When I started the attachment, I gave myself these 3 aims:
- Am I doing it right?
- What can we learn from them?
- What distinguishes VIP?
Am I doing right? Mostly.
+ students are interested in BIG EVENT histories, WORLD ( including war) HISTORIES, LANDMARK HISTORIES. They seem less interested in localised, abstract, historiographical, existentialist histories.
+ students are interested in role play, MUNCs
- I need find a academic model /theory of history to frame our International History syllabus.
What can we learn from them? ALOT!
+ give real opportunities to co-create knowledge in and outside the classroom. VIP students are special because they believe they are special, and THEY ARE. The are eager to participate, to speak up, to question, to interact, share their views.
+ We can give them more genuine space to steer the teaching-learning conversation. We can refrain from asking perfunctory responses when we already have our own. They genuinely have so much to contribute
What distinguishes VIP? Culture of Curiosity
+ What makes the culture at VIP? I can tell there is spontaneity. There is leadership. Enthusiasm. Love for learning. Involvement. They like what they do.
+ They have their own VIP Student Council. They have Senior-Junior mentoring and bonding.
- They think they are the last year of VIP. In my short 2 weeks, I hear students talk about themselves being the last batch. They SC speech was on how to share the VIP spirit with the rest of the college. This is sad because THEY ARE NOT THE LAST BATCH. THEY HAVE SUCCESSORS. They have evolved many best practices which the students share and they should pass that on to their SUCCESSOR programmes.
In closing, I really wish we will recreate the conditions for more collaboration and institutional transfers of student culture. This is best left for the VIP students to engineer with their VCA juniors. It may not be neat and from time to time, the programme heads will need to re-align the parts to the whole, between the schools. However, it will still be a worthwhile exercise in allowing the students to co-author their own experiences and learning outcomes. They must be the ones to renegotiate their ownership of their programme and shape the experiences of their juniors. We can guide but not decide for them. This ongoing co-creation of the VIP culture with the VCA contexts will be the student's most meaningful fulfillment as SOCIAL INNOVATORS.
[The views expressed in these series of posts tagged PDL are derived from my personal observations and reference. They do not speak for nor attempt to advise any individuals or institutions. Neither are they empirical or infallable; in fact there are many blindsides, loopholes and weaknesses in knowledge and arguments that are purely mine to indulge and for you, the reader, to realise.]