Our Learning Experience Framework
The components of the framework are described as follows:
a. At the heart of the Xinmin Learning Experience Framework is our school vision – Leading Hearts, Leading Minds. This provides the anchor to remind us that all that we do in the school is aimed at achieving our vision. One should note the ‘R’ in our school vision has a ‘3’ included in superscript (i.e., R3). The R3 represents our school values, namely:
· Respect – Having the belief in one’s self-worth and also the intrinsic worth of all people;
· Responsibility – Recognising that one has a duty to himself, his family, community, nation and the world, and fulfils his responsibilities with love and commitment; and
· Resilience – Possessing emotional strength and perseverance in the face of challenges while demonstrating courage, optimism, adaptability and resourcefulness in the process.
b. The next ring shows the Desired Xinmin Outcomes (DXOs) which articulate what we aim to develop in our students in their 4-5 years in the school. In summary, we would like every student to graduate from Xinmin as a Curious Learner, a Compassionate Contributor and a Confident Leader. The three broad outcomes are described as follows:
· Curious Learner
We want our students to be inquisitive about the world, desiring to seek new knowledge and generate novel ideas or solutions to problems. We want them to be self-directed and motivated, and take ownership of their learning. The ability and motivation to learn throughout their lives would empower our students to seize the multiple opportunities available to them in the future.
Our students should also be flexible and adaptable to changes, and keep an open mind in order to be able to understand different ideas and see things from different viewpoints. Armed with critical thinking competencies, our students would also be able to support their views with evidence and draw logical conclusions.
We believe that sparking in our students a curiosity about the world around them would give them the intrinsic motivation to learn. This intrinsic motivation would, in turn drive them to overcome setbacks and continually strive to be better versions of themselves.
· Compassionate Contributor
We want our students to be reflective and demonstrate an awareness of global issues and the complexities surrounding them. They should have empathy and compassion, and always have respect for themselves and for others.
We want our students to have a sense of gratitude, to recognize that others have supported them in their journey thus far, and therefore commit to serving others and giving back to society. They should also have the moral courage to do what is right in the face of difficulties.
· Confident Leader
We want our students to be leaders with a sense of purpose, and believe in themselves as they strive to achieve that purpose. We want them to understand the realities, yet remain positive when encountering challenges. We want our students to be good role models, and have the motivation to grow and develop themselves, as well as others. We want them to take the initiative to act purposefully for the common good.
We want our students to be able to communicate effectively to influence and persuade others to take action. They would also need to be able to collaborate with others to achieve a common goal.
c. The third ring describes our approach in designing learning experiences for our students that would facilitate the achievement of our DXOs. These learning experiences could be broadly categories as follows:
The ability to create is a uniquely human endeavor that allows us to challenge the status quo and advance knowledge. We want to provide students with opportunities to make their thinking visible and to apply their learning to possibly novel contexts. Specific approaches under this learning experience include:
o Making Thinking Visible
As learning is a highly cognitive activity, the ability to make one’s thinking visible benefits both the learner and the teacher. It allows the learner to engage more deeply in the endeavor of learning, and through this, also develops their metacognitive abilities. At the same time, it allows teachers to assess students’ progress in learning, and thereafter intervene in a timely fashion.
o Tinkering, Making, Innovating
Underpinned by the theory of Constructionism, the ability to tinker, make and innovate offers students the opportunity to engage in active learning (i.e., learn by doing). This allows them to make inter-disciplinary connections and gives them the opportunity to engage in learning through ‘play’. The collaborative aspect of making also allows students to work together with others towards a common goal.
o Applying Learning
As an approach to learning, applied learning allows students to see the relevance of what they are learning to real life in an immediate and explicit manner. It provides a platform in which students engage in the practical application of knowledge in authentic situations, thereby offering additional platforms in which students could develop 21CC.
The ability to connect is essential for future learning, and for harnessing the vast opportunities made available by demographic changes, technology and globalization. Specific approaches under this learning experience include:
o Connecting Knowledge
It is important for our students to be able to see connections from across disciplinary boundaries in their search for novel solutions to the increasingly complex problems they will be facing in their future. The skills of being able to connect knowledge is also essential for lifelong learning as they learn, unlearn and relearn.
o Connecting between People
Given the rapid rate of advancement of technology, automation and artificial intelligence, it is important that our students possess competencies and skills that will give them a clear advantage over machines and automation. The ability to connect with others is one such competency. This includes not only the ability to convey information, but to also persuade and influence. It also includes the ability to empathise with others, and understand and appreciate different points of view.
o Connecting Globally
In a highly connected world, it is important for our students to be exposed to the region and the world, and be aware of Singapore’s role in the regional and global context.
The future is one where there are challenges but also many more opportunities that these challenges bring. It is thus important that our students have a strong sense of self and are deeply anchored in sound values. It would also benefit our students to have the dispositions (e.g., lifelong learning) and good habits that would enable them to adapt and thrive in different contexts.
o Exploring Identity
Secondary education is a time where students explore who they are as individuals. Through the different experiences offered to them by the school, they identify their interests, strengths, and aspirations. Students would be able to clarify their purpose and hence set personal goals on their journey towards further education and the world of work. This would also enable them to envision the role they wish to play in shaping the future of Singapore and the world beyond.
o Developing Character
In a world that is characterized by volatility, unpredictability, complexity and ambiguity, it is all the more important for our students to be deeply anchored in our core values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. It would also benefit them to clarify their personal values vis-à-vis the school’s core values and articulate their purpose based on their personal values.
o Enjoying Learning
The ability and motivation to learn throughout their lives would allow our students to seize the multiple opportunities available to them in the future. It is not just about having fun in learning. Our students should understand that learning also entails hard work. Through sparking in our students a curiosity about the world around them, and inculcating in them the intrinsic motivation to learn, we are confident that they would be able to overcome setbacks and continually strive to be better versions of themselves.
d. The fourth ring of the framework describes the programmes offered in our school, in which we design learning experiences for our students to develop the DXOs. Some of these programmes are common experiences that all Xinmin students go through, namely (i) Co-Curricular Activities; (ii) XinminCares; (iii) Character & Citizenship Education; and (iv) Student Leadership. As far as possible, we give our students the autonomy to choose programmes that would cater to their interests, strengths and aspirations. Therefore, it would be the case that students would experience the other programmes somewhat differently, to varying degrees.