Mr Huang Aihua is the Head of Department of Continuing Education at the Shenzhen Academy of Educational Sciences in China. He has been involved in the teaching and research of primary mathematics for 27 years.
During his attachment, he conducted Master Classes for our primary mathematics teachers, who learnt that effective communication is key to enhancing students’ learning outcomes. Participants also got to appreciate the need for relationship building as a prerequisite for effective teaching and learning, and the importance of taking the perspective of the students in the planning and conducting of lessons.
The OEIR programme included a visit to Elias Park Primary School, where Mr Huang observed a classroom lesson. He also toured the school and was engaged in a dialogue session on the teaching and learning of Mathematics with the principal and mathematics teachers. When asked how they as teachers could support students who had difficulty grasping mathematical concepts, Mr Huang shared that it was crucial for students to have a strong foundation in basic mathematical concepts, which could be reinforced at the start of each lesson.
In addition, Mr Huang Aihua had a dialogue session with officers from the Mathematics unit in CPDD and another session with teaching fellows/lecturers from Mathematics and Mathematics Education (MME), NIE. During the two sessions, he shared the use of a problem-solving approach that would promote critical and creative thinking in students, and the expression of ideas by students. To heighten students’ motivation in learning, the problem situation must be linked to the students’ everyday life. Through the problem situation, students would discuss in groups to identify the possible solutions or answers. From the students’ responses, the teacher would then play an important role in surfacing the key concepts to be learnt and in guiding students to fully understand the characteristics of the concepts.
During his stint in Singapore, Mr Huang Aihua created a positive professional impact on all whom he had interacted with, and inspired many teachers to better engage their students through improved teaching and learning.