Our People


Founding Director


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.