New research centre to promote best teaching practices

New research centre to promote best teaching practices

Date
Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Media Type
Today

SINGAPORE - Teachers in the 21st Century have embraced popular new media platforms.

But one researcher at the National Institute of Education (NIE) is going the extra mile - she's suggesting that the platforms be used to the teachers' pedagogical advantage.

Why not create a Facebook page and have students role play as different characters from the Indian diaspora?

They then take turns to post comments on the wall page; this, Associate Professor Seetha Lakshmi said, prompts them to do research on the different Indian cultures and practices that exist in various countries.

She was presenting this idea at the fourth international teaching conference, "Redesigning Pedagogy", on Monday. It was attended by some 1,500 scholars and practitioners from 24 countries.

"In one way, we're good in pedagogy but our youngsters are good in IT skills. So if we combine them both, we'll get a good project. I always tell my trainees, there is no need to do everything in IT. You can ask your students and empower them. So these kids will be hooked on many things in IT, and they'll be happy to learn the Tamil language. "

Assoc Prof Lakshmi has been imparting this idea to Tamil language teachers-in-training at the NIE.

Now, with the NIE setting up a new research centre to implement best teaching practices nationwide, it will be easier to implement such good initiatives across existing schools.

The centre, which will be called the Centre for Scaling, Translation and Commercialisation, will work with various industry partners to set up a national test bed for education and explore new teaching methods.

Professor Lee Wing On is Dean of Education Research at NIE said: "Part of the major innovative approaches we are trying to achieve is how to encourage students to talk in the classroom, rather than listening to the talking of the teachers.

"So how this one example can be spread to other subjects is something that this translation centre is going to do - adapting for other subjects, adapting for more topics, adapting for more levels."

Source: Today, mediacorp