Where Innovation Meets Reality

The rapid growth of globalisation and technology has brought about new challenges to learning approaches in education. The pervasiveness of technology has made it imperative that learning environments are continuously innovated to meet the changing demands of a globalised landscape.

In 13 October 2016, The Learning Sciences and Technologies (LST) embarked on a revamp of the Games Lab, and i-Space at LST was born in March 2017. This important innovation was a response to challenges of staying relevant and keeping pace with the changing learning needs of 21st century learners.

The i-Space at LST is a next-generation learning environment which incorporates cutting-edge technology and information and communications technology (ICT) to make the learning environment more engaging. These newly-implemented features also aim to foster collaborative learning among participants. The learning environment provides high tech tools to shape the learning process, and presents the invaluable opportunity to connect with the rest of the world. This opens up limitless possibilities to create new frontiers in knowledge sharing and learning.

Since the Graduate Research and Academic Development (GRAD) Centre opened its doors in January 2017, hundreds of NIE higher degree (HD) students have benefited from its interesting academic activities. Proving that learning can be enjoyable, participants are put at ease with the light-hearted workshops and seminar sessions conducted by experienced consultants who are former academics with decades’ worth of teaching experience. An example is Dr Anneliese Kramer-Dahl, who often injects anecdotes to liven the atmosphere. She highlighted that “the key is to connect with students and to let them know that we are here to help”.

Mr Chen Yixiong, a first-year PhD student, shared that the one-on-one student consultation session provided him new insights, especially with regard to the way he phrased his arguments in his academic writing. He added, “I would recommend new HD students to take up the opportunity to clear any doubts about the way you write early in your programme”.

Supporting HD Students’ different learning journeys that have varied interests and needs can be quite challenging. However, Centre Manager Faisal Aman believes that the positive feedback that GRAD Centre has received thus far shows they are on the right track. He revealed that “participants provide excellent recommendations on how to improve and most of the sessions are over-subscribed”. He shared that, “what is greatly appreciated is the strong support from NIE faculty members who have taken time off their busy schedules. You can see their detailed preparatory work and passion to share what they know. That is inspirational”.

GRAD Centre Activities: In-step with you

An hour-long session where an academic writing consultant provides feedback on your individual written work.

Workshops facilitates by consultants and NIE lecturers. Topics include preparing graduate students for oral and conference presentations, academic writing, and training on statistical analysis.

A list of online books, videos, podcasts and handouts that are specifically selected by the GRAD Centre to cater to higher degree students’ academic needs.

To maintain NIE's current standing as a global thought-leader in teacher education and education-related disciplines, research capacity needs to be enhanced and further developed. A new Centre for Research in Child Development was launched in April 2017, with funding from the Ministry of Education, Singapore.

Hosted at the NIE, the centre will conduct studies focusing on factors that influence the course of development from early to middle childhood.

Research will focus on the development of children's competencies in four areas:

  • Executive and self-regulatory abilities;
  • Social-emotional skills;
  • Linguistic skills; and
  • Mathematical skills

A further area of focus is the development of new methodological and analytical tools that provide more accurate and efficient measures.

A cornerstone of the centre is a large-scale longitudinal study that tracks children’s development from infancy.

Other projects will focus on understanding the foundation of development, but with an eye towards intervention and practices that will help children develop optimally.

More details can be found here.

As part of the requirement for a new course (QSE 50D Children's Literature), student teachers (STs) in the PGDE (P), January 2017 intake, specialised in a genre, and taught their course mates about their respective genres during a class presentation. This took place in the months of February and March this year.

To spread the love of reading and of books, as well as to educate the wider NIE community on the choice of genres, they followed up with a library display, which carries no marks. This was in a bid to reduce the nationwide focus on grades.

The student teachers’ passion, zeal and creativity impressed members of the staff. With their enthusiasm, the wider community can hope that English Language learning for pupils will become something that is more fun and meaningful than before.

July - September 2017    |    Issue 100 VIEW OLDER ISSUES


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