Need for a Refocus on the Learning Process Instead of Merely Examination Excellence

For a successful implementation of a concept-based curriculum, learners need to discover the joy of the learning process. However, some learners’ unwavering focus on examination excellence can prove to be a challenge in the implementation of a concept-based curriculum—instead of enjoying the processes of learning in a concept-based curriculum or lesson, these learners may prefer one that they think will serve them well in getting desirable grades. Often, their perception of an

“effective” lesson is one that merely provides them with the facts and skills required for an examination—it may not stimulate their thinking to a higher order.

The reason for this preference could be that high-stakes examinations in Singapore are seen as being critical to one’s future, and therefore learners in Singapore often focus more on academic results instead of the process of learning (VanTassel-Baska et al., 2006). A shift in the mindset of parents and learners is necessary before learners can be truly motivated and engaged in learning. This can be brought about by a better understanding of the benefits of a concept-based curriculum. Should this happen, the overemphasis on examination excellence may be reduced.

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