“Teaching is always done at the dangerous intersection of personal and public life”, said Dr Tan Chee Soon during the second MS symposium on 15 Dec 2014, quoting from Parker J. Palmer’s essay ‘The Heart of a Teacher’.
Dr Tan, from the National Institute of Education, was speaking to over 60 staff from MS and other schools in SP gathered at LT4 on the first day of the December term break.
In her keynote presentation entitled “The heart of education – the education of heart”, Dr Tan suggested to staff that being a good teacher ultimately comes from who we are and our own values and beliefs.
Participants were then treated to an engaging demonstration on how Google docs, Twitter and other social media tools can be useful for teaching. This was delivered in the second keynote presentation by Ms Kwa Lay Ping, Academic Mentor from the School of Communication, Arts and Social Science (CASS).
These talks were well-received by participants. Ms Sharon Quek, Academic Mentor, MS, said, “I think the keynote speakers were well-selected and appeals to both hard and soft sides of teaching”.
With the theme of the symposium being “Mastering Teaching, Inspiring Learning”, it was also a chance for six MS staff to showcase their work in improving teaching and learning.
In twenty-minute presentations by each of these staff, participants saw how tools like the iPad, the Arduino and MATLAB could be used to make lessons more engaging.
Participants also learnt how pedagogy such as cooperative group-work, designing real-life assignments and software for differentiated learning could be used to help students learn mathematics and statistics in more meaningful ways.
The symposium is a biennial event for the training and development of MS lecturers, organized by the MS Teaching and Learning Unit. “This symposium is a formal platform for staff to share and exchange new ideas and practices in teaching and learning”, said Dr Edna Chan, Deputy Director, MS, in her opening address.
The organizers, Dr B Ramachandran and Dr Norman Lee, acknowledge the assistance of Ms Sharon Quek, Ms Lee Hwee Theng, Mr Pang Miaoshen, Ms Nicki Tay, Ms Dalphine Chua and Ms Alice Tan.
The six MS presenters were Mr Yanto Jakop, Ms Lim Pei Chin, Ms Luan Qianqian, Dr Tang U-Liang, Dr Robert Straughan and Mr Lai Say Beng.