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On Wednesday 25 April 2018, Dr David Huang of NTU Singapore presented a seminar hosted by the UJ Faculty of Education entitled ‘Developing future-research learners’. Dr Huang is a 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow.


This talk covers two sections. The first section paints a broad picture of education and education research in Singapore. From the perspectives of historical discourse and futuristic orientation, it helps the audience to appreciate the importance of developing future-ready learners in Singapore. Besides other multifaceted dimensions, future-ready learners possess both content knowledge mastery and 21st-century skills and dispositions.

The second section presents the results of a concrete study in maths education that seeks to develop students’ deep understanding of maths knowledge as well as generative ability, and the ability to transfer beyond what they are directly prepared for. The Productive Failure research originated in Singapore has shown the benefits of allowing students to generate first, at the onset of learning, and afterwards receive direct instruction (i.e., delayed instruction).

In this study, we explore whether degrees of freedom of generation (e.g., more or less freedom) and levels of complexity (e.g., more or less complex) of a preparatory task influence the effect of delayed instruction. The findings delineate the boundary conditions of delayed instruction, and reveal an expertise reversal effect. The study has pedagogical implications in preparing students for future transfer.

About Dr David Huang

Dr Huang is Assistant Dean: Research Strategy in the Office of Education Research of the National Institute of Education (NIE) at NTU Singapore. His research areas include learning transfer and higher education research management.

He is the recipient of the ARMS-NCURA Global Fellowship hosted by Harvard University in 2016, and the Australian Government’s Endeavour Fellowship hosted by the University of Melbourne in 2017. He is also a 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow.

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