These are the discussion prompts and notes from the January 2021 book club, when we discussed Michael J. Sandel’s “The Tyranny of Merit”.
BeTheWire (https://www.facebook.com/BeTheWire/) is a ground-up initiative which produces accessible and guided bite-sized videos and posts so as to equip, educate, and empower persons of all abilities to bridge the digital divide. The topics include digital literacy, communication platforms, as well as e-shopping and e-payment. We speak with founder Bryan Neo, who wishes to spread the word to more social workers and friends, focused on equipping individuals with digital lifeskills for the long haul. In addition, he envisions partnerships with agencies to work with community members in the initial phases.
Discursive events on socio-politics in Singapore are often well-intentioned – to increase civic engagement and awareness of issues – yet given their proliferation the quality and value of these events cannot be taken for granted. As someone who has organised and has been involved in these endeavours (and been critical of dialogues and forums and large-scale seminars), highlighting these seven opportunities for disruption stems from the desire to challenge ourselves and the sector to do even better.
How social mixing in schools is defined and measured determines how student diversity is evaluated, and it is therefore worth challenging Education Minister Ong Ye Kung’s claim that “the social mix of students in Integrated Programme (IP) schools is actually better than that in non-IP schools” (ST, Dec. 27). The metric used by the Ministry of Education (MOE) is that “every 100 Secondary 1 students in a school should come from 20 or more primary schools”. A school with 300 secondary one students, as inferred, should have these students hailing from at least 60 different primary schools. Based on this too, MOE should be able to track the total number of primary schools represented in each secondary school’s secondary one cohort.
Ruggeri et al. (2018) are interested in the sharing decisions of Italian and Singaporean children and adolescents, examining – through an adapted dictator game with the use of a comic character, so as to experimentally study how the participants think goods should be shared – the influence of peers versus adults and of fair versus unfair suggestions. And while the unsurprising findings still offer useful insights to educators and practitioners who work with young people, there should also be greater attention on sample selection and the importance of research context.