OVERVIEW Creativity is widely acknowledged to be a highly desirable - if not, critical - skill for the future. Renowned educationalist Sir Ken Robinson has argued that it is the crucial 21st Century skill needed to solve the problems facing the world today. The questions then fall to its source, and whether - and how - such a quality can be taught. What are the personal, cognitive, cultural and environmental factors that influence the development of creative thinking skills? Is it possible to weave some of those propitious factors into the existing school curriculum and pedagogical approaches? How do some school systems around the world attempt to do this? On the home front, what can parents do to promote it in their children? How can parents and teachers be better equipped to recognize and nurture creativity? A panel of education and cognitive science experts give their take.
MEET THE PANELISTS
Mrs Belinda Charles Dean, Academy of Principals (Singapore)
Mrs Belinda Charles is the Academy Dean of the Academy of Principals, Singapore. Prior to her current position, she was formerly a principal within the St. Andrew’s school family – 12 years at the junior college and 9 years at the secondary school. A teacher since 1971, Mrs. Charles has also taught in Tanjong Katong Technical School and Nanyang Junior College, before becoming founding principal of Bukit Batok Secondary School in 1985. In recognition of her services to education, Mrs. Charles was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 1996.
Ms Cheryl Chia Founder and Research Director, BrainFit® Studio
Cheryl holds a Master Degree in Physiotherapy Studies (Paediatrics) from University of Queensland, Australia. She was awarded a full scholarship from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Singapore) and was subsequently conferred membership in the Golden Key National Honour Society in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement and excellence. Cheryl has more than 20 years of work experience, with over 4 years of clinical physiotherapy experience in KK Hospital where she held various responsibilities including being the overall co-ordinator for paediatric neurology physiotherapy. Cheryl was also part-time lecturer on Paediatric Physiotherapy at Nanyang Polytechnic. She is also a mother to two little girls and an author of a book titled “Fit Brains Learn Better: A Chronicle of 12 years of Brain Fitness Training.” Cheryl has keen interest in cognitive neuroscience (brain research on learning skills) and its applications. As the Founder of BrainFit®, Cheryl is widely recognised by industry peers and has presented in numerous international conferences related to brain fitness and intelligence development. Currently with 26 centres in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Turkey, BrainFit® focuses on helping children from birth to 18 years old develop a learning advantage through strengthening of their brain fitness and intelligence.
Dr Uma Natarajan Principal Researcher, The HEAD Foundation
Dr Uma Natarajan is a Principal Researcher at The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based education think tank devoted to education policy influence in Asia. Her research interests are teacher quality, teacher policy, teacher professional development, scientific inquiry and integrating technology in classrooms. Uma has extensive research and teaching experience across three continents. Her academic training is in Science from India, Public policy from Boston, US and a PhD in Education from Australia.
This free event is presented by the HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based think tank devoted to the research, policy influence, and effective implementation of education for development in Asia.