Editor’s Note /

This Issue on the theme of “Learning Unlimited” extends our conversations about education during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we reflect upon the changes and challenges brought on by the new normal.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of dialogues and debates about the impact of climate change across the globe. Come September 2020, Italy would be the first country to make it compulsory for all school students to study about climate change and sustainability. In this Issue, we learn from Associate Professor Chang Chew Hung how the teaching of climate change in Geography lessons could take on a different twist against a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

Students with special education needs are another group of learners whom educators and the general public have been particularly concerned about during the pandemic. How are they coping with home-based online learning without the benefit of physical access to their teachers? What can teachers do to better support these students with their needs? In Assistant Professor Xie Huichao’s article “Class at Home for Learners with Special Needs”, she offers practical advice on the topic to teachers and parents.

As the National Institute of Education begins the new semester, most programmes have taken a blended approach to teaching and learning. Personally, I was curious to know which mode of learning – whether synchronous or asynchronous – would be more effective for students. In my article “Refining the Pedagogy for E-learning”, I share some key findings from the research literature.

Clearly, this global situation has evoked new ideas and practices that educators and researchers would not otherwise have thought about. Professor Looi Chee Kit’s article “Crisis and Opportunity” sums this up nicely, and reminds us to look beyond the pandemic to envision a new future for education. According to the Chinese word “危机” (pinyin: wēijī), there are always opportunities waiting to be discovered in every adverse situation.

What new opportunities have you created for yourself and others during this pandemic?

Associate Professor, Teo Tang Wee