Literature can prepare students to work better with technology

Many countries, including Singapore, are coming to grips with disruptive technology and preparing themselves to leverage technology to grow their economy.

As a result, there is a growing educational trend to focus on studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To strengthen our economy and nation-building process, we should be mindful not to be unnecessarily influenced by this trend.

We should continue to provide a holistic and balanced education to our students.

In this regard, we have to ensure that our students cultivate the discipline for studying literature, including and especially local poetry (Shaping identity with local poetry; March 16).

The study of literature in the local context can teach students to better appreciate and develop their character, morals and other values that are relevant and important to them.

Studying literature can help students develop multiple intelligences, including meta-cognitive as well as creative and aesthetic, emotional and cultural, and interpersonal and intrapersonal.

These intelligences or a combination of these intelligences can help students lead, manage and work with others, become more creative and innovative, better appreciate beauty and aesthetic values, and learn how to communicate complex and complicated issues in an effective way.

In addition, they will be able to complement advanced technology and collaborate better with it to perform different tasks and achieve better results.

These are learning outcomes from studying literature that may better prepare students to survive the tidal waves of disruptive technology and succeed in the new economy.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

This article was first published on Mar 27, 2017.
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