Peace Boat’s Global Teachers College in Singapore (92nd Voyage)

Onboard the 92nd Peace Boat Global Voyage, a new educational programme was launched – the Global Teachers College. This programme invites participants involved as students or practitioners in the field of education to join the voyage and learn about education around the world. As part of the inaugural programme, the pioneer group of participants is made up of a combination of current and retired and current teachers, as well as university students who aspire to become educators in the future. As they circumnavigate the world starting from Yokohama, participants acquire global perspectives about education during onboard discussion sessions and special programmes in various countries visited throughout the voyage. This innovative new project is being coordinated with Osaka-based organization Core+, which conducts education-themed community and facilitation programmes.


 Edwin Tan’s geography demonstration lesson.


After departure from Japan, the first field visit for the Global Teachers College was in Asia’s education hub, Singapore. The programme started with a school exchange at Zheng Hua Secondary School. Despite the visit occuring on a Sunday, the principal Eugene Lin kindly arranged to host the visit. Consisting of lesson demonstrations and sharing sessions by three Singaporean teachers, the school exchange programme provided participants an in-depth understanding of how Singapore schools harness Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) effectively to enrich learning and teaching.


Utilizing iPad and Nearpod, an online platform, Edwin Tan conducted an engaging geography lesson and taught the concept of scales in map reading through interactive activities and quizzes. Leslie Tan, a senior Mathematics teacher, showed how ICT can facilitate student-centered learning through online tools like GeoGebra and DESMOs. For many participants, it was their first time to have hands-on experience using iPads to measure angles in geometric figures and draw graphs.


 Participants learning how to use the IPads application.


The last sharing was by a science teacher, Tan Mei Ying, who presented on the values of blending technology with team-based learning strategies, and the benefits of organising an E-learning day in school.


After the sharing sessions, participants had a glimpse of school life in Singapore through a tour of the school facilities including the computer and science laboratories, the canteen, staff room and even the outdoor obstacle course. The kind hospitality of Zheng Hua Secondary School was the highlight of the morning, as participants not only learnt about Singapore’s education system but also formed friendships with the Singapore teachers.


 Tour of Zheng Hua Secondary School.


The busy day in Singapore ended with an insightful dialogue session with Singaporean teachers onboard Peace Boat. Peace Boat volunteer Wendy Ng coordinated the programmes in Singapore, and using her own experience teaching in both Singapore and Japan, invited a group of local teachers as guest speakers. During the Peace Boat participants’ informative presentation, the Singapore teachers were also introduced to Japan’s education system.


 Presentation by Global Teachers College participants.


The participants and Singapore teachers passionately discussed a wide variety of topics that illuminated the similarities and differences between the education systems in Japan and Singapore. Comparisons between the students’ stress levels in both countries were made, and primary school teachers Natalie Boon and Shaan Gan explained the difficulties faced when they try to reconcile the philosophy of holistic education with the quest for academic excellence.


 Global Teachers College participants and Singapore teachers sharing their views about education.


Participants were also interested to find out more from the Singapore teachers about the pedagogical approaches used to teach students who have different learning attitudes and abilities in a multicultural setting. The discussion also turned to the issue of school bullying, and Jia Yin Chang shared how her secondary school copes with bullying problems. The fruitful discussion provided the participants valuable insights to challenges and rewards of being an educator in different educational landscapes.


As William Butler Yeats aptly wrote, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The successful programme in Singapore definitely ignited participants’ passion to learn more about education, as they continue their journey on the 92nd Global Voyage and will visit educational institutions in Finland and the Netherlands.


 A successful Global Teachers College programme in Singapore.

Report by Wendy Ng, volunteer coordinator of the Global Teachers College in Singapore.