7 June 2019
Higher Education in a Disruptive Landscape, the State and Future of STEM Education
Over 100 university educators from ASEAN and local institutions attended a symposium on 24 and 25 May, which marked the official launch of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) for University Educators in ASEAN Programme.
This was the first time the Faculty, together with Temasek Foundation International, brought together academia from institutes of higher education in ASEAN to a dialogue on the changing face of STEM education.
Through plenary talks, panel discussions and interactive sessions, leaders in education and industry shared on the role of STEM education in the future economy, the challenges and opportunities afforded by disruptive technologies, and strategies adopted by various institutions to raise interest in STEM.
Prof HO Teck Hua, NUS’ Senior Deputy President and Provost, opened the symposium by painting the landscape for Singapore’s economy and workforce, and expressing his concern that universities be able to deliver relevant education in a time of rapid technological change.
At the plenary, speakers issued the call to students and educators on the pressing need for continual learning. Attendee Dr YAM Wai Keat, Senior Lecturer and Head (Education Unit), School of Data Sciences at Perdana University, said, ‘"Learn, Unlearn and Relearn" - this point rekindled why we are in this job - to guide students towards the right attitude for lifelong learning.”
Participants also attended workshops led by lauded NUS educators, where they learnt different teaching techniques and the use of technology to encourage higher order thinking skills and deeper learning.
On Prof SOW Chorng Haur’s Minds-On Science Demonstration, Prof Chittanon BURUNACHAI from Chulalongkorn University, said, “His three-step learning process of Predict-Observe-Explain through simple yet creative demonstrations really got my attention. It is so simple yet I never thought about it this way.”
Prof Louie John VALLEJO from the University of Philippines Diliman found his assumptions challenged when he attended the workshop by Prof Victor TAN. “I was impressed with Prof Tan's extensive use of technology in teaching mathematics. I may have to review my perception that the discipline of logic can only be effectively transferred through face-to-face instruction, and try blended learning in the future.”