Academic Performance and Learning Model
In Singapore, parents are often worried about their children’s results as good results are seen as the pathway to a good career. Hence, parents will turn to tuition as their solution to achieve good grades. However, when results don’t improve, the reason is often attributed to the tutor/tuition centre’s lack of ability. While it may be true at times, that is not always the case as students and tutors co-share the responsibility towards the achievement of good grades. The academic performance and learning model has three phases in their learning journey: Phase 1- Understand, Phase 2- Apply and Phase 3- Perform. Under each phase, the students and tutors take on different roles that contribute to the student’s learning effectiveness.
Phase 1: Understand
During this phase, the outcome is for the student to acquire the knowledge and understand the content. The role of the tutor is to explain concepts clearly and unpack difficult concepts for the students to understand the content. The role of the student is to work on questions assigned by tutors so that upon trying the questions, they can uncover more questions beyond learning from what was taught to them by the tutors. In this phase, the tutor takes on a bigger responsibility to ensure high quality teaching and clarity of delivery.
Phase 2: Apply
During this phase, the outcome is for the student to apply what they learnt to solve the questions. The role of the student is to try as many questions as possible and preferably under timed conditions to simulate the exam conditions. The tutor’s role is to mark the assignments submitted by the students and give them feedback on their errors and address misconceptions upon reviewing students’ work. The role of the teacher is greatly reduced in this phase.
Phase 3: Perform
During this phase, the outcome is for the student is to do as well as possible for the exam. The role of the student is to turn up for the exam in his best physical condition and demonstrate the usual mastery level during the exam. This can be done by sleeping well the day before the exam, managing exam anxiety and also avoiding careless mistakes when attempting the paper. There is nothing the tutor can do in this phase and it is all up to the student.
It is now pretty clear that for some students, tuition is not the silver bullet to achieving good grades and the spotlight is on what can be done for students to work on those roles mentioned in the different phases. This is why besides having tuition and studying hard, it is important to have coaching for students to uncover the root causes that are hindering students from achieving good grades and guide them to perform those roles.