formal-and-informal learning interplays with the view to helping teachers and parents to appreciate the multiple identity trajectories of their children and to see intrinsic value in these pursuits. This is also with a view to getting parents to be less anxious about academic studies per se, especially when their children do not always score ‘top’ marks for tests and exams. Unpacking the 21st century learning dispositions developed by these youths is another key outcome of this study. We will draw implications to schooling – formal and semi-formal – as a means for teachers and school leaders to facilitate youth’s identity becoming, and where academics (formal curriculum) is not seen in competition but as a complement to informal learning pursuits. We argue for a greater awareness of such pursuits as youth’s development of these dispositions would potentially benefit them for future readiness within times of rapid ‘unknown’

Funding Source
NIE

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