The Ingelious Method

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THE INGELIOUS METHOD

To Ingel, studentsโ€™ results are everything.

For the past 15 years, Ingel’s method has been consistently helping students achieve their desired results.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur known for his ventures like SpaceX and Tesla, advocates a counterintuitive approach to problem-solving: he warns against the tendency to over-optimize. Musk’s philosophy is rooted in the idea that engineers, in their zeal to make processes more efficient, often overlook the fundamental question of whether a particular step in the process needs to exist in the first place. Rather than immediately focusing on optimization, he suggests that the initial focus should be on reducing or eliminating unnecessary steps. Only after this should one move on to iterating, optimizing, and eventually automating the remaining, truly essential steps.

This approach has parallels in the educational system, particularly in how science and mathematics subjects are taught. Students often find themselves in a cycle of rote memorization, learning formula after formula without understanding their underlying principles. This method of education can be alluring because it offers a straightforward path to solving complex problems. However, it overlooks the power of simplification and the value of understanding a concept from its foundational elements.

Teachers, perhaps due to curricular constraints or the pressure to achieve test results, often perpetuate this cycle. They may find it easier to teach formulas for problem-solving rather than guiding students through the often more challenging journey of deriving these formulas from first principles. This approach fosters a mindset that if a student fails to solve a problem, it’s their fault for not having memorized the formula. Such a mindset not only discourages critical thinking but also fails to arm students with the analytical tools they’ll need for unique, unscripted problems in the real world.

However, it’s important to note that not all formulas can be simplified or derived quickly in a practical setting. There are indeed certain principles and formulas that are so fundamental to a subject that they warrant memorization. In these cases, rote learning serves a practical purpose.

1. INTEGRATING THE SYLLABUS

IGCSE Science (United World College UWC)
Elisha, United World College

The Ingelious Method aims to provide students with a holistic overview of the content (โ€œthe big pictureโ€), while drawing their attentions to important tiny details other students are commonly penalised for.

The First-Principles for the conceptual knowledge are derived in front of students to show them how “everything comes together”.

Learning objectives and frequently tested concepts are heavily emphasised and drilled into students to maximise their examination performances.

2. ADOPTION AND ADAPTATION

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Kisha, Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Concepts are made clear and memorable with the use of clever and impressionable analogies.

Extensive examples such as these, which are highly relevant and interesting to the students are crafted, for maximum effectiveness.

Answering techniques will also be imparted to students so that they know what examiners are looking for and how to apply keywords.

Once students are able to adopt the basic underlying principles for every concept, they will be able to adapt their question solving strategies to a variety of questions with ease.

3. EFFECTIVE EFFORTS, MAXIMUM RESULTS

Darren Raffles Junior College There is a vast difference between putting in studying hours and “effective studying hours”.

Similarly, not all content should be paid with the same amount of attention.

The Ingelious Method adopts a Pareto basis on help students channel their studying efforts to where they can be effectively employed.

This is especially the case where students have to cope with multiple co-curricular activities.

Students using The Ingelious Method should feel they could achieve more with less.

See examples using The Ingelious Method.