The Humanities include courses like Sociology, Political Science, Music, Literature, and the like. Typically, a Humanities subject is one that would earn you a Bachelor of Arts degree. However, these things overlap. You could get a Bachelor of Science in a subject like Music. Not to be confused, these are genre lyrics what are known as the Humanities.
There are a lot of myths surrounding Humanities subject in Singapore. As a tutor, you may encounter some of thee myths.
The Top 5 Myths About Studying The Humanities In Singapore
Memorizing Work Wonders
Since Humanities subjects are not as technical as the sciences, you may think it is easy to pass. You think you can just memorize everything and pass. Wrong. At best, you can cram, and still forget everything when you get in the exam hall.
Subjects in the field of Humanities have evolved greatly over the years. They are more in depth, with a lot more involved than, say, fifty years ago. Humanities subjects require more logical and critical thinking. You need to go through a thorough thought process before you answer the questions.
You need to provide established theories and practical examples to back up your answer. So, simply memorizing your notes won’t do. You need to study them, understand them, know what it is you need to know.
Having A Good Command Of English Will Mean You Will Be Perfect In Humanities Subjects
This is not exactly true. Being fluent in English (for English-taught subjects) or Chinese (for Chinese-taught subjects, like China Studies), just makes you a better writer. It does not make you knowledgeable in the Humanities subject you are studying.
Students and parents in Singapore will naturally assume this and feel this is another reason why tuition isn’t necessary for Humanities subjects. Undeniably having good diction and grammar will help a lot. If you can’t combine logic thinking with a strong grasp on the subject matter, your fluency in English or Chinese won’t help much.
As stated previously, you need to study the content of the subject, understand it and various themes in it.
Just Follow The ‘Model’ Essays
Model essays are not good for exams. Saying you are cramming a ‘model’ essay to write an exam will most likely end in failure.
As a tutor, you should encourage your students to study past exam essays in their various Humanities subjects. They can learn a lot from them, such as how to write an interesting essay, and how to write out a good argument. But that is all ‘model’ essays are good for.
Memorizing ‘model’ essays can make students become laid back about the exams. This can go so bad that they won’t even read the exam questions properly. They will instantly link it to something similar in the ‘model’ essay they studied, and give answers that are inaccurate and incorrect.
If you are a tutor in Singapore, you ought to discourse the notion of ‘model’ essays. Instead, use your tuition sessions to teach your students how to write correct answers to questions. Using past essays as examples, show them what answers can get high marks, and get answers can make them fail. They should know that there is no shortcut to success in the Humanities: they need to study and know their subject.
Your students should also get used to the idea that truth isn’t any single ‘right’ answer. One question in Geography can have five different, correct answers. It all depends on your perspective and how you outline your argument, with evidence to back you up. Learn to be flexible in answering essays. Don’t rely on ‘model’ essays.
Humanities Subjects Are A Waste Of Time: They Do Not Have Any Real-Life Applications
This is a rather huge misconception people have about the Humanities. Parents in Singapore would prefer their kids to learn Pure Sciences and technical subjects, rather than Music or Art. Their reason is that the Humanities subjects don’t have any real-life applications.
Humanities subjects are essential, just as much as the Sciences and the technical subjects. There are so many reasons to study subjects like History or Geography, and they are everywhere: in books, on the Internet, and in our daily lives.
Studying the Humanities gives us insight into life as we know it, how it was, and how better it can be. Whether it is true Literature, Economics, History, or Geography, the Humanities is what lets us know more about human life and how to address issues like poverty and racism.
The Humanities allow us to correct mistakes we made in the past, and these subjects help us plan for a better future. There is information on the Internet on how the Humanities helped make Singapore what it is today. Humanities subjects are very valuable.
You Must Be ‘Naturally Inclined’ To Do Well In The Humanities
Practice makes perfect. If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. You don’t have to be naturally inclined to be good in the Humanities. Of course, there are those who would prefer the precision and straightforward nature of the Sciences. There are those who are gifted in the technical subjects.
That doesn’t mean that there are only a select few who can study the Humanities. Just as technical subjects can be rearranged for a less-structured mind to grasp, so is the case with the Humanities.
Education professionals can structure these subjects to suit those who can’t grasp the complexity and volume of the Humanities subjects. It isn’t a matter of natural inclination. It is more of mind over matter. You can learn them if you choose to.
And there you have it, 5 myths about studying the Humanities in Singapore. From poor study practices to wrong mindsets, these can affect you and how you think about the Humanities. Keep an open, flexible mind. Be willing to learn and put in a good amount of study time. And if you are confused, get a tutor to schedule in some tuition sessions. The Humanities are a lot easier than you think when you have the right guidance.
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