The Need For Such Achievement Motivation Study Program

Motivation and Character Building is not systematically taught to preschool students in Singapore.

A growing body of scientific evidence tells us that emotional development begins early in life, that it is a critical aspect of the development of overall brain architecture, and that it has enormous consequences over the course of a lifetime. Therefore all preschool programs must balance their focus on cognition and literary skills with significant attention to emotional and social development.

A. The Purpose of the Program
This program (preschool level) involves:
  1. Facilitating and teaching the personal values system that gives students the structure and purpose by helping him/her determine what is meaningful and important, help children to be aware and become connected with their values, learn to make choices on solid reasoning and responsible decision-making, rather than out of impulse or instant gratification;

  2. Programming students for success ; helping students to recognize linkages between their efforts and learning outcomes;

  3. Cognition training that involves: Attribution training- induce changes in students’ tendencies to attribute failure to lack of abilities rather than to insufficient effort. Efficacy training – train students to set realistic goal with the recognition that they have the ability (efficacy) needed to reach the goals if they apply reasonable effort.

B. Methodology

The programme adopted largely the use of educational drama (story-telling and fun play) – using drama and storytelling for learning, challenging and thinking about life – about enabling students to understand different viewpoints or perspectives by exploring issues, questions or ideas through dramatic forms or devices. The idea was premised on the belief that education was to be by practice, by doing, rather than by instruction.

Drama and Storytelling assist the learning process by enabling students to engage actively with their subject matter. Story-telling instills good listening habits and develops concentration and a longer attraction span. Story-telling ignites the imagination. The excitement of story-telling can instill in children a sense of wonder about life and learning. It’s easy to make the connections. Kids are much more motivated to learn when they think of it as fun and exciting. Children taking part in the storytelling and drama will be applying their existing knowledge to the situation (checking on their existing understanding of what they know about values), acquiring new knowledge and theories from the action of others, and developing new thoughts and responses in ways which would never arise from listening to an account. There is much evidence to support the hypothesis that all these things will also be retained more efficiently in the long-term memory because of the interactive nature of the learning process.

The following are some of our approach used:
  • Attitudinal development – Besides games and fun-filled activities, we will adopt the “shaping” strategies to encourage effort and participation. Example of a token economies strategy: “stars” will be awarded for good effort or good work performance; the “stars” will be accumulated for exchange of presents.

  • Learning is fun – Games, quiz and interesting fun-filled activities will be used to reinforce learning objectives.

  • Teacher as facilitator – the important role of the facilitator are; as mediator, mentor and success partner – get learners to be interested in the subject and develop the desire, habits, confidence and attitudes; and as an elaborator – elaborates on the principles and concepts taught.

  • Worksheets and teaching materials – are used to support classroom’s interaction and the facilitator’s role in the classroom.
  • Educational elements
  • Child-centred
  • The subject-matter and form of the programme centre on the child’s needs, abilities and potential, and are carefully geared on the children’s intellectual level and experience.

  • Use of play
  • The programme uses the child’s natural enjoyment of joy, that will bring refreshment, vitality and are useful in improving students’ ability to communicate through speech and writing and in nonverbal ways as well. They are the energy sources, helping students develop skills in concentration, problem solving and group interaction

  • Learning by doing
  • The essence of methodology adopted with the storytelling and drama approach is that pupils learn by experiencing the events that occur within a programme. This experience is physical, mental and emotional and through this total involvement the pupils learn by discovery.

    C. What is covered
    Some examples of the values we will cover:
    1. Be Honest.
    Tell the truth; be sincere; don’t mislead or withhold key information in relationships of trust; don’t steal.
    2. Demonstrate integrity.
    Stand up for your beliefs about right and wrong; be your best self; resist social pressure to do wrong.
    3. Teach Growth Mindset (Growth mindset vs Fixed Mindset).
    Develop a growth mindset by teaching students about the amazing properties of the brain. Explain what a growth mindset is and what a fixed mindset is and create a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
    4. Be loyal.
    Stand by family, friends, employers, community and country; don’t talk about people behind their backs.
    5. Be responsible.
    Think before you act; consider consequences; be accountable
    6. Pursue excellence.
    Do your best with what you have; don’t quit easily. Be positive and adopt good attitude.
    7. Reinforce the significance of confidence, purpose and the willingness to pay the ‘price’ (effort)
    Help students to recognise linkages between their efforts and learning outcomes.
    8. Treat all people with respect.
    Be courteous and polite; judge all people on their merits; be tolerant, appreciative and accepting of individual differences.
    9. Be fair.
    Treat all people fairly; be open-minded; listen to others and try to understand what they are saying and feeling.
    10. Be a good citizen.
    Obey the law and respect authority; vote, volunteer your efforts; protect the environment.
    These and many other values help schools create a safe, caring and inclusive learning environment for every student and supports academic development. It fosters qualities that will help students be successful as citizens, help children develop solid friendships, a person of good reputation and integrity that lays the foundation to help students be successful in academic achievements and all other goals in schools.

    Or encouragement to educators/parents to take more attention on Character Education: