Category Archives: 1T36 Class Work

2011 AQ – parks and green spaces

The AQ is often problematic, not because students cannot evaluate (providing insight – the so what? factor) but because they have no fact base from which to build their claims.

Honestly, there is a difference between extrapolating your evaluation from an authentic knowledge base and generalised ‘fake’ knowledge base – one which rehashes the characteristics of Singapore (small, urban, highly stressed, fast paced)

1. Complete the AQ with any 3 evaluated points (2 in support, 1 as balance). Download AQ – Generalising from factual knowledge:

2. Write a conclusion that sums up your sentiments.

3. Email me the assignment: laureentoh.cjc@gmail.com

You should use the “What will home in 2030 look like” article as one form of knowledge base, others include google-able search terms like:

Singapore Nature Society, green corridor, Nparks, Singapore Green Plan 2012, Park Connector network, Art and Heritage Parks, waterways/riverine parks, names of nature reserves, activities that take place- Shakespeare in the Park, Ballet under the stars, concerts, community events in parks, neighbourhood parks, eco-havens, retail and commercial use of areas like Gardens by the Bay, central catchment zones etc etc


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Sample AQ (modified) response

The Economist discusses several concerns of social networking in the workplace and its impact on businesses.

How relevant are any TWO concerns with regard to young people in your society? Use your own reasons and examples to support your answer.

Firstly, you need to identify 2 concerns you wish to address and explicitly state these. In your response question, you should carefully consider which of the concerns (already identified in the summary) are most readily applicable or relevant – what occurs in the workplace is also a an area of concern for young people.

Here are the list of concerns

1.Can it really deliver genuine benefits?
2.broadcast politically incorrect comments.
3.Informal groups of workers to spring up that managers cannot control.
4.Make unfair judgements of people/assess them/Spying on others

Sample response for 1 point. 

The concern that the use of social networks may result in the broadcasting of politically incorrect comments [identifying the argument from the text] is a behaviour that deserves our concern with regard to the youths’ social media habits. [give reasons] In Singapore,  the youth are heavy users of the social media with Facebook and Twitter ranking as the top two social media platforms. This is partly a result of a tech-savvy childhood where digital conversations and net-based relationships are the norm, coupled with the fact that smartphone and internet usage or access is readily available in our wired nation.  As a result, Singaporean youth are used to expressing themselves online through forums, blogs and more commonly, leaving a stream of comments on each other’s facebook accounts or responding instantaneously to a tweet.  It is also the lack of other platforms to express themselves freely that propel teens to go online and complain about what they believe are unfair school policies, or societal concerns. They wrongly believe that the Internet space is an unmonitored, free space for self expression when in fact, the government does clamp down on what it deems as insidious speech. [giving examples] Such an attitude is clearly evident as there have been many cases of youth making insensitive comments online such as the recent case of a teenager lamenting that Singaporean men are “weak” after a National Service man died from smoke inhalation, or incidents of racist slurs, calling foreign workers of a different race “dogs”. It is an issue of concern that young Singaporeans lack a sense of control about their comments, as a result of being so accustomed to conversing casually online.

Questions to practice for the Mid Year Exam

  1. “A young person is powerless to influence today’s world.” How far is this true?
  1. Do you agree that Singaporeans today face great anxiety?
  1. “Modern life has made us lonely.” How far is this true?
  1. “The youth of today are a deprived lot.” Discuss.
  1. Is reading fiction a waste of time?
  1. To what extent do you think new forms of technology will render teachers unnecessary?
  1. “The harsher the laws, the safer the country.” How far do you agree that capital punishment makes a country a safer place?
  1. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison” (Victor Hugo). Is education the best way to solve the problem of crime?
  1. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal.” Is this true of your society?
  1. ‘Our leaders have failed us.’ In the light of developments in the world today, to what extent would you agree?
  1. ‘The most exciting way to live is on the edge.’ Is this necessarily true?
  1. To what extent do you think the media prevents us from thinking for ourselves?Drop me a mail and a text if you’re sending me essay plans or would like to meet for a review of a written piece – and in the absence of genius, try.

DROP 2 or 1 COMMENT and POST UP: Elaborating contexts and interpreting evidence [Youth]

still waiting for non-posters to complete their comments on others posts/ANY of my posts and post up their originals.

In a forum conducted last July by the Institute of Policy Studies on “What Youth Want” representatives from various political parties discussed some of the beliefs, desires, traits and concerns that Singaporean youth possessed.

Briefly, these observations were made: 

  • Political activism centered on quality of life issues – concerns resolve around civil rights of being treated fairly or justly, freedoms in society
  • Youth today place a premium on higher order needs
  • Sceptical about institutions and more trusting of their own social networks
  • They do not show automatic deference to hierarchy, nor feel the pressing need to. 
  • Independent and innovative
  • (but also) disillusioned and disenfranchised
  • Great push for personal satisfaction and happiness 

Read the full summary is here.

Other more specific surveys that have emerged post-GE2011 paint a more complex picture of the youth and their level of political engagement. According to the IPS’s survey on political traits and media usage in the wake of the  2011 elections, some surprising, and not-so-surprising trends emerged:

SLIGHTLY more liberal political attitudes than older people 

  • About 70% agree or strongly agree that Singapore should be run by a powerful leader who runs the country as he/she sees fit
  • About 70% agree that economic growth is more important than freedom of speech
  • Yet, about 62% believe that there are too many rules concerning participation in political activities 

Participate in politics more actively

  • Consume more political content than older people
  • Alternative news websites like The Online Citizen, Temasek Review, Yawning Bread or foreign news media were also utilised as a process of shaping opinion outside of the mainstream media. 
  • Trusting of the Internet news to provide a range of viable perspectives

More likely to see government control of media and bias in media

  • About 6 in 10 youth believe that there is too much control of the media 
  • Biased reporting occurs when political issues are presented

Less likely to say that they voted for the ruling party/more open about their views

  • Only 1 in 10 refused to answer the question compared to 4 in 10 for other age groups. 

Task 1: In your designated groups, or individually you are to –

Craft 3 paragraphs describing how socio-economic/cultural/political factors, trends, changes or themes in Singapore have created  specific characteristic or characteristics of youth

POINT: Which societal factor/change/theme/ has created this characteristic of youth?

ELABORATION:  HOW has it led to this characteristic? How and why is this SIMILAR or DIFFERENT to youth in other nations? [if applicable]

(EG) Point: The rapid rise in affluence and disposable income in the country has unsurprisingly resulted in youth becoming increasingly…. [characteristic]

This due to/is a result of… When…Also…Further… 

 It may seem surprising, yet… and this trend is also seen among youth in Indonesia where…  OR

TIME: 25 minutes – Drop a comment at the bottom of the post. Save your work somewhere on a word.doc on the desktop lest it gets swallowed by technology!

ROUND 2: Comment on each other’s postings – critique the elaboration or add a new POINT.

Task 2 Homework: In your notes on Singapore Youth (Set B, YOUTH PACKAGE), you need to do a more detailed scan of youth, looking for data, trends or pertinent examples related to:

  1. Youth activism and volunteerism?
  2. Outlook on life? Upbeat? Positive? Social issues -youth related crime?
  3. Political apathy or engagement? Political attitudes? Affinity to political parties?
  4. Attitude towards foreigners, migration? Sense of belonging or rootedness?
  5. Media usage or exposure to technology/new media

and fill in the column to collate the facts.

A good starting point is to google for survey results from Straits Times, Institute of Policy Studies, MCYS and youth.

Task 3 (NEXT LESSON): As a team, you will write a youth manifesto of approximately 500  words describing the hopes, beliefs, desires, propositions that fairly and rightly capture the spirit of the Singapore youth [or youth in your country] given all of the above findings/evidence

We the youth –

  • Are…
  • Declare that…
  • Believe that..
  • Desire for…
  • Propose that…
  • Have experienced…
  • Are aware that…
  • Are mindful of…
  • Insist upon…

You can also use the comments in this post as reference.

Make it meaningful,

/Ms Toh