Junior College

From Classroom to the Field and Back: Understanding the Ways Fieldwork Empowers Geographic Learning

"Fieldwork is an integral part of learning Geography. Fieldwork has been widely used in both research and as pedagogic approaches as it provides a platform for students to understand their classroom content in a better way and help them to become real geographers. This article begins with understanding fieldwork in geography, touching its importance in contemporary human geography, and then describes the ways a one-day fieldwork was planned, prepared and performed in Singapore to understand human geography concepts. The fieldwork helped students experience concepts through everyday urban practices and apply geographic methods into practice. In the conclusion, students’ perspectives about what they learnt and the ways it complemented their classroom learning is discussed."

Old Ideas Made New Again

"I started teaching long ago. The air was full of new ideas about curriculum and teaching methods. In the United States and the United Kingdom we had the “New Social Studies,” “New Math,” exciting hands-on science projects, and the like. It was all about engaging learners in the “methods of the discipline,” in doing inquiry not just memorizing facts. This was a long time ago. Today we are hearing these old “new” ideas again."

Patriots, Collaborators and the Undecidables in Between: The Contestation between Official and Unofficial History in Malaysia

"In September 2011 the Malaysian press was abuzz with news that a leading member of an opposition party had suggested that the members of the now-extinct Malayan Communist Party (MCP) ought to be recognised as heroes in the anti-colonial struggle against the British. In response to the politician’s comments, a flurry of newspaper reports and editorials emerged, alleging, among other things, that the politician was a closet Communist and that “Communist elements” were still active in the country. Compounding matters was the role played by members of the country’s Majlis Profesor Negara (National Professors Board) who then claimed that British Malaya was never colonised by the British, which then opened the way for what came to be known as the “Colony vs Protectorate” debate. This article looks at how the contestation over meaning, facts and interpretation in Malaysia is particularly heated in the domain of official historiography, and highlights the political dimension of such debates as they occur in Malaysia’s ever-contested public domain."

Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore. By Loh Kah Seng. Singapore: NUS and NIAS Presses, 2013. 330 pp. $38.00 (paper).

"Loh Kah Seng’s new book, Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore (NUS & NIAS Presses, 2013) provides a highly interesting social history of urban kampongs in Singapore and the modernist public housing scheme that transformed Singapore. Loh, currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies at Sogang University in South Korea, is also the author of Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia (2009). "

“No One Icon”: Secondary Students’ Judgments of Significant Representations of Singapore

"This study was designed to explore how students in a secondary school make sense about the significance of different representations of Singapore, and to examine their ideas on what they conceived as icons of Singapore. The research was conducted in a premier all-girls’ school in Singapore. The data used in this study was derived from semi-structured interviews that included both a task requiring students to choose from among a set of thirty captioned images, and a set of questions designed to elicit their understanding of significant representations of Singapore."

Using Film in Historical Inquiry: As Medium, as Evidence, for Empathy

"Though often portrayed as a clichéd example of poor history pedagogy, there is now ample research and numerous models of best practice to support the use of film in an inquiry-based history curriculum. In this article I present best practice models and practical examples of using film as a medium to engage students in inquiry."

Geography Fieldwork is Not Mission Impossible

"Geography teachers face numerous difficulties in conducting fieldwork for their students. While the national curriculum is shifting towards a field inquiry approach, some pre-existing problems remain, such as the issues of large class sizes, the lack of suitable sites due to our highly urbanised landscape, and teachers who do not have an understanding of the role fieldwork plays in constructing meaning in Geography. Having an understanding of how geographical knowledge has evolved will allow teachers to adopt meaningful strategies in the field in order to maximise the construction of geographical concepts and learning of geographical skills. In this paper, I propose a simple matrix that identifies purpose and strategies as two key goals that can help teachers work towards the implementation of a meaningful fieldwork programme for students. "

Research into Practice: Understanding the Vietnam War from the Communists' Perspective

"Most of us are familiar with the narrative of the Vietnam War as it is commonly told in history textbooks: (1) the United States got involved because they were afraid of the possibility of a domino effect of Southeast Asian countries falling to communism; (2) there was a huge public outcry back in the United States as American casualties increased dramatically and the horrors of war were shown in every home; (3) the US eventually withdrew its troops; and (4) North and South Vietnam were reunited. But in this unjustifiably sketchy summary of the typical portrayal of the Vietnam War, it is evident that most students of history only look at materials that, ironically, the losers of this war provide. American versions of these historical events often point to the failings of the South Vietnamese regime (the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem), the failed US containment policy or domestic opposition as the reasons behind the fall of Vietnam. "

Research into Practice: Tuning in to the “Chorus of History” Through the Use of Oral History in the Classroom

"Using oral histories in history and social studies classrooms can highlight the fact that historical sources are authored and contain particular assumptions, biases, and perspectives about the world. They require critical evaluation to understand why people might have said what they said, why they might view particular events or issues in certain ways, the kinds of insights, emotions, and attitudes they have about what happened in the past, and the reasons they give for acting in the ways they did. Because oral histories have become more widely available and utilized due to electronic and digital means of preservation and access, they can be easily used with students of all ages. To learn more about the use of oral history in the classroom and consider how students can work with oral sources, I reviewed the work and ideas of Associate Professor Kevin Blackburn, a proponent of using oral histories in classrooms."

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Junior College

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with new journal issues!