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NEWS & EVENTS:
(1) GRASPING THE FUTURE : The 5CS
Values define who we are. Whether by nature or nurture, having a set of core values forms the basis of any effort or aspiration we may have to transform lives and communities. Hence, the pulse of R.E.A.L Education lies at its core; or core values to be exact. These consist of Character, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity; or the ‘5Cs’ in short.
Like the palm of a hand, academic pursuits serve as the foundation of our philosophy while the five fingers represent the profound 5Cs that are essential in shaping students with relevant qualities for life. Having academic knowledge alone can get you through life, but like a palm without fingers, you can only do so much. Therefore, the 5Cs are there to complete the hand and provide a more holistic form of education that extends an individual’s abilities to go beyond intellectual development. R.E.A.L education produces young minds (instead of mere graduates) that are confident in facing the world and are able to contribute to it in a significant way.
A large part of what makes you unique is your character make-up. Crafted and moulded from personal experiences and influenced by both people and relationships, our character is engraved and exhibited in everyday behaviour. The environment has influence on your character as well, which in turn, influences your choices in life.
Hence, it is vital to shape positive and desirable character values from young, in order to help us make the right choices in life. Every one of us is born with our own skills and talents, but how we end up using these gifts to benefit ourselves and others boils down to character. This is why character education is integrated into our academic curriculum, extracurricular endeavours and work environment. But for it to be truly effective, character building has to extend beyond the walls of a classroom or office.
Collaboration then comes into play, fulfilling a vital role in adding to the layers of knowledge and experience that go a long way towards building character. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Hence, for growth to be exponential, collaboration is crucial as individual growth may be slow and limited to one’s own perspectives.
Imagine tapping on the brains and experience of a team of individuals and leveraging on the strengths of each member. You can achieve far greater goals and generate more ideas this way than doing it on your own. Here, you are both the learner and the teacher, thus affecting transformation as a team.
R.E.A.L’s vision is to foster teamwork both internally and with the community; thus promoting mutually-supportive environments for greater impact. For instance, we collaborate with students so that they can give more to the community. We collaborate with the community so we can give more to our students.
Collaboration requires good communication in order to convey thoughts and ideas effectively. We believe that we should all engage in open, honest and respectful discourse. What good is there in knowing something if you are unable to channel it across and share it? We also know that communication is a two-way street, and it transcends language or linguistic ability. It is not just about speaking but also listening; and being able to evaluate, think critically and solve problems.
Communication, particularly interpersonal communication, is one of the biggest challenges today because most of it is done through a screen. But it is in active discussions and stimulating exchanges that ordinary ideas get transformed into extraordinary ones. For this to take place, there has to be a platform to express opinions, improve confidence and encourage the articulation of ideas in a skilful and sensible manner. R.E.A.L Education provides such a platform.
Another essential quality or skill that is somewhat lacking in today’s digital age is critical thinking. It is in our nature to think and this ability is what separates human beings from God’s other creatures. But at a time when information is so readily and easily available, thinking is in danger of slowly becoming redundant, so to speak. It has turned into a process of just gathering information from various sources and reusing them.
The search for knowledge is necessary and will continue throughout life, but critical thinking is different. It is about putting things into intellectual perspective and having the ability to analyse, understand and have insight. At R.E.A.L, it is also about challenging the norm, seeking better or more effective ways of doing things. This ‘results enhancing’ approach is the cornerstone of the R.E.A.L essence itself.
Speaking of doing things differently, creativity is all about being unconventional and innovative. The beauty of human creativity is its limitless breadth. If knowledge is the currency of the 21st century, then creativity is its treasure trove.
In this age of automation, the edge lies with those who are able to churn out revolutionary ideas and designs. R.E.A.L’s effort to inspire the next generation of movers and shakers has resulted in an educational approach that instils freedom and courage within students to explore and become trailblazers in their own right.
To be creative is to be curious. Thus, it is important to cultivate an inherent sense of curiosity within students by creating the right environment for creativity to flourish. The future starts now, and it belongs to visionaries and those who dare to dream.
Each of the 5Cs is uniquely its own yet inextricably linked or interwoven with one another. R.E.A.L education is enriched by the lifelong value of the 5Cs which drives us to do what we do and why we do it. Therefore, as we facilitate the potential and growth of each person, it is worth remembering that scoring A’s is not everything in life. We believe that chasing C’s, especially the 5Cs, is equally, if not more important in the larger context of life.
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