Mr Chia Thien Huat Jae began his teaching career in Anderson Junior College as a Physics teacher. As a teacher who connected well with students, he strongly believed in constructivism which tapped on the students’ knowledge to build their Physics concepts. The teaching experience greatly influenced his pedagogies and teaching philosophies.
He subsequently applied to be a pioneer teacher to set up a new secondary school – Pei Hwa Secondary School. He was appointed as Head of Science department and together with his colleagues, laid the foundation of a nurturing learning environment where differentiated and authentic learning were the approaches in the teaching of Sciences. In order to understand the challenges faced by the teachers and students, he chose to teach a wide spectrum of subjects offered in secondary school - Lower Secondary Science, NT Science, Combined Science at ‘N’ and ‘O level as well as Pure Physics over the years.
When he was confident that Pei Hwa Secondary School would continue to do well and as a teacher passionate in character education, he joined St Andrew’s Junior College as the Discipline Master where he taught Physics and Project Work. He believed that school discipline should be proactive, preventive and reformative. As such it is strongly intertwined with classroom pedagogy, character education and reformative practices. The interaction with the students especially in CCAs and in the capacity as a Discipline Master had stirred in him a strong desire to learn more about character education and educational philosophy. He then left to pursue his master’s degree in Finland where he sought to understand the Finnish education philosophy and how character education is being carried in a different context.