During the SGTech EdTech Committee’s 9th Meeting on 30 September 2021, we are pleased to have a member-led sharing by Dr Woo Yen Yen, CEO of Dim Sum Warriors. The key highlights of her sharing are:
Below are key takeaways from her sharing:
There are four questions to ask ourselves when we consider the framework of education:
The answers will define where your EdTech company is at on the map of educational approaches, whether it’s focused more on social needs or individual needs. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, and your position may change over time.
Having a framework for thinking about curriculum and pedagogy is helpful for EdTech professionals to identify the areas in which they can innovate, as well as be aware of possible spots where their products could provide meaningful disruption.
Dr Woo shared that there are historically three broad frameworks:
Framework #1: Efficiency
Scientific method of using measurement to ensure learners meet certain standards, resulting in age grading and streaming:
Pros: clear definition of success and clear pathway to success
Cons: definition of success may be too narrow, assigned roles are fixed, potential for inequalities
Example: Algorithm-based EdTech products finding students’ knowledge gaps towards external standards.
Framework #2: Social Reconstructionism
This framework usually becomes popular as a response to great social and economic inequalities. The motivation to equalise power and opportunity (e.g. support for learners with special needs, desegregation bussing in United States),
Main thrust of this framework is the belief that equality in education will lead to equality in society
Pros: equal opportunity and power to the underrepresented
Cons: success is harder to measure in the short term, potential for propaganda
Example: Peer-guided EdTech products
Framework #3: Individual growth and development
Aid the growth and development of the individual, focus on self-actualisation rather than the hyper efficiency of meeting standards. This sets the context for Ministry of Education's focus on self-directed learning and 21st century competencies.
Pros: individual growth, well-adjusted learners
Cons: isolated from society—learners are less focused on their roles and responsibilities in society. Usually implemented at high cost, unaffordable to most.
Example: Branded experiential schools like Montessori and Waldorf
Most EdTech products are currently located in the first framework with fewer located in second and third frameworks, and those are areas where the potential of EdTech can really expand.
We thank Dr Woo for sharing her insights on the different pedagogy frameworks and her effort in condensing roughly six months of university coursework into a concise 15-minute learning session for our members. Her contributions allow our members to have a better understanding of potential pitfalls in designing curricula, as well as opportunities to innovate and truly make a difference in the EdTech space.
Dr Woo invites everyone to read her hilarious bilingual comics great for learning Chinese and English. She can be contacted at [email protected].
We look forward to the next member-led sharing by the EdTech Committee.
The SGTech EdTech Committee holds monthly meet-ups comprising members’ spotlight, sharing of EdTech content by external guest speakers and get-together sessions to
If you’re interested to learn more or join our Committee, please reach out to us at [email protected].
We hope to see you at our next EdTech Committee meeting!