The Humanities Department aims to develop, among our students, inquiry-oriented learning dispositions that will allow them to make sense of the complexities of societal issues that they will encounter. We believe every student can and wants to learn and achieve excellence, and actively strive to tap and maximise the potential of every student.
Teaching and Learning Approaches
Our key teaching and learning approach is adopted in line with the aim to help students become inquiry-oriented learners. As such the department adopts an inquiry-based approach towards teaching and learning to enable students to reach for deeper and enduring understanding of concepts through their own discovery and reasoning. This is in line with Ministry of Education’s advocated approach towards the teaching of Humanities in Singapore.
Supporting the inquiry-based approach are two key pedagogical strategies. One of the key pedagogical strategy in helping students become inquiry-oriented learners is through questioning. Issues studied and examined in Humanities are usually complex involving multiple perspectives. As such, the department embark on using Socratic Questioning to guide students towards thinking about different facets of issues that they are exploring. Socratic questioning involves asking students questions belonging to the following categories:
- Questions for clarification
- Questions that probe assumptions
- Questions that probe reasons and evidence
- Questions about Viewpoints and Perspectives:
- Questions that probe implications and consequences
- Questions about the question
Questions from the six categories are meant to help students consider thoroughly the issue they are exploring as well as consider the reasons for their own thinking.
A second pedagogical strategy is the prevalent use of discussions in classroom to provide opportunities for students to co-construct knowledge together. A common strategy used in all Humanities classrooms, teachers have set up our physical environment to facilitate group-based discussions such as group-based seating, provision of writing surfaces such as portable whiteboards and relevant subject materials to assist in discussions. Lessons often incorporate discussion activities for students to voice their own perspectives before guiding them to form and develop their own conclusion towards issues they are exploring.
Learning Beyond the Classrooms
To provide authentic learning experiences for students, we also strive to provide opportunities for students to engage in learning beyond the classrooms by embarking on visits and learning journeys to sites of learning. These include the Geographical and Historical Investigations as well as learning journeys for students to understand issues related to Singapore. Some of the visits and learning journeys include the following:
- Secondary 1 – Learning Journey to Singapore River
- Secondary 2 - Learning Journeys to National Museum of Singapore
- Upper Secondary
- Visits to witness live debates at Singapore Parliament House
- Visits to production factories to learn about MNCs’ operations and Globalisation
- Learning journey to Science Centre for Field Study of Tectonic Hazards
- Learning journeys to Chinatown and Gardens by the Bay for Field Study of Tourism at these sites
Teaching & Learning - Humanities