Late Professor LEE Sing Kong
In 2014, then NTU President Bertil
Anderson was provokingly asked what the defining hallmarks of an NTU graduate
were. His interrogator was Professor Lee
Sing Kong, then Director of the National
Institute of Education (NIE). The casual exchange between these two
university administrators led to Professor Lee delaying his retirement and
accepting a long-term appointment as University Vice President for Education
Strategies and Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Learning
(CRADLE) so he could answer his own question. Bringing with him decades of
interdisciplinary leadership, Professor Lee put together a team to address the
void in Singapore’s science of learning research as it relates to universities
and life-long learning.
Being a research-intensive institution,
NTU welcomed CRADLE as an opportunity to improve the University’s leadership in
teaching excellence. Being a research-intensive institution, NTU welcomed
CRADLE as an opportunity to improve the University’s leadership in teaching excellence
through rigid scholarship. Through qualitative and quantitative studies, CRADLE
attempts to address how learning occurs, how cognition works, and how to
transfer what happens inside a classroom to the real-life problems that await
graduates once they leave the University.
Recognising that no single field can stand alone when
advancing the interests of learning, the Centre positions itself in the front row of an academic dialogue on
the science of learning, and provides a meeting ground for faculty and
researchers from Education, Psychology, Neuroscience, and Technology Design.
CRADLE draws on expertise from a diversified staff who collectively exhibit
intellectual curiosity in the pursuit of new knowledge. Researchers at CRADLE
come from a diverse set of backgrounds including linguistics, learning
sciences, cognitive science, psychology, creative writing, information
technology, and engineering, who believe that transformative innovations for
learning happen at the nexus of these disciplines.
Since its inception, CRADLE has served as an activity
and technology incubator for research to transform teaching and learning in
higher education. The Centre acts as a catalyst to enrich
the twin process of teaching and learning by developing educational
technologies, supporting translational research directed toward the improvement
of learning assessments and design processes, and developing scalable
innovations for both traditional classrooms and technology-enhanced courses.
CRADLE is aligned with Future Learning – one of NTU’s Five Peaks of Research Excellence described in
the Education Pillar of NTU’s research strategy for 2020. To increase the
impact of its learning interventions in higher education and life-long learning
settings, CRADLE also forges partnerships with NTU’s schools and offices,
Singapore’s governmental institutions, and overseas research institutes. These
partnerships strengthen the linkages between cross-cultural scholarship,
policy-making, and workplace practice. To find out more about CRADLE and its
research, please click here.
Through a more holistic understanding of learning
within an individual, among a group, and throughout a community, CRADLE seeks
to prepare learners for the challenges lying ahead in the 21st Century global
market place. The Centre also seeks to answer Prof Lee’s lasting question—“What
do we know about what it means to be a learner in Singapore?” and stands as one more pillar of Professor
Lee’s legacy of cultivating educational research in Singapore.