General News

Hwa Chong Educator Conferred Outstanding Economics Teacher Award 2016

27 Oct 2016

We extend our heartiest congratulations to Ms Deborah How Lai Yin (Principal Consultant/Arts) who has been awarded the Outstanding Economics Teacher Award 2016.

This inaugural award recognises outstanding secondary or junior college/centralised institute teachers who have exhibited excellence in the teaching and learning of Economics. The award is given by the Economic Society of Singapore (ESS), a non-profit professional organization that actively supports the professional development of Economics teachers as part of its outreach to engage teachers and students on issues related to Economics. Sponsored by World Scientific Publishing Co. Ptd td. It will include a sponsorship of $2000 which is to be used for professional development. Award recipients will be required to share their professional expertise by contributing to the teaching and learning of Economics at national-level professional development platforms organised by ESS and CPDD’s Economics Unit.

Ms How is highly committed to the teaching profession for she finds it “simply rewarding and fulfilling”. Many of her past students share that they still remember vividly the numerous anecdotes that she raised to enliven her lessons and make the necessary connections between economics and the real world. A reflective practitioner, Ms How muses that:

          “…teaching Economics is never boring. The ever-changing economic landscape, discovery of new collaborative-learning strategies and the development of ICT teaching tools, keep us busy learning and gainfully challenged. Iron sharpens iron - we learn from fellow colleagues and tap on one another’s ‘comparative advantage’, in so doing, speeding up our growth as professionals.”

Always on the lookout for new innovative practices that can be incorporated into the Economics department’s range of teaching pedagogies”, these include initiating the Lesson Study module for teachers to provide feedback on one another’s lessons, the Team-based Learning framework to effectively teach Case Study skills as well as promoting the ICT platform “Nearpod” to enthuse students in their learning.

Ms How’s students attest that not only is she well read but that she frequently incorporates her up-to-date knowledge on current Economics issues and developments to enrich lessons.

Pan Si Wen (14S77) remarked that Ms How has never failed to impress her class with her erudition:
          “Ms How always shares new economics ideas after attending various economics conference and other subject-related seminars. She would quote from her personal experiences and current affairs in order to make economics relatable for us. I remember her vivid description of how she experienced price discrimination in air ticket pricing and how the system actually worked. She would intrigue us by revealing interesting ideas of Behavioural Economics and how they are actually applied in the Singapore political scene. Examples of Ms How sharing with us interesting Economics ideas, like the Fat Tax on passengers abound, and we were always amazed by how economics is so close to our daily life. Her lessons are always an enjoyment for every one of us in the class.”

Moreover, her competence in her teaching pedagogy has been inspirational in motivating some of them to even pursue the subject at the tertiary level.

Fan Yunan (15S6G) shared that:
          “Ms How can always find ways to teach a concept from different angles for us to understand it better. … She uses individualized examples to teach in order to match the interests and abilities of students, based on the contexts that they are more familiar with as well as on their knowledge from previous experiences. She elicits my interest in Economics and she is the teacher who opened the door to the Wonderland of Economics for me. Now I even intend to pursue an Economics-related course in university, and I am no longer intidimated by seemingly abstract economics theories. Her appropriate use of concrete examples and lucid elaborations inspire me to better apply Economics to real life…”

From Left to Right: Ms How Lai Yin Deborah (Principal Consultant/ Arts), Mr Ng Chee Meng (Minister of Education (Schools), Professor Quah Teong Ewe, Euston, Department of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, President of Economic Society of Singapore 60th Council

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