A Brief Look at Attitudes-Based Learning (ABL)

The greatest discovery of my generation (about 1900) is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

William James

'Sow a thought, reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.'

Attitudes-Based Learning (or ABL, for short) is a program initiated in the year 2000 to inculcate positive attitudes and characters in children and teens in Singapore.

During that period of time, there were many incidents around the world that deserved our utmost attention. The rise of terrorism around the world was televised around the world and the increasing number of children and teens suffering due to drugs, physical and sexual abuse was alarming. The increase in school-related violence and incidents were reported widely, from America to Japan. Not to mention, several incidents involving teens going on a school killing spree in America.

One of the most bizarre incidents involved a seven-year-old boy who pulled out a gun and shot dead a girl in class (in front of his Grade 1 teacher and classmates near Flint, Michigan). Associated Press, Mar 1, 2000

With so much violence and terror in our world involving children (directly or indirectly), there was a pressing need to encourage more character building education in our societies, to bring forth positive attitudes and moral values for our young.

Hence, the development of the program, Attitudes-Based Learning (ABL) was given birth in Singapore to play a positive role in remedying the ills of our society.

In its infancy, ABL was perceived as a credible cornerstone to foster a conscious character building education in Singapore schools. But unfortunately, there was not much done to push the idea forward due to lack of interest and financial backing in year 2000. Though for a brief period, ABL made its print debut in the first Asia