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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Sep 8, 2010

Learning History in Singapore

Boat Quay, Singapore circ 1950

History anyone?

Did someone say that history is boring, dry and dull?

Please take a look at some cartoons with fun captions about history here.

How Dinosaurs Became Extinct?

"Let's divide into classes, form nation-states and compete for global resources!"

Thank goodness. Humankind survived today and learnt the history lessons of the mistakes of the dinosaurs. Global resources through world trade, peace and prosperity for all nations. Way to go!

Specifically, learning history in Singapore. Not any history about any part of the world where we were not located, where our ancestors have not lived or unfamiliar with the history of our land. It doesn't matter how this place was inherited to our people when Singapore was founded by the great English gentleman with vision, Sir Stamford Raffles.

Some cheeky students used to reply the history school teacher during my early days in secondary school:

"Sir, learning history is a waste of time (referring to school textbooks based on Europe and the British Empire). History is dead. The events and stories (his story, not my stories) about dead stuff decades and centuries before we were born."

The classic universal answer against learning history for school exams.

History Graffiti in class.

Is history depressing...a misleading message!

A different school of thought on history!

"The Hour Glass of History"

Learning history is not about dead history in Singapore. Find out more about "living" history of Singapore which affect our lives and the lives of of our ancestors who happened to choose this homeland as an accident of history. Similarly, many decades in future if the immigrants would want to choose Singapore to root themselves here with their generations of young Singaporeans.

I Love History!

The following is an email invited from Dr Loh Kah Seng. Please contact them below:

Learn more about "Singapore Heritage Society" at their website.

Call for Student Presenters

Event: Students at Centrestage: A Seminar on Learning History in Singapore. Presented by the Singapore Heritage Society.

Date: Saturday, 27 November 2010

Time: 9 am-1 pm

Venue: Possibility Room, 5th Level, National Library Building

The teaching of history has undergone tremendous change in recent years: syllabuses have been rewritten, sources have become a major form of assessment, and the content has been framed to cultivate thinking skills and citizenship education. The changes are, we know, part of the ongoing revamp of the education system in pursuit of Singapore’s desired status as a world city.

This seminar will return students to centrestage. It will acknowledge the interest, creativity and potential many students show towards the past, while highlighting the obstacles and frustrations that plague the experiences of others. It will, most importantly, listen to students’ views and feelings, not because they are necessarily true, but because they exist and ought to be empathetically heard and understood.

We invite teachers to approach their students or students to contact us directly to present their views and experiences (10-15 mins per presentation). We are looking for students doing history and social studies at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The form of presentation is flexible. Students can present singly or in small groups (up to 3 persons), or engage in an informal dialogue with a teacher. Besides the presentations, students can also send notes of their views and experiences by email to the conveners. Teachers will not present at the seminar, although they can facilitate a dialogue session and are encouraged to attend.

Students may speak on the following subjects:

1. The Historian’s Way: in learning history, do you work and think like a historian?

2. The Experience: what learning activities work for you, and which activities don’t?

3. Values and Lessons: what values and lessons does history provide us?

4. Problems and Frustrations: are you frustrated by problems such as language, concepts, sources, comparison etc? How can learning history be more fun and meaningful?

5. The Future: will you take history in your next school or in university?

If you are interested in presenting, please send your name(s), school, email address, and a short summary of what you will talk about to us by 30 October 2010.


Dr Loh Kah Seng,

Ms Candice Alexis Seet,

Ms Junaidah Jaffar,

Ms Lee Si Wei,



Blogger ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

A convincing paper. We need history to know ourselves.

September 9, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Unk Dicko said...

History is one of the most important subjects that really ought to be included in our school curriculum...from young.
Without a basic understanding of history a person is just like a piece of driftwood floating aimlessly in the wide ocean, pushed here and there by the whims and fancy of the elements.
Agree with Andy.

September 13, 2010 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

I mentioned this before in a previous discussion. I think in our time, there were very few good history teachers. As such many of us hated the subject in school. It is only when we were grown that we realized it is such an important subject.

Anyway, I read this article written by a historian by the name of Stephanie Ho, titled "Blogging as Popular History Making, Blogs as Public History: A Singapore Case Study", published in Public History Review, Vol 14, 2007 (pp 64 - 79). Using Good Morning Yesterday as a case study, she argued that blogs like yours and mine play an important role in contributing to the recording of the history of Spore.

September 13, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

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