Chia Hui Teng - President's Award For Teachers Recipient 2020

Chia Hui Teng

Dr Chia Hui Teng is the third SP lecturer to receive the prestigious President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) – making SP the institution with the highest number of award recipients since 2017, when educators from polytechnics and ITEs were included in the PAT.  

The PAT recognises outstanding educators for their role in moulding the future of our nation. This year, we are proud that Hui Teng, an Academic Mentor with the School of Mathematics and Science (MS), was nominated and selected to receive this prestigious award from President Halimah Yacob today.

When asked about how she feels receiving this award, Hui Teng said, “I am most humbled firstly by SP’s nomination, and now, this award.  Although this is an individual award, I would not have been able to achieve it without the support and contribution of my colleagues in SP.  This award is a recognition of the SP team spirit where we work together for the good of our students.”

Hui Teng tapped on her passion and expertise in statistics to transform the way it is taught in SP. In 2013, she spearheaded a school-wide Statistical Literacy Project to get more students accustomed to data and analytics, and to embrace it in order to prepare them for the fast-growing digital economy.

“In polytechnic education, our aim is to prepare students well for the industry.  In the digital workforce that we find ourselves in today, students must have the capability to navigate confidently in data-centric work places.  Beyond sound technical skills, students must also be grounded in good values to uphold the integrity of data findings.  This is why I feel that it is important for our students to be data literate – to have the skills and values to be critical data consumers,” she shares.

Together with her colleagues at MS, Hui Teng trained various groups of students from different diplomas and found that they learnt better when they were able to formulate their own research questions and use statistical software to analyse the real-life data sets.

Sean Goh, a year-three student from SP’s Diploma in Maritime Business shares, “I am weak in maths, so I was afraid of data analytics. When I first looked at charts created by professionals, I was both amazed and afraid. But in every class, Hui Teng introduced new features and lets us explore and practice. With every small success along the way, I gained confidence.”

Proven by good results from students, the statistics programme is now being implemented progressively across SP, and has now reached about two-thirds of the student population. Hui Teng is pleased that her students are also applying their newfound skills to other (non-Math) modules as well.

Outside of developing and championing innovative pedagogy, Hui Teng also devotes time to imparting life skills, particularly teamwork or as she calls it, ‘teamness’. One of the things she does in class is to have students discuss and work in groups to solve quizzes. When answers are wrong, the whole team receives no marks. However when the quizzes are solved accurately, the whole team receives equal marks.

“I capitalise on the power of peer influence through team-based learning. It is to get them to talk to each other, poke holes in each other’s hypothesis before you arrive at the answer. If you don’t work well in teams, you are not going to succeed even if you have a lot of knowledge,” she shares.

Exciting times are ahead for Hui Teng as the demand for data-based application continues to grow. Together with her colleagues in MS, she supports SP’s institutional-wide initiative in upskilling staff in using data for their work.

Finally, SP is privileged to have talented, caring and nurturing educators. We are proud of Hui Teng for keeping the TEAM SP flag flying.  Congratulations Hui Teng on receiving this award. We thank you for your devotion and commitment to SP and the students! 

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