Why is subject-specific teaching so important?

In Singapore where parents want the best education for their children, setting them on the right path from the get-go is understandably of utmost importance. But what is this right path?

Every school has its own take. For example, some international primary schools in Singapore believe an enquiry based and individualised curriculum is the way to go. It is a relatively recent approach that is based on the argument that if children are given the freedom to pursue their own interests, they will be more engaged in their learning. Other schools advocate cross-disciplinary learning which focuses on connections between broad fields of knowledge.

Then there are schools that draw upon more traditional and verified frameworks that have been proven to produce academic excellence. Subject-specific teaching is one such framework.

Subject-based teaching is based on the intuitive notion that different subjects require different skills. For example, mathematics requires students to develop problem solving skills. These skills might be transferable to some Science subjects but they are barely sufficient to understand those subjects fully. For humanities subjects like History, maths skills are largely irrelevant.

Since learning each subject requires a mastery of a specific set of skills and knowledge, it only makes sense that it is taught within that particular context. That is what subject-specific teaching does — it is teacher-directed, content-driven and focused on a field of study to ensure that students have all the tools they need to get a rigorous understanding of each subject.

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