Education representatives gathered last week to discuss the latest developments of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in the global context with a focus on the application to classroom instruction and e-assessment platforms.
Organized by the School of Education at the University of Saint Joseph, the conference included four scholars from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the region, sharing their latest research findings and school-based, pedagogical practices.
Speaking to the Times, Ana Correia, dean of the School of Education reiterated the need for schools to change their methodologies and pedagogies.
According to Correia, the university is prepared to be a hub for related projects in the future and are waiting for SRL techniques to develop further. Correia added that the university plans to collaborate with other institutes.
“I think Macau has the resources, and I think it also has the enthusiasm so now we need to work together and collaborate between schools and universities.”
Echoing the same sentiments, principal of St Paul’s School, Fr Alejandro Salcedo remarked that schools in the region should come up with a methodological program on how to move away from the traditional way of schooling and prepare students for the rest of the 21st century, where the required skills will be differ from those of the past.
In 2012, St Paul’s School became a “paperless school” as Primary 4 students to Form 6 made the transition and completed their studies through online platforms.
“We have to change. Unfortunately, we have all the things we don’t need in education. We need to change in the school and try to give a 360 degree turn,” said the principal.
Fr Salcedo noted that innovation should start in the education sector so that students will be prepared and capable of contributing to the evolving work force.
“Society [in the future] will be completely different from the one we have now, so we have to look for ways and means in preparing our students for that. If other industries are trying to advance, why does education have to be left behind?”
The principal admitted that it is challenging to encourage long-term teachers to change the way they deliver lessons.
“Teachers [should] see the need for change and see that the future will be different from what we have now, so we have to offer something else.”
The principal revealed that the school is working on a project that aims to focus on cultivating the habits of students at an early age.
From the current 3-6-6 system, which describes the years from Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary level, St Paul’s School is looking at implementing a 6-6-3 system.
“K1 to P3 is crucial – not for learning but for creating habits. So, we have to make students to want to come to school. As of now, they are not missing it because the school starts with tests, memorizing and drilling,” the principal explained.
Although the change will be internal, Fr Salcedo explained that university requirements nowadays are far more complex than several years ago, adding the need to prepare students and develop the eagerness to learn.
The planned curriculum will focus on allowing the first category to learn within classrooms by sharing and not by lecturing.
The Catholic school is also working on developing a new English curriculum to enhance the students’ ability to speak the language.