Special Needs Teacher Proposes Reality TV Programs To Make Education Mainstream

By Arvin Matthew, Parent Herald April 11, 06:00 am
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A transformative special needs teacher in Asia believes the topic of education isn't as popular as food or fashion. If given the opportunity, she would gladly start her own teaching-based reality TV show to make education mainstream.

In an interview with Huffington Post, Malaysian educator Eileen Soon said education badly needs to keep up with the modern times. She thinks teaching methods, especially in Asia, have stayed the same for decades. Worst of all, academic success has not been a substantial barometer for professional success.

Education Needs To Be Updated Too

"It seems that school success does not equate success in life," Soon explained. "On the contrary, we see individuals who did not finish college, (Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg) go on to find their passions, hone their skills and impact the world."

While the importance of education has never been in doubt, Soon questioned whether or not schools are properly preparing their students for the real world. To put the limelight on education, one of the things she is proposing is the creation of a globally-aired reality TV show showcasing teachers and how they deal with different learning challenges.

A Reality Show Tailored For Education

"I envision it to be like 'Master Chef' or 'Project Runway,' but for education," Soon mused. "If it works for food and fashion, why not education right? Teachers would have to get creative with their lessons, tackle learning differences, manage behaviors with the resources available and get judged!"

Education is sure to become mainstream if Soon's proposal ever comes into fruition. According to Digital Spy, reality TV shows like "Master Chef" could garner nearly 5 million viewers during peak episodes. Meanwhile, The Wrap reported that "Project Runway Season 14" drew in 2.5 million viewers in late 2015.

While waiting for her big break, Soon has spent most of her time teaching children with special needs on how to improve their communication skills. She has worked with kids with mild to moderate learning difficulties in Malaysia and is now completing her master's degree in Special Education at San Francisco State University.

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