We are slightly robotic in our approach, perhaps colloquially known as Type A behaviour. We value our systemized way of working as it means that we can repeat events with a fairly predictable outcome in teaching as well as map the experiences onto other, similar events in order to problem solve.
Myanmar students, as we’ve spoken about, face a lot of external pressures. From their parents to their wider family to the long school day and extra night study classes, students in Myanmar don’t have much down time. They are robotic to an extreme, but this is not self-imposed. It is not because they work for that end goal in a systemised way selected for efficiency, it is because external pressures mould them into a vessel incapable of thinking outside of prescriptive chanting to memorise information ill understood by the average student. They aren’t left unsupervised and thus they don’t know any techniques to use unsupervised time effectively.
Myanmar students are talented at retaining huge swathes of information which they can recall and regurgitate. The mapping of that information onto any other situation is where the failure of the system shows. Looking at Bloom’s Taxonomy suggests that Myanmar students are stuck on tier one of six; remember. I doubt that many students are able to move to tier two which is to explain the remembered information let alone evaluate the information or create new scenarios based on the originals.
A recent conversation involved a parent asking our trainee how our student could self-study which was met with silence. If the teacher isn’t sure, then how can the students be sure. We are only starting to guide students toward tier 3 of applying the information to a new situation in class by having them talk to each other; first mimicking the teacher and then using the language in their own sentences.
Director of Studies and Teacher Trainer
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