Monday, June 14, 2010

Trip to Singapore - wrap up

Back home after almost a week in Singapore. Left Singapore’s balmy 30’C plus weather to return to wintry Christchurch. Cycled in to work this frosty morning and checked the temps. at 10am to be 1’C.

Managed to do the obligatory catch up with various aunties, cozzies and my mother-in-law. Good to catch up with news in Singapore on what all the various family members are up to. The Temasek Polytechnic International Conference on Teaching & Learning went well. All the keynotes provided good presentations and workshops. There was a wide range of presentations / papers and I have been catching up with the full papers this morning. Of note are: Gary Poole’s paper to support his presentation on ‘I care & I can’; two papers with a problem based learning focus, one on student experiences by Chan Chun Ming (Temasek Polytechnic) and the other by Lisa Lim and Madeliene Lew (Republic Polytechnic) on first year students perception of one day/one problem PBL strategy; and two on feedback – one by Daphne Pan and Kiruthika Ragupathi from National University of Singapore and the other by Min Yan, David Carless, Diane Salter and Joy Lam on Feedback.

The staff at the local Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) seem to all be very young (perhaps it’s just me feeling old), enthusiastic about teaching and keen to learn. Networked with a few of the Polytechnic & ITE academic / staff development staff and they seem to all be focused on student centred forms of learning including an emphasis on problem based learning, especially at the polytechnic level.

Singapore, as usual, has changed physically since I was last there almost two years ago. New buildings including three tall buildings on the waterfront with what looks like a ship on the top of it. The MRT and most public areas were even more crowded that before. Where do all the people come from?? And how many more will be packed into a very small island? So good to come back to NZ where I did the grocery shopping at the local supermarket on Saturday afternoon. Just the usual small number of people about, enough to know that the supermarket was not closed.