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  • Writer's pictureJeannette Koh

3 ways we approach teaching and learning

At Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre, our teaching approach is structured with ample opportunities for students to try out their ideas. Students are empowered to ask questions in an environment that is encouraging and accepting. 

All students can learn. But realistically speaking, some students take more time than others to grasp concepts.

Despite the challenges, our teachers are dedicated to helping students understand the subject matter as thoroughly as it is possible!  

The following 3 approaches encompass the teaching philosophy of our teachers. 

1. From concrete, to pictorial, to abstract

The above method is mainly used in the teaching of mathematics but can be applied to other areas as well.

Simply put, students need to hold or touch manipulatives such as physical blocks, tiles or discs to count, order or visualise numbers, sequence them or manipulate them. I have found that using money is an ideal way to teach fractions, decimals, ratio and percentage!

Primary school students visualising concepts through manipulatives

Once they can grasp the concepts or operation of numbers, we can move on to pictorial or symbolic representation such as charts and graphs and even on to algebra.

For science, we use a variety of approaches to concretise concepts. We make models of the respiratory system or animal cell, use toys to explain energy and forces, and even dissect flowers and thick celery stems to observe the reproductive parts or water-carrying tubes under a magnifying glass or microscope. We also conduct simple investigations so students have an opportunity to manipulate variables and observe their effects on the experimental results.

Secondary school students learning via making models of molecules

Students are also guided in recording their ideas and concepts about the various science topics in a chart, map or labelled pictures.

The study of science is very content-heavy and information learnt from the lower to upper levels is like climbing a spiral staircase. New information is built on previous information learnt, so it is essential not to forget old information otherwise it has to be relearnt!

Remembering the facts is largely facilitated by associating links between concepts, using mnemonics, flashcards and quizzes; just to name a few.

2. Active participation

Students won’t learn if they are passive and expect the teacher to literally pour knowledge into their brains. They need to be active participants in their learning. 

Whatever material is placed before them, whether it is a textbook, a worksheet, an experiment to be conducted or a physical activity, they have to engage with it, wrestle with it mentally to understand and absorb it.

3. Attitude

Attitude is important. It’s natural for students to only want to practise what they already know. It gives them a false sense of confidence and feeds their complacency. 

I often tell them that they must learn to do what they don’t like, whether it’s algebra or writing or household chores. 

There is no quick fix or miracle to mastery. Only by engaging, practising and studying the weak subject areas can progress be made, slowly but surely. 

How to tell if learning has really taken place?

Now, back to the question of whether your child is learning and how you can tell if learning has taken place.  

Have a chat with your child, ask them the following and observe their responses:

  • Can they recall or recount the lesson that they attended in some detail?

  • Are they able to share the main idea or describe important points made by the teacher?

  • Is there a sparkle in their eye when they talk about the lesson?

  • Do they look forward to the next session?

Their replies will often be telling of whether their environment is suited to their learning needs.

Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre

Established in 2009, Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre has been a trusted learning partner for both parents and their children. We inspire inquisitive minds with our Primary, Secondary and Junior College academic programmes.

Call +65 98472637 for more information and make an appointment for a trial course today!


Fun-da-LAB is the Science enrichment branch of Fun-da-mentals Learning Centre.

With our one-of-a-kind laboratory and specially curated science enrichment programmes, we seek to nurture the scientist in every child through experiments and more-than-hands-on activities!

Call +65 98472637 to sign up for our upcoming programmes!

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