The panelists will explore the state of literature education in Singapore, and how it might be transformed by moving beyond a focus on appreciating individual writers and their works. As alternatives, our participants propose different approaches, centering on the writing process, the act of reading, or through a larger exploration of a cultural tradition.
Loh Guan Liang – Engaging Singapore Youths Through Creative Writing
Literature is currently taught in Singapore schools as an examinable subject. The term “examinable” belies a mechanistic outlook towards literary study, wherein the emphasis is on metrics and mean subject grades. Sadly, that is missing the point. Students become passive receptacles for literary teaching in such an assessment-laden environment, not critical creators of content. Schools should relook how Literature is taught and introduce (more) opportunities for creative writing in the classroom. In creating, youths do more than understand; they make mistakes, apply knowledge and appreciate
Literature, themselves and their relationship with society better.
Tan Tarn How – The Key to Half Our Society’s Ills: Reading
The term cultural desert has been thrown around a lot when Singapore’s character is discussed. While its arts and cultural outlook has improved dramatically over the past decades, the people of Singapore have continued to earn labels that are less than flattering. Some may describe Singaporeans as apathetic, narrow-minded, cynical. Others would say Singaporeans are too ingrained in their consumerist ways, and lack imagination. These could all be attributed to the focus on mathematics and the sciences in school curriculums, and the lack of literature in most students’ academic journey breeds humdrum Singaporeans. Tan Tarn How argues that a pursuit of reading will answer these societal ailments, and inject more culture in a clinical state.
Tan Chee Lay – Looking at Singapore Literature in Chinese from the Literary and Curricular Points of View
Besides providing a broad introduction to the current state of Chinese literature in the Singapore society, this talk will make reference to the changing positions of Chinese literature in the school curriculum and syllabus. With more local students coming from an English speaking background, as well as more foreign Chinese students opting for this subject , the local student population taking Chinese Literature has been falling significantly. In such an educational context, Tan Chee Lay advocates the importance of literature, and creative reading and writing, amongst students and teachers
Admission: Free. Please register at http://peatix.com/event/153572
Venue: Centre 42, 42 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187951
When: 15 Mar 2016, 7.30pm