Research findings informing Teaching
Beyond quality teaching in the classroom, my contributions to curriculum development, innovative instructional methods and research that supports teaching are equally important. At the same time my publications on geography education and misconceptions in climate change learning have been used as teaching resources in geography education courses in Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, Monash University in Australia, University of Zaragoza in Spain, and Texas State University in the United States of America, impacting more than 500 students across these institutions. In particular, my work on correcting students’ misconceptions in climate change learning have been used in Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin University and Monash University undergraduate and postgraduate classes.
As a faculty member, I have taught in courses across many programmes, including Diploma, Advance Diploma, Degree, Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Master in Education and Master of Arts (Social Studies). I also teach many teacher In-Service courses. Across these courses, I teach a range of academic content and curriculum studies courses (see here for list of courses taught).
As a coordinator for the geography subject knowledge aspect of the Diploma programme in Primary Social Studies and the programme coordinator of the Post Graduate Diploma in Education programme in Geography Education and a course coordinator for numerous courses across these programmes, I was involved with the curriculum design, instruction and assessment of these courses. In several cases, I had to coordinate classes exceeding 200 students in numbers. In addition, I have conducted courses for the Ministry of Defence through Knowledge Horizon (now known as NIE Interantional).
I have also been invited to give guest lectures in China and South Korea (e.g. Seoul National University) on topics about geography and climate change education. The recognition of my expertise in the field of geography curriculum and teaching has also led to my appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the East China Normal University since 2018.
I have also developed teaching and learning materials that are hosted on an international platform. My course on iTunes U has over 700 subscribers (as of December 2020) and I developed a module for the Global Climate Change course in the American Association of Geographer’s Centre for Global Geography Education. 730 students from Australia, Singapore, and the United States participated in the GCC module between Fall 2010 and Fall 2011.
Innovation and ICT
The wide range of courses taught is an indication of my expertise and it has enabled me to include the effective use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), thereby allowing me to engage teaching and learning in all these courses. Examples of positive responses from students on the use of ICT in my courses are documented on my online Teaching Blog.
In addition to being nominated for the NIE Teaching Excellence Award and receiving the Excellence in Teaching Commendation in 2002, students’ feedback through the Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) exercises have always been satisfactory and constructive for my professional practice. I discovered that the students’ appreciated that I am an enthusiastic teacher who has a strong passion for the subject. In order to ground my teaching in both theory and practice, I often design and carry out my teaching based on my research in the use of ICT in learning as well as my research in climate issues. An example of this is the eClimatology e-learning module that was developed in 2005-2006.
In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I maintain an active online learning community for my students through several platforms. On my website, a teaching blog is maintained for students to be kept up to date of the new strategies that I adopt in class. I also host two social network platforms (Geography Educators Singapore and Climate and Climate Change) for student teachers as well as practicing geography teachers to share their resources and teaching experiences at https://geoged.ning.com/ and at https://aag233.ning.com/. My students, past and present are able to subscribe to RSS feeds, to be kept up to date on the developments in climate change and teaching geography through the use of ICT.
In addition, I have undertaken a one school term attachment of 10 week duration to a Secondary School in Singapore in 2007 and another school atatchment of 6 weeks in another Seocndary School in 2015, for the purposes of experiential learning. The two teaching stints, together with my previous experiences as a teacher, helped me provide my students with authentic examples from the classroom and my interaction with teachers in school. It is this approach of grounding my teaching that provides opportunities for my students to link theory to practice. Indeed, the belief that research excellence leading to teaching excellence is congruent with the NIE 3-3-3 roadmap in its goal to be a world-class institution of teacher education programmes that meet the needs of our stakeholders, as well as to help out student teachers attain the Grandaund Teacher Competencies outlined in the NIE TE21 vision.