29.05.2018

Jae Chia, Singapore

Jae

Jae Chia, Singapore

Graduated 2016

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  ― Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky

The above quote pretty much sums up why I left Singapore 2 years ago to pursue the Master of Arts in Education in Jyväskylä, Finland. I have left with the intention to return refreshed and enlightened. Education in University of Jyväskylä gives students a lot of free space to learn what they want yet at the same time provides a supportive environment where the students have access to generous advice and help. Apart from learning through the university courses, I also found much time to read books, journals and academic papers of my passion. It was a time of refreshment after working as an educator in Singapore for 14 years. My personal education philosophy was challenged and the discourse with friends from all over the world facilitated my pursuit to improve Singapore education in my personal capacity. My eyes now see what previously I was blinded to and my appreciation for Singapore grew. Singapore is a miraculous tiny nation. We had achieved in decades what others took centuries to do. Despite that, there are many imperfections and areas that the society has to advance. My time in Finland had given me the opportunities to learn, reflect and come to an understanding of how I can contribute to Singapore.

Today, I work as a teaching fellow in National Institute of Education – the only teachers’ college in Singapore. My job is to help student teachers develop their pedagogies in science education and sometimes conduct in service course for teachers in schools. I hope to instill in them a mindset which I have to learn from the Finnish teachers – to see the classroom as a research laboratory that constantly seeks and experiments to improve the students’ learning. Above all, I believe that my key role is inspire and empower them to teach students and not merely to teach science. I hope that their teacher education will enable them to see schools with new eyes and extra colours.

Jae Chia