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Feeling a little bit confused or lost, or having trouble adjusting to Knowledge and Inquiry syllabus? Our skilful and competent Knowledge and Inquiry tutors are here to help guide you through this terra incognita - and bring you towards the academic success that you hope to achieve!
Importance of Knowledge and Inquiry Tuition
H2 Knowledge and Inquiry as a subject is an extremely unique subject offered at the A-Levels which combines the study of many different fields of inquiry such as History, Ethics and Mathematics with a key emphasis on philosophy, specifically on epistemology (which is, primarily, the study of the way we construct knowledge and the the study of the nature of said knowledge). At first glance, one may be tempted to think of H2 Knowledge & Inquiry as simply a tougher, more intimidating version of the more well known H1 General Paper. This, however, is far from the truth.
While both subjects require a strong grasp of the english language, H2 Knowledge & Inquiry goes beyond H1 General Paper to ask thought provoking questions at the core of how we understand knowledge. These questions include but are not limited to questions such as these: “Was mathematics invented or discovered?” and “Is the best kind of knowledge built on evidence, or on faith?” H2 Knowledge & Inquiry is thus for all the inquisitive minds and the mavericks out there who seek an intellectual challenge and who wish to know more about the empirical world around them.
As for the importance of the subject, the analytical ability required to assess arguments and their premises in the long and short passage sections of the syllabus and the critical thinking developed as part of essay writing are both invaluable skills that a H2 Knowledge & Inquiry student can stand to gain from taking the subject.
These skills are broadly applicable, and are useful in industries such as the legal industry, where attorneys likewise have to examine and present their arguments cogently and coherently. While H2 Knowledge & Inquiry is extremely demanding and exacting as a subject, it is also one of the most rewarding subjects offered at the A-Levels.
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General problems faced when studying Knowledge and Inquiry
Difficulty engaging with newer and more abstract concepts
Students new to the H2 Knowledge & Inquiry often find it hard to adjust to the syllabus, given that the subject, and by extension the essays written are vastly different from any discursive or narrative essays which they may have written as part of their O level examinations or as part of their Integrated Programme Language Arts syllabus.
Unlike H1 General Paper or the above mentioned subjects, the knowledge required for H2 Knowledge & Inquiry tends to focus less so on current affairs but a myriad of different theories and arguments (For example, Gestalt Psychology, or Fermat’s Last Theorem in mathematics), which presents a significant challenge to students as they have to continuously synthesize and digest new knowledge in large volumes. Thus, the broad scope and the philosophical nature of the subject creates a steep learning curve for students who wish to perform at the subject, and requires them to go above and beyond to engage with more abstract and obscure concepts.
Unfamiliarity with language and structure required to answer Knowledge and Inquiry Questions
Even if one is familiar with the content reflected in the H2 Knowledge & Inquiry syllabus, without a proper understanding of how to accurately and efficiently formulate answers to essay and long passage questions, students more often than not find themselves at a loss as to how to approach more out-of-the-box questions.
This challenge is very common to many H2 Knowledge & Inquiry students, especially given the introduction of new question types (long and short passage sections) which differ from your standard essay questions. Students can surmount this challenge however, by spending time to analyse question types and taking a metacognitive approach to review their answers to essay questions, and to evaluate their own approach vis-a-vis the effectiveness in answering the questions presented.
Students find it hard to adapt to a more independent learning style which is required for Knowledge & Inquiry
Given the large scope of the syllabus, not everything can be covered in college tutorials, and students are more often than not expected to read supplementary readings on their own to develop a better understanding of specific sections of the syllabus. Students thus find it hard to adjust to this more independent learning style, as many students may expect most of the syllabus to be fully covered in school.
This creates a challenge for students, as the supplementary readings are usually useful in equipping them with the necessary examples and evidence which can be used in their essays, but may also be unnecessarily convoluted or very unclear in expression, which can become an issue as students find it hard to differentiate between what is essential and important and what is not.
This is where having a H2 Knowledge and Inquiry tutor would be a great resource, as tutors who are experienced in the subject can give you direct insight on what is important and what is not, and can bolster student’s understanding of concepts alongside the knowledge they have gained through independent learning
What to look for in a H2 Knowledge and Inquiry Tutor
A H2 Knowledge & Inquiry Tutor should have experience teaching or taking the subject, and be familiar with the range of answering techniques that are applied in H2 Knowledge & Inquiry.
Given the nuances of the subject and its very unique nature, a good H2 Knowledge and Inquiry tutor must first and foremost be familiar with the syllabus and its individual components (long/short passage questions, essay questions and the independent study). This is to ensure that any tuition sessions between the KI tutor and the student yield results and are meaningful, as the KI tutor will be able to directly address any concerns or questions which the student may have.
A H2 Knowledge & Inquiry Tutor should also be able to create resources with relevant and essential illustrations to help students understand concepts. Given the vast scope of the subject and its forays into many other fields of inquiry, a good H2 Knowledge & Inquiry tutor should be familiar with the different fields of inquiry and have access to a myriad of examples and illustrations which can better help students understand the theoretical aspects of each field. Examples of these include revisionist history illustrations (John Lewis Gaddis on the Cold War) and how these are useful in expressing the subjectivity of historical inquiry.
Open to new ideas
A H2 Knowledge & Inquiry Tutor must be adaptable and open to researching new topics and new ideas. This is particularly important as the breadth of H2 Knowledge & Inquiry as a subject encompasses so many different sources and areas of knowledge, and should students feel the need to ask questions on a specific and niche area of knowledge which the KI tutor may not be completely familiar with, a good H2 Knowledge & Inquiry tutor would strive to answer these questions by researching and further developing his understanding of said topics.
Benefits of H2 Knowledge and Inquiry Tuition
Given how challenging Knowledge and Inquiry is as a subject, having a Knowledge and Inquiry tutor to guide you through and teach you the tips and tricks on how to score at examinations is definitely an advantage. Even for students with a strong foundation in the English language and who are capable of expressing themselves eloquently, H2 Knowledge and Inquiry can present a challenge due to the sheer volume and unfamiliarity of new knowledge which students have to engage with and to present their arguments with.
Having KI tuition will allow students to tap on the fount of experience of their KI tutors, and in doing so will allow them to learn faster and to perform well at both college exams and eventually at the A-Level examinations. After all, the goal of any student taking the subject would be to do as well as they can, and an A at the A-Levels is what they would strive towards.
Having knowledge and Inquiry tuition will also allow students to clarify unfamiliar concepts on their own time outside of class (this is especially useful as Knowledge and Inquiry classes in JCs tend to go through individual areas of the syllabus in a sweeping manner and at a really fast pace), so having H2 Knowledge and Inquiry tuition sessions will empower students by providing a source of external help to revise and re-examine any concepts which proved hard to understand or which were only briefly covered in school.
As H2 Knowledge and Inquiry is a subject usually taken by students who have passed the placement examination and who have been deemed to be proficient enough in their critical thinking abilities, school tutors tend to have high expectations of said students and may overlook weaker students who perhaps have difficulty adjusting to such a new and unique subject. Having H2 Knowledge and Inquiry tuition is thus useful to students who may be struggling to keep up with the fast pace of learning in school, as our centre’s tutors can customize KI tuition sessions to better suit the needs of students and to guide them in understanding and grasping the more difficult concepts.
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Our tutors have years of experience under their belt, and given their familiarity with the difficult H2 Knowledge and Inquiry syllabus, are best equipped to help you and guide you through this learning process. Request a tutor today!