NUS academy is serious about making learning fun

NUS academy is serious about making learning fun
Prof Sow's way of teaching using props has proven so effective that his colleagues have started following suit.

SINGAPORE - For more than a decade, Associate Professor Sow Chorng Haur has been pushing a double-decker trolley of "toys" to his lectures.

With these "toys" - items used in science classes like magnets, mobile phones and even toilet paper - he performs hundreds of demonstrations for his students.

"Imagine a lecturer comes in and teaches theories and equations, that's not interesting," said the physics professor, who joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2001.

"So instead of telling them straight, I show the phenomenon and students will ask me more questions after that."

He is one of 18 faculty members who joined the NUS Teaching Academy in 2009, which was set up that year to raise the university's teaching standards.

The academy now has 37 fellows from different faculties such as medicine, engineering and the arts and social sciences.

Prof Sow's way of teaching has proven so effective that his colleagues have also started lugging their own equipment to class.

The 45-year-old, who has won various teaching awards, said: "It's not textbook learning any more. Today, students can 'google' and find everything online."

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