OER Hosts Professors Nancy Law and Thérèse Laferrière

OER Hosts Professors Nancy Law and Thérèse Laferrière

Thursday, 05 January 2017

The Office of Education Research (OER) hosted Prof Nancy Law from Hong Kong University and Prof Thérèse Laferrière from Laval University from 21 – 22 November 2016.

Both professors’ expertise lies in Knowledge Building (KB) – A pedagogical approach grounded in self-directed learning and involves students in the knowledge creation process. It has gained popularity among local educators in tandem with an increasing emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking skills in Singapore’s education landscape. 

As part of their visit, a symposium on KB themed Ideas First, A Reason to Teach was organized by OER. It attracted a large turnout of teachers who are also KB practitioners and celebrated the growth and achievements of the local KB community.

Prof Law  Prof Lafe (1) 

Prof Law (left) and Prof Laferrière (right) delivering their respective keynotes.

 Dr Teo

Attendees listening to Prof Law’s keynote (left); Dr Teo giving the opening address (right)

Dr Teo Chew Lee, a Ministry of Education lead specialist and pioneer KB practitioner, opened the symposium by giving an overview of the KB journey in Singapore since 2009 and highlighted the milestones the KB community has since achieved. Prof Law and Prof Laferrière graced the occasion as keynote speakers, presenting case studies of schools in Hong Kong and Canada that have operationalised KB and the measures taken to promote the diffusion of KB across schools and educators in both countries respectively. 

students from Teck Whye  teachers

Students from Teck Whye Secondary School presenting (left); Prof Laferrière interacting with teachers (right)

Prof Law  Prof Law1 

Prof Law giving the closing address (left); Prof Laferrière giving the closing address (right)

After delivering the keynotes, Prof Law and Prof Laferrière participated in a roundtable discussion with local KB teachers, who shared their experiences and practices of incorporating KB into lessons. During this session, a group of students from Teck Whye Secondary School presented on the utilisation of KB by their History teacher when conducting lessons and how that has enriched their understanding of the subject matter. The discussion concluded with closing remarks by the professors on KB practice in Singapore. 


Teachers participating in a hands-on session with KF6.

The day’s programme continued with a hands-on session with Knowledge Forum 6 (KF6), an online platform that facilitates the operationalization of KB in the classroom. During this session, both professors and local KB teachers engaged in an exercise on knowledge building. A workshop entitled ‘KB in Action’ led by a group of experienced KB teachers concluded the day. The workshop centered on strategies and approaches that ensure the progress and sustainability of KB practices. 

Hung  Meeting group photo 

From left: Prof Law and Prof Laferrière with Prof David Hung (centre); Group photo

OER would like to thank Qualcomm Incorporated for loaning tablets for the KF6 hands-on session. The tablets were loaned from the Qualcomm Wireless Reach Project in Singapore.

Watch videos of the Symposium by Prof Law and Prof Laferrière here: