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This issue of CDTL Brief features the teaching practices of some 2006/2007 Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA) winners.

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October 2008, Vol. 11 No. 3 Print Ready ArticlePrint-Ready
A Teaching Re-evaluation
Associate Professor Tim Bunnell
Department of Geography
I never wanted to be a teacher. At school, I was never quite sure what I wanted to be when I‘grew up’. But my mother was (and still is) a teacher and that was one thing I was quite sure that I did not wish to do. Even after completing my PhD, I did not give much thought to teaching. Continue reading


Close Reading as Critical Thinking
Assistant Professor Johan Geertsema
University Scholars Programme
“Why do folks who teach Writing and Critical Thinking modules in the USP fetishise close reading?”, an NUS faculty member recently asked me. Since an insistence on the value of rigorous close reading is a central tenet of my teaching philosophy, I would like to explain what I consider to be its value and briefly indicate how it informs my teaching. Continue reading


Small-group Teaching for First-year Law Students—Thoughts from a Tutorial Taskmaster
Associate Professor Burton Ong
Faculty of Law
Intense. Demanding. Exhausting. These are the adjectives frequently used by students in my first-year tutorial groups of 12–13 students to describe my teaching style and not exactly the sort of comments that one might consider ‘positive feedback’. Continue reading

Towards a Student Driven Pedagogy
Associate Professor Ewing-Chow H K M
Faculty of Law
When I first started teaching, I thought that the Socratic Method was the best form of pedagogy. Having seen the advantages of that model when I was a student, I believed in it. However, over the years, I have come to believe that not all students are like me (thank God for small mercies). Continue reading

Engaging the Phenomenon
Associate Professor Audrey Chia
NUS Business School
When I first joined NUS as a senior tutor, I was fearful of having students who were more senior than me. How was I, barely two years after my graduation, going to be credible enough to teach these business executives about the business world? Continue reading

Thai Language Teaching at NUS
Associate Professor Titima Suthiwan
Centre for Language Studies
I see teaching as a two-step activity. The first one, which takes place at the beginning of the process, is to help students gain a good foundational knowledge in the subject. Continue reading


Learning from Failures
Dr Pang Sze Dai
Department of Civil Engineering
In a meritocratic society, the emphasis on success and achievement often cause us to underestimate the importance of failure in an individual’s learning and development. An individual brought up in a culture that thrives on success can be oblivious to the valuable lessons that can be learnt from failures. Continue reading


Learning Through Teaching
Associate Professor Loh Kai Chee
Assistant Dean, Faculty of Engineering
My goal in teaching is to help my students understand and appreciate bio/chemical engineering by stimulating their interests in the subject matter. In addition, I want to impart to students skills for lifelong learning, especially the art (or science) of independent learning. Continue reading