Plenary with Pak Tee Ng: Shaping the Future of Learning in Singapore: towards Blended Learning
Disruptions brought about by COVID-19 have thrown many education systems into chaos. The pandemic is undoubtedly a great threat to our lives and wellbeing, but it also presents an opportunity for educational change. I will share my reflection regarding an educational change that is currently underway in Singapore, namely blending learning. I will also share my reflection regarding the critical principles we adhere to as we implement change. In particular, shifting some learning online actually makes good teachers more important than before. Referring to my book “Learning from Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes”, a key lesson from the Singapore story is “timely change, timeless constants”. Paradoxically, making timely change courageously require us to keep timeless constants to maintain our identity and mission.
Sara de Freitas
Wey Education Plc, UK
I am an eminent educator with twenty-five years in higher education: building extensive national and international networks, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sector and leading on university-wide programmes of portfolio and curriculum development, organizational transformation, strategic planning and global engagement.
As an entrepreneurial leader, I have been an attractor for significant inward and external investment supporting infrastructure development, education improvements impacting ~95,000 students and promoting academic development for over 3,000 academic and professional staff in Australia and the UK. I have led on ten cross-university initiatives, including: three major curriculum and portfolio development programmes, transnational, blended learning and infrastructural education programmes operating with large capital (< $40,000,000) and revenue budgets (< $5,000,000).
I have held responsibility up to Deputy Vice Chancellor level for portfolio areas including education and student support, and as a Director of Research raising over £5,000,000 in applied research, development and innovation funding through 56 projects and programmes, supporting numerous UK businesses, changing policy and delivering regional growth and research advance. Career highlights include: making gains of 8% in student retention and raising $7,300,000 in revenue from targeted learning interventions.
My frameworks, case studies, models and academic work are captured in seven books and over 200 conference papers and journal articles, garnering 8,000 citations (44H index). My most recent book: Education in Computer Generated Environments came into paperback in 2017 and was published in the Routledge Research in Education series, outlining a ‘new learning’ paradigm.
Currently, I am advising internationally-leading educational institutions and agencies as an Executive Consultant, supporting EdTech start-ups as a Board Advisor and continuing to develop internationally-leading research as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of London (Birkbeck).
Pak Tee Ng
Singaporean Educator, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore , Singapore
Pak Tee NG [National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University] is a Singaporean educator who is deeply involved in the development of school and teacher leaders. At the NIE, he previously served as Associate Dean Leadership Learning and Head of the Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group. His main work is in educational change, policy and leadership.
Pak Tee has spoken at many global events, for example, Google Global Education Symposium, International Baccalaureate Global Conference, and Scottish Learning Festival. He is currently a member of Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisers and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University.
Pak Tee has authored/co-authored numerous publications. International media often seek his views on education change. Having retired from journal editorship, he now serves as honorary mentor to a few younger editors. He is an editorial board member of several other international refereed journals. He is the co-editor of the Routledge Leading Change book series and the author of the book “Learning from Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes”.
Pak Tee encourages educators to walk a path not easily travelled, with love, courage and resilience. Although he is thankful for receiving a few awards during his career, his greater reward is a fraternity of students who are educational leaders themselves and who pay it forward through their educational leadership, contribution and commitment to education.