Applied Learning Programme (ALP)
Making Health Science Alive through Authentic Problem-Based Learning
Globalisation, changing demographics and technological advancements are some of the key driving forces shaping our future. Our schools need to adapt quickly in response and prepare our students to face these challenges and seize the opportunities brought about by these forces.
Some directions of change include:
- Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as critical and inventive thinking, insight and analysis capabilities
- Integrating new-media literacy into educational outcomes
- Including experiential learning that develops soft skills such as communication, adaptability and collaboration
- Interdisciplinary learning that allows students to develop and apply skills and knowledge in a range of subjects
In essence, we need to develop 21stCentury mindsets, competencies and skills in our students. This will be done through an Authentic Problem-Based Learning (APBL) approach in this ALP.
ALP in Health Science
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” – Plato
With an aging population in Singapore and many developed countries, the healthcare and health science industries are now rapidly expanding, with many new innovations and career opportunities, in areas as diverse as food nutrition, pharmaceutical sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, etc. By exposing Bendemeer Sec students to this field of study, it will provide a good platform for hands-on application of learning and provide them with a deeper understanding and appreciation to this industry.
Currently, many students perceive Science as a subject that is formal and abstract and not always relevant to everyday life. Consequently, they study science merely as an academic requirement without a deep understanding of scientific concepts in their world. This ALP provides the platform to extend the learning of Science beyond the textbooks. Health Science has been selected as the domain where students can seek connection between Health Science, their immediate community, and the world at large.
The ALP will convey an understanding and appreciation for the concepts and principles related to Health Science by finding them within specific materials and activities of everyday experience. Many of these materials and activities are interesting in their own rights and their appeal helps to motivate studies of the scientific principles that govern our universe.
Thus, as the students progress in the ALP, they will:
- Begin to see science in everyday life
- Learn that science is not frightening or boring
- Learn to think logically and creatively in order to solve problems
- Develop and expand their physical intuitions
- Explore how things work
- Begin to understand the universe is predictable rather than magical
- Obtain perspectives on the history of health science
- Take greater responsibility for their own health as well as the health of their family members
Desired outcomes of ALP
The science-based ALP seeks to provide rich learning experiences for students. Through the ALP, students will:
- develop their novel and adaptive thinking skills when addressing real life problems in an authentic setting
- work in groups to build up their social intelligence and collaborative skills
- hone their design mindset and transdisciplinarity
The skills that the students develop are transferable and practical and will prepare students for Advanced Elective Modules (AEMs) and post-secondary options at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), such as Nanyang Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic (which a large proportion of our students go to after their secondary school education).
The ALP offered at Bendemeer Secondary will be relevant to the following AEMs and courses offered at the IHL:
- Food Biotechnology in Human Health and Nutrition
- Introduction to Basic Health Skills
- Common Chronic Diseases
- Giving Care for Acute Illnesses
- Food Science and Culture
- Healthcare in Action
It is hoped that the knowledge and skills learnt in this ALP will encourage students to take greater responsibility of their own health and to educate their family members about the importance of taking responsibility of their health when they are healthy. In addition, both students and parents may give the ALP due consideration when choosing a secondary school after their primary education.
The ALP will leverage on the pedagogy of Authentic Problem-based Learning (APBL). APBL will enable students to acquire knowledge and skills through real-life problems. Students will identify their own learning needs, locate resources to meet these needs, and apply what they have learned to find solutions to the problem. In brief, the ALP will consist of features that intend to prepare the students with the future work skills 2020 and 21CC, on top of raising scientific literacy and strengthening the scientific method.
Outside Classroom Learning
On 26 October 2017, 15 Secondary Two students from the school attended a 3M Oral Care workshop, as part of their Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in Health & Dental Sciences.
Click on the following link to view more on this event: