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A community of passionate learners of the Humanities who are critical thinkers and responsible global citizens.
The core belief of YTSS Humanities Department is the preeminent role of Humanities as the window to the soul of Humanity. The knowledge, skills and values acquired from a Humanities education allows the YTzens to explore, appreciate and understand human experiences and the world. Besides impacting skills and knowledge, it is also the belief of the department that the Humanities education in YTSS plays an important role in educating the YTzens to be responsible and concerned citizens who understand the various issues, constraints and challenges that Singapore faces and are prepared to contribute and participate actively and sensibly in the community and society. The department’s vision and key desired outcomes of Humanities education in YTSS aims to realise the YTzen Profile of A Confident Leader, An Active Citizen and A Global Thinker.
To achieve these various outcomes, the department believes in adopting the following approaches:
• A -Centred Approach
This approach comprises Teaching for Understanding (TfU) and Inquiry-based approach as well as the Skilful Teacher Framework to guide the teaching and learning process of Humanities. Through these approaches, the students are encouraged to be actively involved in their learning whereby they are required to ask questions, challenge assumptions, develop their own hypothesis and conclusions as well as be ready to defend their opinions and judgements with well-research data, information and evidence.
• Experiential Learning
The teaching and learning of the Humanities should also take place beyond the confines of the classroom and textbooks. To bring the learning of Humanities alive, the department believes in learning journeys such as local and overseas fieldtrips as well as fieldwork. Such learning journeys and fieldwork help to generate interest, curiosity and make students highly involved in their own learning. This will help to enhance their acquisition of skills as well as understanding of knowledge and concepts. Experiential learning also includes cross-cultural learning that will allow the YTzens to acquire cross-cultural literacies and competencies. Lastly, by sending YTzens to participate in competitions organised by the school or external organisations, authentic opportunities are provided for the application of skills and knowledge as well as acquisition of new knowledge and attributes like teamwork.
• Skills and Values
Through the teaching and learning of Humanities, values as well as skills and competencies are infused and taught in order to ensure YTzens are grounded in sound values and equipped with cognitive, information processing, communicative skills as well as various competencies such as the 21st century competencies in order to be confident leaders, active citizens and global thinkers.
The various knowledge, concepts, skills and values must be taught and learnt in a progressive and developmental manner and this must be aligned with a clear process of assessment.
These approaches are encapsulated in the department-based curriculum framework called the S 2 ED Framework.
The S2ED Framework will provide the guiding approaches and principles to the teaching and learning processes in the department so as to stay true to the various disciplines of the Humanities.
Programmes & Activities
The Humanities subjects explore the interaction processes between people and their environment; the past and the present. Integral to this exploration process is learning through inquiry, a common pedagogy in all new humanities syllabuses. 2015 has been another exciting and fulfilling year for the Humanities Department both for the teachers and the students. One of the highlights of the year is the implementation of Geographical and Historical Investigation at the Secondary Two level. The department also hosted the Battle for Merger Exhibition.
Secondary Two Geographical Investigation
In Term 2, Geography Unit witnessed the final stages of weeks-long preparation for the Geographical Investigation of Yishun estate by Secondary Two students from both the Express and Normal Academic streams. Students implemented interviewing skills learnt and developed in the classrooms, and displayed commendable objectivity in ensuring that they collected data from Yishun residents regarding their favourite places. Popular sites such as the Golden Village Cinema building, the MRT station, Yishun Hill and the HDB blocks within Palm Springs Estate were explored by the students, under supervision of all the Geography teachers. Data collected through questionnaire surveys, annotated photographs and observations were then analysed and presented in the form of reports and reflections.
Secondary Two Historical Investigation
For History Inquiry, the Secondary Two students took on the challenge of answering the inquiry question on “Did the Japanese Occupation bring changes to the lives of teenagers?” The students first learnt about how the Japanese Occupation changed the lives of the people and shaped their views towards Singapore. They then dug deeper into the experiences of teenagers during the Japanese Occupation and how their lives changed during that period. This was achieved through individual independent research on oral history by listening to first-hand accounts from war survivors and looking at other primary and secondary sources like reports, photographs and official documents to make valid interpretations and inferences. The students then come together as groups to identify and locate the relevant information needed for the inquiry question. This culminated into their final product which is a creative video on their re-enactment of their conclusion.
Battle for Merger Exhibition
In collaboration with the National Library Board, the department hosted The "Battle for Merger" Exhibition from 13 -17 April 2015. A group of Sec 2 and 3 students were trained as facilitators to guide students and teachers through the exhibition. In this exhibition, the students witnessed history in Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew series of 12 radio talks in English, Malay and Mandarin on Singapore’s merger with Malaya and the threat of Communism. The students also had the opportunity to browse through the compiled transcripts, reprinted for the first time since it was published in 1961. The exhibition also showcased old documents such as original notes and minutes of meetings penned by communist-linked personalities like Lim Chin Siong, as well as video accounts from Singaporeans who heard the broadcasts in 1961. It was an excellent and enriching experience as students went back in time to experience this suspenseful episode in our nation’s history.