Home News Featured News Dr Chee Soon Juan's chess workshop raises important reflections on Singapore's education...

Dr Chee Soon Juan’s chess workshop raises important reflections on Singapore’s education style

"Children’s minds are like sponges, absorbing new material very quickly. But they learn best through play – not exams," said Dr Chee in a reflective post on FB




- Advertisement -

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan reflected on the typical approach to education in Singapore, as he shared about the successful chess workshop he conducted for young residents at Bukit Batok SMC this week.

Dr Chee personally taught young residents in Bukit Batok SMC how to play chess on Thursday (5 Nov), as part of a series of activities aimed at exposing children who cannot travel during the holidays to experiences and activities that they might not otherwise get to do.

The chess course aimed to help children develop strategic planning, abstract reasoning, and creative thinking skills while they have fun playing chess. It also included a mini chess tournament at the end.

Dr Chee wrote about how he taught young minds the rules of chess, with the help of McDonald’s french fries, on Saturday (7 Nov). He recounted on Facebook: “After managing to get everyone to settle down, it was straight to business. Pawn, king, queen – went through the pieces and moves with our young friends, some seeing a chess board for the first time.

- Advertisement -

“A few seemed bewildered by the amount of information they had to process but nothing some fries from McDonalds couldn’t help overcome. At one point, one of the boys I was playing with was threatening my King. I said: “In such a situation, what must you say?” I was expecting “Check!” as the answer, but he offered “Thank you?”

This exchange made an impression on the veteran opposition politician, who reflected on how the way children are taught may sometimes be at odds with the way they learn and grow. He said, “Funny as the answer was, that’s how they learn. They’re not afraid to express themselves, guess if they don’t know and, in the process, be wrong. That’s how they grow cognitively.

“It’s when we keep drilling into them that their future depends on them getting the right answers all the time, sitting them down in a sterile hall and testing them on how well their can spot questions and regurgitate model answers that we teach them to fear trying, venturing, taking risks, and making mistakes.”

He added: “We’re teaching them how not to learn. That’s the biggest tragedy. Children’s minds are like sponges, absorbing new material very quickly. But they learn best through play – not exams.”

Read Dr Chee’s post in full here:

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Almost 8 out of 10 vote PN can’t survive GE 15 without UMNO

Almost eight out of 10 respondents on a Twitter survey voted that Bersatu will not survive GE-15 without UMNO, according to BFM radio survey held this morning (22/2/2021) during its Morning Run programme. Of the 206 voters (respondents) in the final countdown,...

Foodpanda rider called “Blur Sotong” by netizen

Singapore — A Foodpanda rider shared his unfortunate experience with a customer. He took to Facebook on Saturday morning (Feb 20), sharing screenshots of the conversation. Posted by Chan Okada SJ on Friday, 19 February 2021 The rider shared that the customer had asked...

Journalist claims Karen Mok is the only woman Stephen Chow has ever thought of marrying

Hong Kong -- Last year, comedian Stephen Chow's public and ugly legal battle with his former girlfriend over their finances gave a rare peek into the personal life of the fiercely private 58-year-old. It was reported that out of all the women...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg