Economics Tuition Methodology

Economics is the study of how society allocates limited resources to the production of goods and services to satisfy unlimited human wants. It is a social science which deals with human behavior. Therefore, there is no standard teaching methodology which every economics tutor adopts. The following is a brief description of my teaching methodology.

Understanding Economics

As an economics tutor, Mr. Edmund Quek does not engage in the teaching of economics per se. Rather, he helps students understand economics. Although helping students understand a subject requires teaching the subject, the focus of his teaching is not on teaching itself, but on understanding. The difference between teaching a subject and helping students understand the subject may seem subtle to some people. However, the subtle difference can make a huge difference in learning. The key to helping students understand economics is by breaking down complex economic concepts into simple common-sense stuff. This, however, is easier said than done as it requires the economics tutor to have the necessary experience and knowledge. As an economics tutor who has taught economics for over two decades, Mr. Edmund Quek has both the experience and knowledge to do this in a way which is both more effective and more efficient than many other economics tutors and teachers. Many students are unable to apply the economic concepts that they think they understand, which is a problem that many parents describe to us when they call to make enquiry about our Principal Economics Tutor and economics tuition classes. The true reason why many students are unable to apply economic concepts is that they have not achieved a sufficient level of understanding of the concepts. Understanding is not a question of absence or presence. Rather, it is a question of level. A superficial understanding of economic concepts, such as the ways in which they are explained in lecture notes, is insufficient to enable students to apply the concepts. Through breaking down seemingly complex economic issues and events and economics examination questions into their component parts in his economics tuition classes, Mr. Edmund Quek enhances the students’ understanding of economic concepts which will enable them to apply the concepts in the examination.

Learning Journey

Mr. Edmund Quek focuses on the learning journey instead of the learning outcome. This is not to say that he does not care about the examination grade. Indeed, he cares about the examination grade to a large extent. Rather, he believes that by placing a greater focus on the learning journey, students are more likely to achieve a better examination grade. In this way, a better learning outcome can be achieved in a more enjoyable way. Mr. Edmund Quek believes that as life is short and precious, we should try to derive joy in everything we do, especially when it is more likely to lead to a better outcome.

Student Focus

Teaching is the passing on of information which involves a sender (i.e. a teacher) and a receiver (i.e. a student). However, unlike many economics tutors who focus more on the sender, Mr. Edmund Quek places a greater focus on the receiver. This is so that he does not ‘lose’ the students before he knows it. He believes that if you go hiking with a group of young kids, it is important to keep an eye on them to ensure they are following you, or rather, you are following them. Mr. Edmund Quek’s good understanding of economics enables him to be student-centred.

Meaningful Learning

Rote learning is a memorisation technique based on repetition. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it. Mr. Edmund Quek discourages rote learning for economics. Economics is a social science which deals with human behavior and therefore it is far too complex for rote learning to stand the slightest chance of mastering the subject. As opposed to rote learning, Mr. Edmund Quek advocates meaningful learning. Meaningful learning refers to a way of learning where the new knowledge to acquire is related to existing knowledge. Within the cognitive theory of learning, based on the theory of human information processing, there are three core processes of learning which include how knowledge is developed, how new knowledge is integrated into an existing cognitive system, and how knowledge becomes automatic. Meaning learning will take a student much further than rote learning.

News Articles

In order to excel in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination, it is important for students to know the current economic issues and events. Mr. Edmund Quek provides students with the latest economic news articles to help them keep abreast of times. These economic news articles will not only serve to stimulate the students’ interest in economics, they will also provide useful information that the students can use in the examination. This will enable them to better apply the economic concepts that they learn in essay writing and case study analysis.

Concise Writing

Mr. Edmund Quek imparts to students the skill of concise writing. Given the examination time constraint in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination, the ability to write concisely is of great importance as failure to do so may cost you the distinction, even if you have a good mastery of the subject. Unfortunately, this skill is not much emphasised in many schools which explains why many of the students who sit for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level Economics examination each year fail to finish their papers.

Concept Focus

Unlike many economics tutors who teach every single concept in the syllabus, Mr. Edmund Quek places a greater focus on the harder and more important concepts. The omission of the easier and less important concepts provides him with the time for more essay discussion and case study practice. This will not only enhance the students’ understanding of economic concepts, it will also prevent duplication of his lessons and those conducted in the school to a large extent. Nevertheless, he provides consultation to students on the easier and less important concepts on a need basis.

Question Practice

Mr. Edmund Quek possesses a large question bank and he goes through the questions with the students by dissecting the questions which requires breaking them up into their component parts (i.e. analysis) and then putting them back together (i.e. synthesis). This process enhances the students’ understanding of how the questions are answered in the ways they are answered. As a result, the students are able to understand and remember the answers better. The case study paper requires a great deal of practice to excel in. Mr. Edmund Quek provides the students in his economics tuition classes a lot of case study questions to practise. he works through the questions with the students with reference to the answer schemes given by the examiners. More importantly, he value-adds by improving on the answers, some of them substantially, particularly the evaluations in which some economics teachers seem to have difficulty in providing. He imparts to the students in his economics tuition classes the skills of answering case study questions such as drawing reference to the extracts and data and the appropriate use of supplementary knowledge. The students are also taught the skills of interpreting and describing economic data. In addition, he highlights to the students in his economics tuition classes the common economic misconceptions made by economics students such as confusion about the difference between ‘change’ and ‘rate of change’. The avoidance of these common economic misconceptions can improve the grade in the examination substantially.

The above is only an outline of Mr. Edmund Quek’s teaching methodology which is a little more sophisticated than what can be described on a web page. Students who are interested in finding out more can contact us for more details.

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Economics Tuition Singapore @ Economics Cafe
Principal Economics Tutor: Mr. Edmund Quek