For more than three decades, COSMOTOTS has been one of the Klang Valley’s leading purveyors of supplementary education. We nurture children in certain key aspects of development that are often neglected by the local school system. Our philosophy:
MORE THAN JUST COMMUNICATION. The fundamental service that COSMOTOTS provides is the imparting of above-average English skills to our students.
Our great success over the years is due to the total immersion approach: all children, no matter what their level, are exposed to English from the start to the finish of each and every lesson. As our students improve, we make sure that they become thoroughly literate, as we focus heavily on reading and writing. Eventually, our students don’t merely learn to communicate: they learn to manipulate language, and to analyse texts, and to formulate ideas. This is language learning of a higher order.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING. COSMOTOTS always aims to help children build balanced foundations. Thus, we work on our students’ social and emotional growth concurrently with their intellectual development. The main way in which we pursue this goal is through purposeful fun: our classroom techniques are built around games that stimulate while building discipline, self-esteem and leadership capabilities.
AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH. We make sure that the content of our courses are congruent and balanced. The COSMOTOTS approach is thus inter-disciplinary. Our children are encouraged to see things from as many angles as possible. We believe that sharp divides have no significance in the real world and that subject demarcations too often function as blinkers. Consequently, while our programmes are mostly designed around literature, we never focus exclusively on the literary. Books are just a starting point to explore other ideas and subject matter. At COSMOTOTS, English literary works are but a means to an end. The ultimate goal is to equip each child with the ability to have thoughts about anything and everything.
LONG-TERM SCHOLARSHIP. COSMOTOTS focuses on encouraging each child to develop a long-term love for learning. We do not see examination results as the one and only goal of education. COSMOTOTS children do well in school not because we drill them in their examination subjects, but because we teach them how to apply their own intelligence.
NO ROTE LEARNING. At COSMOTOTS, there is no mechanical rote learning, no compulsive and obsessive drilling, and definitely no abusive hammering. Drilling can only lead to children becoming ‘dependency addicts’ – that is, students who cannot function unless they are led every inch of the academic way. Rote learning is only good for producing unthinking robots.
CURIOSITY AS A MOTIVATOR. COSMOTOTS prefers to approach education through exploration. We aim to nurture each child’s innate curiosity so that they themselves provide the motivation and the energy to learn. At COSMOTOTS, children have to figure things out for themselves. We don’t ever just tell them the answers; instead, we prompt them to ask their own questions and to look for different answers. We expect our children to become self-sufficient learners.
The unique environment at COSMOTOTS has been carefully crafted in order to help students realise their full potentials. We take great pains to ensure that all the elements that make up COSMOTOTS work together to this end.
- It is okay to make mistakes.
- All classes are as interactive as possible. Students are encouraged to talk.
- Our system allows each student to progress at his or her own learning pace. Therefore, no individual student is restricted to the same classmates and the same mentor for a whole year. If a child proves capable enough, we will move him or her up to the next level.
- We do not have a rigid pre-prepared syllabus. As far as possible, we continuously adjust our course contents to answer to the needs of each class and of each student.
- Our programmes are thus constantly updated to become more effective and to reflect our students’ interests.
- We concentrate on the process of learning rather than on mere results.
- The management oversees a system where no mentor works alone.
- We coordinate mentor teams such that each class receives the best in terms of skill, experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
- The management also ensures the continuity and smoothness in transition when a student moves from one level to the next.
Since each mentor works in a team within the COSMOTOTS system, an individual mentor’s role is ultimately less important than that of a teacher’s in a mainstream establishment. However, we still have the highest of expectations for our mentors:
- Mentors must be warm and understanding. There is no space here for harsh schoolmarm types.
- Mentors must be organised. Performances in the classroom must never be unplanned or slipshod.
- Mentors themselves must take pleasure in learning. They must be intellectually alive before they can even hope to stimulate a class.
- Mentors must have a sense of fun.