OER Signature Symposium at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2017

OER Signature Symposium at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2017

Monday, 12 June 2017

As part of the National Institute of Education’s biennial Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference, the Office of Education Research (OER) organised an OER Signature Symposium.

The symposium “Educational Paradoxes of the Little Red Dot: Hugging the Middle for Educational Improvement” was conducted on day 2 of the conference on 1 June 2017 and saw over 150 participants including some from the Ministry of Education (Singapore) and the HEAD Foundation.

The 1-hour symposium sought to summarise the research NIE has conducted with schools since 2008. Key findings from the research and how they can inform policy and practice were also shared.


More than 150 participants filled up the lecture theatre during the OER Signature Symposium

Conference participant Mr Luis Tirtasanjaya Lioe from Nanyang Girls’ High School shared, “The summary gave a helpful lens for teachers to understand where we are, what we are facing, and where we are heading. It is good that through this lens, the team also put our current educational reform in the context of global reform in East Asian countries, which affirms that we are not alone and moving towards the right direction, and yet at the same time highlights the unique approach ’hugging the middle’ which takes Singapore’s unique education system into consideration.”

Presentations on topics pertaining to curriculum and assessment, low progress learners, creativity and 21st century competencies, leadership, and teacher learning and professional development were delivered.

The speakers and their presentation titles are as follow:

  • Dr Dennis Kwek (Assistant Dean of Research Communications, OER): The Paradox of Pedagogies
  • Dr Elizabeth Koh (Assistant Dean of Research Translation, OER): The Paradox of Curriculum Goals
  • A/P Kenneth Poon (Associate Dean of Research Quality, OER): The Paradox of “What is Good”
  • Dr Tan Liang See (Assistant Dean of School Partnerships, OER): The Paradox of Teacher Agency
  • Dr Toh Yancy (Research Scientist, OER): The Paradox of Status Quo/System

“For teachers, the symposium provides insights into how teaching and learning can be improved in the context of a range of paradoxes that are unique to Singapore,” presenter Dr Dennis Kwek shared. “As these paradoxes are encountered by teachers – often on a daily basis – the research suggest how to address them from multiple levels.”


Dr Dennis Kwek delivering his presentation

A/P Kenneth Poon presenting

Associate Dean of OER Professor David Hung ended the symposium by emphasising the importance of having teachers undergo deep learning in schools by engaging in pedagogical research for educational change. “Knowledge these days are fluid and we need to create the socio-technological infrastructure for change to occur in and across the schools,” he said.


Prof David Hung concluding the symposium

Conference participant Dr Uma Natarajan from the HEAD Foundation shared, “I am very impressed with Prof Hung’s presentation. He synthesised the heart of the research work done at OER which I felt was very fruitful.”